Tips for getting on private courses


#1

See topic. What’s the best way(s), outside of the obvious (joining the club or getting brought out by a member), to get in a round at a private club? I’ve heard writing/calling works. Has anyone had luck doing so? If so, what’s the strategy and approach there?


#2

I don’t have much to offer here since I haven’t done it outside of a club where I had a connection, but most clubs are closed on monday’s and that’s when the staff get to get out and play (and the head pros bounce around to each others tracks). So your best bet would be to get on those days.


#3

Andy at the @thefriedegg gave some good tips a couple months ago…I think it was on his podcast…maybe Andy can jump in here and tell you the tips or point you to which episode.


#4

Writing letters / notes does work. I’ve had some limited success with this in the past. My advice would be to hand-write the note and send it to the head pro. Do not just type and sign it. IMO if I received a typed letter I might suppose these could’ve easily been sent to a lot of different clubs with some quick switches. Writing it by hand shows some level of time/effort was exerted to play that specific course.


#5

FSGA does one day tournaments all over the state down here. They are all during weekdays for the most part. $45-60 typically including range balls, and a round of golf. Just scan the schedule and see what courses you want to play that you can’t normally walk on. Not sure if there is something similar where you are located. It’s a pretty cool setup.


#6

When I was a teen and into early adulthood I had a friend (unsavory) who was the best at getting us on private courses. Thankfully the statute of limitations has long run! I wouldn’t suggest his methods as we were never quite sure of how he did it- we would be told to,wait in the car and he either came back with cart keys or we beat a hasty retreat!
I was not present but they got removed after nine at a club in St Paul MN after his claims were investigated!


#7

I am a “member” of a public course in Michigan, basically its a yearly upfront for full access. I have had success making a relationship with my pro at the course and asking him if he would be comfortable making a phone call for me to set something up at a private track. its been pretty straightforward, and successful. id assume because many of these pros (public or private) run in local circles and know eachother.

i also have gone the route of playing in some Golf Association of Michigan events at private courses. but a lot of people might not want to end up playing a competitive round. Many State Associations have single day events at private courses where the fee to play ends up being financially reasonable

while its a bit crooked, it isnt really feasible with the top tier privates in my area and i havent abused this ability, ive also contacted membership services and inquired about memberships and asked to play the course with a member to check it out. most of the time the members ive been matched up with have been good people and are happy to share in the fresh experience with someone else


#8

a lot of courses have charity outings or look at state golf associations that have play dates at private courses sometime


#9

Dont be poor! Just kidding, most of these suggestions are good, best way by far is if you have any kind of relationship with a golf pro at any course to ask them to help you.


#10

I’ve had some success with emailing either the pro or membership director. I don’t copy and paste the same message either. Take the time to write out something unique each time. Most have told me they can accommodate if a pro makes a call on my behalf and some have even told me they’d be happy to reserve a tee time for me at their non member daily fee (which can be pretty pricey).

I’d suggest going the hand written note route or calling the pro at the course you wish to play and explaining to them you’d like to play the course and understand if it’s not possible but hopefully they’d be willing to accommodate.


#11

I think we should reach out to Julio Bell on this one.


#12

On top of these suggestions, which are great, look for silent auctions at charity events. A lot of times a member of a club will donate a round to a silent auction. It may not be cheap, but I’ve seen some really exclusive courses offered in these (Maidstone, Medinah #3, Shoreacres, Crooked Stick, etc.).


#13

Charity golf tournaments are a great way to go. Make sure to check Tour player’s charity pages because they will often host tournaments on great courses. The first time I was able to play TPC Boston was through an Els for Autism event.


#14

A lot of event auctions are now online and don’t even you require to be at the event…so if you look hard enough you can find them at the comfort of your own home. I was at an event last year that had online auction and they had a foursome including lunch and caddies at Muirfield Village. I bailed when it got over $1,600.