What would you give up?

Debating joining a local private course a couple minutes from my house that has a couple things going for it. Designed by Donald Ross, old school and traditional with awesome accouterments, great networking potential. Obviously it has a decent initiation fee and is the most expensive and exclusive course in my area.
My old man said “you can afford it” and when I told him I need to get that Bimmer this summer just so I can get access to the grounds (and I’m seriously considering one just for a new car) he told me to not waste money on the car and spend it on the membership.

What other luxuries have you given up to join THAT club? Vacation budgets, cars, houses?

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I mean, the club you’re [most likely] referencing would be worth a lot. The answer obviously depends on your own priorities and personal situations. I think a huge misconception is the level of material things people need to be in ‘the crowd’. It’s a facade. You spend your money on what you find valuable to you. For me, golf is basically my one personal expense outside family stuff, so a nice club membership would be worth it for me, but I also drive a ford and live outside the city.


I think if you are thinking about it it’s not for you. This should be a no-brainer or you will be second guessing the fees and money you are spending.

If you need to have a BMW how bad is your current car situation? Lots of people with wealth don’t drive a BWM/Benz


nothing because I don’t believe in country clubs


I haven’t joined a private club because I do enjoy the things I would have to give up.

Right now that is mainly travel (golf and non-golf related) and putting a healthy chunk each month towards retirement. I am doing as much front loading as I can right now so that in my mid 40’s I can make a career change to something lower paying with lots of time off to golf.

Currently the only course I would want to join in the area is 7k/year. I’ve got two years left on my ~500/mo car payment. Once that is gone I would consider taking that money and putting it towards that membership.

Sounds like you have a lot of things to take a step back and define.

Can you?

Do you?

Is the car a waste? Is the membership?


Moved to a new town just over a year ago.

All of our friends we have- we’ve either met or gotten a lot closer to at the club. Me with golf and my wife with the kids at the pool. I also do a decent amount of work / networking.

It has been the best frivolous money we’ve spent.

Our sacrifice, oddly enough, has been a new car and less spending on other stuff.

There are great threads on here about joining private clubs. Lots of behind the curtain stuff about expenses, costs, tradeoffs, etc. Things to consider:

  • Take your monthly dues and multiply by 2, that will be your account balance each month if you’re using it “just enough” to justify
  • Don’t do math on cost / round. Doesn’t work, especially at premier places
  • Take note of membership numbers and club facilities. the more shiny toys you see, the higher the clubs operating expenses are (and dues/assessments)
  • Have they done significant work to the course recently? how was that financed?
  • As a new member, do you have probationary rules for the first x years (tee time restrictions, guest policy, dining rules, etc)
  • How ‘lax’ are the pro shop rules about playing. Sometimes the best moments are when you can show up and play 2 holes
  • capital vs. operating assessments: how have they grown in the past and what are they expected to be in the future? Who’s making decisions on those, and how does membership give input
  • reciprocity: is your course used a lot for events and if so can you go play elsewhere in town?

these are just on the top of my head. large upfront initiations make club memberships creep into timeshare kind of investments. If you are patient, memberships will dip after this season, even at nicer clubs.


Expensive cars are a racket. I’ve had my share, complete waste of money.


I’d rather drive an old F150 pick up or Honda Accord, and play a great golf course than Drive a Mercedes or Land Rover to a “Meh” course.
After its all said and done… a car is just a tool to get you from point A to Point B

OPINION WARNING… If you can’t just stroke a check for it without blinking… you shouldn’t be buying a luxury car


Get a 2015 Bimmer and join the club. 100%. A few minutes from your house? Absolutely. Then invite as many people as you can to come play so that more people can experience it. Slowly convince the membership to allow unaccompanied guest play. Sell the course to the National Park Service. Join a new club. Do it again.


think about this sentence… A Donald Ross course a couple of minutes from my house…
Its a no brainer man


Lol, if there was ever a first world problem that belonged in the dictionary. No hate at all, just find the situation amusing.

I gave up sleeping-in during the summer to get those 6:30am tee times at my local muni so I could be back early enough to help with my newborn son. Not a car, but something I could afford.

Edit: just to stay on topic and echo everyone else, it’s a fuckinf Donald Ross course. What is there to consider? Buy a car next year.

What course is it anyway?


A question I have: Do you know people at this club? What is the scene like there? Good dudes to tee it up with?

What have I given up? I live in Minneapolis and am a member at a club. I limit my spring-summer-fall golf travel because of my club. Part of it is because I want to take advantage of it when I can, but part of it is that I choose to save a bit of money that way. Because of that, I have not been to Bandon or Cabot and have only been to Sand Valley once. A long weekend at one of those places is a couple of months of dues at my club and I struggle to justify that.

Could I do it? Sure, but if I’m going to spend money on higher end golf, I’m going to go to Streamsong or PHX in the winter when I can’t play golf here.

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Having read this four times to ensure I understood this correctly, I will tell you that while your dad may be right, by no means should you join any club. And don’t even think about it again for about a year.




I darn near live by this quote.

As a family, we have a van to meet my kid’s needs and my wife has a Subaru but I drive a 2007 Ford Focus with 95,000 miles. (From grad school). I’m not cheap, but can think of a couple better things to spend $500 or more on per month.

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I was being facetious on the BMW. A car is needed as I’m handing down my practical car to my daughter who will be working while finishing high school. The car make/model was just a reference point. It was just about the priorities of having THIS or LESS vs a membership.

To answer other questions, I know a couple people at this club. It definitely has an awesome aura and appeal. I love golf regardless and can have fun playing as I have at a bunch of courses around with buds. But the ease of playing anytime without much thought at the premier course in the region with great facilities and conditions… seems awesome.

This course has been considered in the past as well. But my kids were younger then and free time for golf was far less than it is today.


Super helpful. Lots to look into. I appreciate it.

My 2 cents…Joined a similar tier club last year and my only regret was not joining earlier. And I have to drive 45 min (up to 1.5 hours in bad city traffic). If writing that down stroke forces you to make different financial decisions going forward you may want to reconsider or at least wait…may even get a deal in a years time. No fun living on a shoestring budget at a club w/ members that likely are well off and throwing around cash.

Another thing to consider is with a higher tier club like you describe, you will have more access to more courses that are likely on your bucket list. I’ve used ThousandGreens and my expanded network to my advantage on this front. Incremental cost in a sense that is easy to overlook.

Edit: To answer the question - I wouldn’t give up anything to join a club. DM me if you have questions.


I was like really really really close to join the local CC and going all out a while back. I could afford it it no problem, would be close to the house, etc. Got cold feet, stayed at my local track, watched them get a few more assessments at the private track and surprise, we’re having a 2nd child when the first one is now 12.

If you have to give things up for it, I’d pass. I think golf belongs in the non brainer side of financials.

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