So, you are ready to join a golf club? You have made an excellent decision. Several people like you are seeking to be a member of the golf club to take on a new life adventure. If you have been looking out for which club would meet your ultimate needs, you are not alone. 

Recently, I have received questions from several young people through mail and one-on-one chat concerning which private golf club is best for people of their age. Many, on the other hand, ask if there are tips for joining a golf club

Well, having spent several years as a member of different private clubs, I have compiled a list of the five most essential questions you need to ask before signing that golf club membership form.

1. What is the food minimums?

There was a time I went to a golf club to see a friend practising. When it’s time to eat, he asked me to order as much as a want. At the point of my satisfaction, he asked me to order more food. Guess what; he didn’t win a jackpot; he was trying to hit his food minimum for that month. 

Meanwhile, the food minimum varies from one golf club to another. On average, it stands in the range of $50 – $300 per month. As minor as it may seem, knowing how much the club permits you to eat per month is essential in selecting which club bets for your lifestyle. While some private clubs include drinks and alcohol in their food minimum, others may not.

2. Is there any limited tee time?

A tee time is a specified time for golfers to begin their round of golf in a course. It’s the time at which you tee off. The purpose of tee time is to organize golfers on the course. It may astound you to find out that some golfers do not have access to some specified tee times.

One of my friends that joined a local private golf club recently shared with me his leaving plans. The problems were that he got disappointed after discovering that the new members cannot tee off at some enjoyable times at the weekend. Only long-standing members can tee off at those special times. He ended up registering in another golf club.

It’s a lesson for anyone about to sign a new membership form of a golf club. If not for any reason, it is ideal to know what you want to sign for even before the registration stage. 

Most times, young adult membership cost less. But, it might not be a plus for you. The discounted membership price might mean restrictions from some tee times. Hence, be sure that you ask the management about tee time restrictions before signing the dotted lines.

3. Is there any walking restriction? 

Most golfers prefer walking on the course during a golf round to riding. If you are in this category, we are in it together. Owning to its health benefits, I will always encourage golfers to walk in their rounds if they have the option. 

Some facilities don’t allow golfers to walk between holes on the course because of the texture of the grass. If you ignorantly register as a club member like this, you might forcefully take a ride. 

So, if you prefer walking to riding, you might need to consider registering in a golf club where walking is encouraged. You need to be careful not to join a club where riding is mandatory. Once you become a member, you will have to pay a compulsory cart fee even you choose to walk.

4. Is there an average member’s age?

You must be aware that there are different types of private golf clubs – you might have seen many of them out there. Some are more traditional. They have many older golfers, and they project more of an old school way of life. Their rules and food minimum bends to suit the older adults’ life and nature in this kind of club. 

On the other hand, some clubs are more focused on younger golfers. They have more relaxed and flexible rules. They accept and operate a 21st-century lifestyle, which reflects in the younger population of membership.

In light of the preceding, you must ask about the age range of the club members to know if you fit there. In most cases, the club would have stated their membership age range clearly in their form. But, in case you missed that, ask about the average member age before you sign to become a member.

5. What was the club’s last ten years of assessments?

Knowing the average member’s age of a golf club is not only essential to see if you fit in or not, but it will also help you to know how the club could sustain its future finances. If the club has older people as their members, the chances are that those golfers would not be in the club in the next ten years. 

Consequently, the club’s younger members would have to shoulder all the financial responsibilities for the club. This could add more costs to the membership standard of the club in the form of assessments. 

Most significantly, if the club is constantly upgrading its clubhouse, pool or locker room to the newest trends, you might have joined a money-spending golf club. The best way to avoid becoming a victim of this unnecessary huge financial is to do thorough research about the club’s assessments in the last few years and the present members’ average age. If your findings do not favour your age and your pocket, it is better to try another club.


You will find the right golf club if you can dare to ask the above critical questions before you decide to join any club. Your choice of club membership may determine how much you will enjoy your golf rounds.

June 29, 2021 — Ben Breckenridge