Contemplating joining a new golf club but not sure if it's the right move for you?
We get that. There's a lot to take into consideration. Will I fit in? Will I play enough to justify the expense? Things like that.
We caught up with three bunkered readers recently who told us why 2017 was the year they took the plunge and joined a new club - and why it proved to be a great decision.
Meet Paul, Vicki and Alistair...
“I only joined Prestonfield Golf Club in Edinburgh in August last year after moving up from London. I went round a few courses in the area to try them out and see how I fitted in but the welcome I got from the club secretary at Prestonfield and also the pro, Scott Clark, was what helped sell it to me. That was big for me.
Also, I played the course with my friend and thought the quality and conditioning of the course was fantastic and the members that I met while I was there gave me a good vibe and it’s no surprise that all combined to help me make my mind up about joining.
Between most of the courses in Edinburgh, there’s only about a £100 to £200 difference in membership prices. If you’re taking up a £600 to £700 membership, I don't think you're going to baulk at another £100. Plus, I imagine you'd be even more content to pay that when the welcome was like the one I got at Prestonfield.
There’s great availability of tee times at the course, too, and you get emails constantly from the club telling you about the condition of the course and any upcoming events, which is great to keep you in the loop. You feel part of the club.
I didn’t know a soul when I joined here but I’ve met a few people by playing in the Wednesday medal, which groups players randomly, and that’s been brilliant. I played the odd round of golf down in London but it’s very expensive to join a club down there.”
“I had been a member at a golf club in the Borders but was getting coaching from Daniel Wood at The Hirsel, so I was going there once a month anyway.
Last year, they had an offer on for new members and I took it up, started playing there, and have absolutely loved it. With Daniel, he’s helped improve my confidence and the way I think on the golf course and that has been a real benefit to simply enjoying the game more. I’ve been with him for nearly two years now and I get a lesson every five weeks and the improvements he’s helped me make are massive.
Through playing at The Hirsel, I’ve got the chance to play alongside better players and that has really helped my game come on a lot.”
“I played the course at West Lothian a couple of times before I joined and I couldn’t believe, being a student, how cheap it was to play such a quality course. I used to play at Grangemouth when I was a junior and was probably out of being a golf club member for two-and-a-half years.
The reason at the time was that I didn’t really have anyone to play with - but I joined West Lothian with a couple of my pals and we’re all absolutely loving it. But even though I joined with my pals, I feel as though I’ve made so many friends there, and the guys in the pro shop have been brand new.
Everyone treats me like I’ve been there for years. I couldn’t imagine playing anywhere else. I’m a student for another two years and an adult membership costs more than double what I’m paying now but the way I’ve been welcomed, I can’t see it being a stumbling block to pay that extra money when the time comes."
Read our exclusive Membership Guide!
Interested in becoming a golf club member? Our exclusive Membership Guide has all of the information - and deals - you could want.