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Find out about joining a golf club in England

Golf club membership

On the simplest level, golf club membership allows you preferential access to that club’s course(s), as well as the other facilities at the venue.

Don’t just take our word for it – more than half a million golfers in England enjoy the game through membership of one of our 1,800 affiliated golf clubs. Click play on our video below to find out more about what golf club membership has to offer.

Joining one of our affiliated clubs gives you access to an official handicap should you decide you want one, as well as personal liability insurance, which may come in handy if you’re guilty of the odd stray drive.

But there’s so much more to being a club member. And thanks to our wonderfully diverse community, golf club membership means a range of different things to different people.

 

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Benefits of golf club membership

  • The social benefits
    Meet and play golf with hundreds of fellow club members on the course, in the practice area, or in the clubhouse. Clubs often arrange social get-togethers for their members, and your club captain will help integrate you in the club with meet-and-greets when you join.
  • The competitive benefits
    Match play, stroke play, Stableford, greensomes, Texas Scramble, weekly medals. Whether you know what these terms mean or not, all clubs host a range of competitive golf just for their members throughout the year. Why not see how many different competitive formats you can tick off in your first year of membership?
  • Course and facility access
    Your golf course membership will give you unrestricted access to the facility, such as the practice areas and driving range, clubhouse, changing rooms and shower facilities.
  • First refusal at peak times
    No more scrambling around trying to find a tee-time first thing on a Saturday morning. One of the star attractions of golf club membership is preferential access to the course at peak times such as weekend mornings.
  • You decide the length of the round
    While this is true for visitors as well of course, they will be charged for a full nine or 18 holes to play the course. We find golf club members feel much less obliged to finish a full social round compared to paying visitors.
  • Discounts on food and beverages
    Partial to a caffeinated pick-me-up, post-round thirst-quencher, or a half-way house sandwich? Golf club membership typically brings with it a discounted rate on food and drinks from the club, and at some clubs, merchandise and apparel from the pro shop.
  • It’s easier to improve
    If you’re aiming to improve your game, there is no question that joining a golf club will help you on your way. You’ll have closer access to a PGA Professional coach, the option to play with better players regularly, and quickly learn how to play the nuances and breaks of your home club course.

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Golf club membership FAQs

We’ve answered the most common questions and myths about joining a golf club – some of the answers might surprise you!

How much is golf club membership in England?

As with all sports clubs in the country, golf club membership fees vary greatly depending on factors such as size, location and history. In a recent study (2018), the average price of a full seven-day membership of a golf club in England was £900 – that’s £75 per month.

How common are flexible golf club memberships?

Extremely common. The range of membership types and options may vary, but almost all golf clubs in England offer alternatives to a traditional seven-day membership. Examples include five-day or off-peak memberships, family memberships, and intermediate (age group) memberships.

Many clubs also offer reduced-price introductory memberships for women and are committed to improving the experience for women at their club through the R&A’s Women in Golf Charter.

Do I have to be good at golf?

Not at all! While club membership allows greater engagement with tournaments and competitive play for those who want it, there is no pressure on you to compete. One of the beauties of being a golf club member is you have unrestricted access to the course – just book your time, grab your sticks and play a few holes, whenever suits you.

If you are interested in the competitive side of the game, the average club golfer handicap last year was 18 for men, and 26 for women.

What’s more, handicapping in golf is all designed to level the playing field between golfers, meaning you can have a competitive round with a friend, irrespective of any difference in standard.

Do I have to adhere to a strict dress code?

While it isn’t unusual for a club to have a dress policy, you’ll find it may not be as antiquated as you might think.

You’re unlikely to make friends turning up in ripped jeans, but most clubs want you to feel relaxed and comfortable on the course and around the club.

There is also a huge range of golf attire available in mainstream sports shops and online, while almost all clubs sell their own branded gear.

Will I fit in?

While the onboarding process varies on a club-by-club basis, we are working with our affiliated to clubs to ensure they make an effort to welcome and integrate their new members.

You will probably meet the club captain, as well as being introduced to handicapping and the various social and playing groups at the club.

We encourage all clubs to employ a buddy system where a fellow member will play a few rounds with you and be on hand to answer any questions you might have.

Will it be worthwhile if I don’t have time to dedicate hours to playing a round every week?

One of the benefits of being a golf club member is that you decide how long a round takes. Soaked through and you’ve still got nine to play? Having a terrible round and you’d rather be in the clubhouse? Just pick up and carry on another day.

Unlike when you’re paying full visitor fees, there’s no real obligation to stay on course for the full 18 holes.

In fact, nine-hole rounds are becoming more and more popular as people look to include golf within a busy schedule. In the last 12 months alone, the number of nine-hole rounds being played has more than doubled.