Deciding on the right golf membership can be a challenging process, especially if you throw a partner or children into the mix. But after making that decision, you have one more to consider— when do you want to join the club? Most people think peak season is the best time but what if we told you that fall, when peak season is coming to a close, is even better. Wondering why would someone join a golf club when the golf season is considered over? Good question. Read on and find out how beginning your membership in the fall will make you the early bird who caught the worm.
Time to Get to Know the Club
Fall is a great time to start getting acquainted with the club and its members and joining after peak golf season will give you the opportunity to see the actual clubhouse in action. Take some time during the off-season to meet existing members, get to know staff, and attend social events. There’s a lot more to your membership than just golf!
Community is huge for golf clubs, so you'll want to start meeting people as soon as possible. As the golf season winds down, spend some time around the clubhouse and introduce yourself to a few people each time you visit. Putting yourself out there and networking during this time of year (when the club is less busy) will make it a lot easier to make connections, hopefully setting you up to create lifelong relationships. The more you get to know other members now, the more comfortable and excited you'll feel for your first golf season; when you can hit the tee box with your new friends.
Join in on the Events
You may have missed the peak season events by joining in the fall, but did you know that many can’t-miss social events actually take place in the off-season? Since you can't play a round in the winter (unless your club has a golf simulator), this is the perfect time to take advantage of some of the other amenities and events offered at your club.
To make sure the whole family is included, many clubs pride themselves on family-friendly programming. With the course closed, the staff shifts its attention to these events which is why they are usually spectacular!
While you’re getting to know the club and your fellow members, you’ll also get a better feel for the events schedule before the annual activities program is released for the new year. You’ll have the first shot at registering for the programs or leagues you’d like to join, giving you a leg up on new members who wait to join in the spring. And because you’ve spent the golf off-season making new friends, you’ll be even more excited for your first peak season, when you can schedule foursomes with new friends or even show up on a whim and join a group of them for a spur-of-the-moment round.
Evaluate the Course
Meeting members and enjoying social events with others is all well and good, but we all know what you're here for — golf. So, go on! Don't be shy! Try out the course and decide for yourself if it's the right club for you. Every course is unique so it’s up to you to decide whether the course is enjoyable, meets your skill level and also challenges your game.
If you join just before the season is over, you'll have a few weeks to soak up the rest of the golf season. After all, fall is the best time to golf because fewer people are on the course, temperatures are moderate, course conditions are great, and there are less of those pesky mosquitoes!
In addition to all the reasons we’ve already mentioned, by joining a club in the fall, you might even reap some financial benefits. You very well could avoid having to pay a higher initiation fee next spring. This makes your decision to join sooner, rather than later, even easier.
Something to keep in mind, depending on the club, there could be a waitlist that impacts when you actually become a member. So although fall is an amazing time to join a golf club, there’s hardly ever a bad time to join. If you end up becoming a member during peak season, you’ll be ready to jump right in and start playing. This is also great but be sure to take advantage of all the other amenities that your club has to offer. So, what are you waiting for?
Photo Courtesy: Peter Wong