Despite the recent flurry of outrage in the public eye over country clubs, most members are satisfied with their memberships. And that’s what matters most.
The country club business model is unique. They are faced with the balancing act of staffing a variety of F&B outlets: the formal dining room, the casual dining room, and the grill.
The member-guest policy of a country club is designed to maintain a private status while allowing members to welcome guests from the community and beyond. Generally, a private club’s guest policy is based on a number of factors such as the amount of time and day that guests are allowed to play golf, how often any one guest can golf at the club in a month, and whether or not the club allows ‘unfettered’ use of its facilities by non-members.
The policy of the club also regulates the manner in which guests are permitted to use the golf course, practice facilities and other club amenities. The guest must register with the Golf Shop and receive approval from the Head Professional prior to playing the golf course, practice facility or other club facilities.
Members may invite up to eight (8) unaccompanied guests per day, who must be registered with the Golf Shop and must receive permission from the Head Professional before playing. All Greens Fees, Cart Fees, Food and Beverage charges and other club expenses incurred by these guests must be billed to the member hosting them, unless the guests make direct payment arrangements with the Club.
Many Philadelphia Country Clubs have a set of member-guest fees. These fees vary depending on the day and offseason, as well as the number of players.
For example, a club may have $50 guest fees on Saturdays and $150 fees on Mondays. This is a way to introduce a potential member to the club’s amenities and make them feel like they’re part of something special.
However, some clubs also have restrictions on how often a non-member can play. For instance, they can’t play on weekends or when the course is busiest.
In addition, some clubs will charge a trail fee, which is usually around $100 per person, if the non-member doesn’t use a cart. It’s worth investigating this if you plan on hosting frequent guests.
If you’re not a member, you can still enjoy the country club and its amenities, but it’s important to be aware of the non-member fees. They’re a necessary part of a country club’s revenue model, and they can affect your experience.
Some clubs also require that you spend a minimum amount on food and beverages at the club restaurant. If you don’t reach the minimum, you’ll have to pay a higher fee.
This is a common hidden cost at high-end clubs that can add thousands of dollars to your membership if you’re not careful.
Assessments: These charges are levied when a country club needs to make a large capital project such as a course renovation or building improvements. They’re important to understand and ask about before signing a contract.
These assessments often come on top of initiation and dues, so it’s vital to make sure you understand what you’re paying. If you’re not comfortable with them, find another club where you can get a more inclusive membership without the added costs.
Members are not allowed to invite guests to eat at the club without paying the appropriate guest fee. The only exception is during certain times, such as Piperette Play Days and Club sponsored events.
The policy applies to all members of the club, including spouses. If a non-member is invited to play golf by a member, the member must pay the full fee for his or her guest.
In the event a non-member tries to transfer or sell his or her membership, it must first be approved by the Board of Directors. After Board approval, the selling member will have to return his or her stock certificate to the club.
The Board of Directors will then take action as necessary to discipline the Member in accordance with this policy. This may include a warning letter, a fine, or suspension of membership privileges. The severity of these actions will vary, but will always be in the best interest of the country club and its members.