In a recent survey, non-golfers listed the fact that golf “seems expensive to play” as one of the top reasons for not playing the sport.
Whether you’re a once-in-a-while kind of golfer or an avid player, you might have similar concerns when it comes to joining a golf club.
Just how much is a golf membership for the typical golfer, exactly? That’s what we’re here to answer.
We’ll break down membership costs, then introduce you to a modern golf club membership that’s not only affordable, but also provides a host of benefits both on and off the course.
What Factors Affect a Golf Club Membership Cost?
Golf is known as an expensive sport — which is why many golfers struggle to play as much as they would like.
While a golf club membership offers course discounts, the cost varies widely. Here’s what impacts the membership costs at clubs around the country:
1. Facilities & Perks
Does your local clubhouse have a locker room or a swimming pool? Is the driving range geared up with the latest tracking technology? Does the club offer shop and bar discounts to its members?
Access to all of these additional facilities and perks will come at a cost, both in green fees and membership fees.
Whether your goal is only to play 18 holes or you want to enjoy a quick drink at the 19th, bars, restaurants, lounges and other facilities drive up membership costs.
2. Type of Membership
Not all golf memberships are the same. Some clubs offer packages such as junior memberships for players under 40 or flexible memberships for those who only plan to play at certain times or days.
Some of the varying types of golf memberships include:
Single membership: Standard membership with no specific add-ons or discounts
Junior/senior membership: Age-based discounts usually impacting golfers under the age of 40 and over 65 years old
Social membership: Access only to the social perks of the club with potential restricted access to the course
Family/corporate membership: Extended guest privileges for family members or work functions
Non-resident/flexible membership: Lower prices specifically for out-of-towners who will only use the course intermittently
Not all clubs offer these options and those that do will have varying price structures — but the cost will depend on the type of membership and what’s included.
Most membership fees aren’t as simple as a one-time payment for unlimited golf. On top of monthly or yearly payments, many members can also expect to pay:
Building improvement fees
Clubhouse maximum spends
For many golfers, joining a golf club is somewhat of a status symbol. For instance, Warren Buffett and Bill Gates are among the members at Augusta, adding to its prestige as a club.
Naturally, country clubs with a reputation for hosting famous players or offering an immaculate course with challenging play charge higher membership fees.
Included in the cost of a golf club membership is often access to social events, members-only functions and high-profile tournaments.
For example, in 2022, Liberty National Golf Club hosted the annual Icons Series tournament, where two teams of A-list celebrities were led by Fred Couples and Ernie Els — drawing a huge crowd, including of course, the club’s members.
How Much Is a Golf Club Membership?
So, with all of the above factors taken into account, exactly how much is a golf club membership?
Golf club membership costs are generally split into two sections: initiation fees and monthly or annual dues.
Initiation fees can range anywhere from $5,000 to $50,000 and beyond — a vast range based on whether you’re joining a small local club or a prestigious club that serves as a location for professional tournaments, like Augusta, for example.
Meanwhile, monthly dues tend to average between $300 and $700, for most courses.
These numbers will depend completely on the factors we mentioned above.
For example, Augusta’s half a million in initiation fee is followed by yearly dues of $10,000, while Winged Foot Golf Club in New York, which hosted the 2020 U.S. Open, has an initiation fee of $150,000 with yearly dues of $15,000.
Of course, these well-known clubs come at a premium. The average price for a golf club membership in the U.S. sits somewhere around $6,000 per year.
Is a Golf Membership Worth it?
To decide whether a golf membership is worth the cost, ask yourself three key questions:
1. Do I Play Enough?
If you’re a casual golfer who likes to play only occasionally with friends, the cost of a traditional golf membership might not be worth it for you.
Even with a junior membership, the first year at a country club will set you back several thousand dollars.
2. Are the Exclusive Benefits Worth It?
Golf clubs can be exclusive and include countless perks and benefits — but this doesn’t mean they are always worth their weight in gold.
Florida’s Seminole Golf Club once turned away golf icon Jack Nicklaus, but we don’t think he had any trouble making the most of the exclusive benefits at other clubs across the country.
Before making your decision, make sure you understand what’s included both in the package and the club that you’re considering. Does the cost match up with the quality of the course, the facilities and the discounts or perks offered?
3. What Are the Alternatives?
While golf remains a traditional game, your golf club membership doesn’t have to play by the old rules. At Links Golf, we offer a modern membership with several different tiers to choose from — all of which offer benefits both on and off the course.
Included with a Links Golf Club membership and at a fraction of the price of an average golf membership:
Links Golf reciprocity program: Partner with host golfers in a member-to-member platform to gain access to premium clubs around the U.S. and beyond
Links Play network: Play as a member up to three times a year at a network of over 450 golf and social clubs in North America
Links members discounts: Travel the world’s bucket-list golf destinations with discounts and exclusive access to international resorts and courses, in addition to golf clothing and gear from top brands
How to Make the Most of Golf Membership Costs with Links Golf Club
Whichever way you look at it, golf is an expensive sport.
If you play regularly enough to consider a golf membership, but not enough to offset regular green fees, you’re faced with a difficult decision — to join or not to join?
Links Golf Club offers a modern membership that goes well beyond the offerings of a traditional, one-course golf club.
With a Links Golf Club membership, you’re not limited to your home 18. Instead, you can pair with host golfers in the member-to-member reciprocity program or utilize the strong network of golf and social clubs across the country — making the most of the membership costs while exploring diverse courses throughout the year.
With discounts and deals at top brands like Puma Golf, Top Golf and Bridgestone, your golf membership offers benefits beyond the walls of one private clubhouse.
How Much Does a Links Golf Membership Cost?
A Standard Links Golf Club membership costs $199 a year and includes:
Access to the member-to-member reciprocity program
Access to the Global Links Community
Access to member events near you
Benefits & discounts with major golf brands
When you become a member, you’ll receive exclusive sign-up benefits, including:
A limited edition Bettinardi Headcover welcome gift
A $100 gift card for Five Iron Golf
15% off at the Links Golf Pro Shop
Free Arccos sensors and golf tracking hardware
Links Golf Club is designed for the modern golfer. Whether you’re a beginner or an avid player, becoming a member means connecting with a community of over 30,000 golf enthusiasts.
Unlike a traditional golf membership that offers benefits relating to a single course, our member-to-member program allows you to play courses all over the country, and host other players on your home turf.
A Links Golf Club membership offers you access to the best courses, discounts on top quality golf gear and an expansive, like-minded community to play and connect with.
Expand your course access, your social network and your opportunity surrounding the game with a modern golf membership at Links Golf Club.
From access to private clubs and a modern golf community to discounts on the most sought-after golf gear, the on-course and off-course benefits come without costly initiation fees or monthly dues.
If you’re looking for an affordable golf club membership that’s well worth it, you found it with Links Golf Club.
Membership Designed For The Modern Golfer.
Join a thriving community of like-minded golfers, experiencing the best the game has to offer, both on and off the course.