Long term viability of the American Country Club model?


@munihack I’ve looked into the national membership thing, particularly close to where my parents live, so I can play 5-8 times when I am in town. I’ve found a couple of places that are interesting, but what I struggle with is less the annual dues ($1500) then paying $10K initiation fee. I struggle to commit to that big number not knowing if I’ll use it…

(BTW, the courses I have considered are newer courses, but top 100 modern courses - think C&C, Hanse, Doak pedigrees)


Certainly not top 100 (and I know it’s come up before on this chain), but there is an option through Club Corp to have a travel membership for $25 per month and that gets you 2 rounds per month at any Club Corp course for a cart fee (typically $35). They typically have a $1000 initiation, but my state golf assoc had a link to an initiation-free membership. Worked well in Palm Springs (4 courses). But cheap enough to work if you travel to areas where they’re located.


I live in Kansas City with family in the Wichita area. Prairie Dunes was doing the National membership for anyone outside of the Hutchinson area - Wichita included (just under an hour away). If I remember right, they were offering 2K initiation and $150-$200 a month. For a top 25 club in the world, seems like a ridiculous deal.

If I lives in Wichita, I would have joined and used the course as if it were my home course. Living a few hours away, I cannot justify it even though it is world class.


Being from KC, I knew of people who makes 10x that initiation and still drove probabaly just under an hour to get to their clubs…that is a huge deal if true! And their clubs were not near prairie dunes!


Yeah nothing in the KC area comes close. Got that insight from a family member who knows the pro at Prairie personally (used to be the pro at Tallgrass in Wichita). Were trying to scheme a “family” deal, but we are all way out of the age range and they would not bite!


To add to this, the clubs that do have lower monthly costs are typically very, very exclusive and have fairly high initiations. I worked at one for a while and one rainy fall morning was reading through the membership book (rules, dues, directory, etc) and the monthly costs weren’t crazy (I could easily afford). But if you pair it with the initiation fee and responding to every inquiry with, “sorry we’re full”, it’s not as feasible.


One question @DameLoftedUp because I think I’m reading it wrong. In your above example of the math, who pays the course, who pays the member, and how pays you? If a greens fee is $75 (that goes to the course), the member keeps the net correct?