Learn About The Different Golf Club Membership Types

Learn About The Different Golf Club Membership Types


Logo for Golf Club Membership TypesWithin the greater Naples area there are over 100 golf courses. Most of these are private country club communities and offer two different golf club membership types: Membership/Equity and Bundled/Deeded. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages and which type you choose depends on your lifestyle, how frequently you play and how much you want to invest.

Golf Club Membership Types, Equity/Membership:

Equity membership is an individual membership/ownership in the golf club which is separate from ownership of a residence and may be open exclusively to residents of the community or to the general public as well. Membership is by application with an initiation fee ranging from $10,000 to $250,000. Annual club dues start around $5,000 and can run much higher. Depending on the community, the membership is generally limited to between 225 and 350 members per 18 holes.

The Membership option lets you join the club for a lower fee then the Equity option, but is not refundable. Equity initiation fees are usually refundable. Upon resignation, the refund may be a percentage or a 100% refund of the initial membership fee or a percentage of the then prevailing rate. In some cases, a member can sell the membership independently or offer the membership as a package when he or she sells their condo or home in that community. Annual dues are also higher than in bundled clubs in that costs have to be spread over fewer members.

Most Membership/Equity clubs also offer both sports and social memberships. A sports membership generally includes tennis, swimming, dining and fitness center. It may also include golf during the off season and a limited number of tee times per month. Equity clubs almost always have a social membership option as well which generally includes dining and use of the clubhouse.

Amenities generally include a club house, restaurant, lounge, exercise club, pro shop, tennis and pool.

Membership/Equity Clubs are generally a golfing community with homes ranging from condos, villas, and town homes to single-family homes. However there are a number of private clubs that do not include a housing component.

The principal advantage of an equity club is course availability due to fewer members with the drawback being a higher initial and ongoing cost.

Golf Club Membership Types, Bundled/Deeded:

In a Bundled/Deeded community, the golf membership is included with the home or property and every home owner is a member, i.e. it is “bundled” together with the title to the property or deeded as part of the ownership. Note that all of the residents in a deeded community may not have a golf membership and may have a social membership instead. In this case a golf membership generally cannot be purchased or transferred.

There is no initiation fee and the membership transfers to the new owner on resale. Like an equity community, annual dues are mandatory and generally run between $2,000 and $5,000 per year. There are generally no greens fees and your only cost to play is the cost of the cart. Depending on the community, there may or may not be a food and beverage minimum. The number of members is equal to the number of properties in the area and generally runs between 600 and 800.

Amenities generally include a club house, restaurant, lounge, exercise club, pro shop, tennis and pool. Property types range from condos, villas, and town homes to single-family homes.

There are two principal advantages. The first being that an initiation fee is not required and the second is that the membership can be transferred to a tenant should you wish to rent or lease the property. The disadvantage is that there are a lot more members and as such, tee times may be more difficult to obtain.

There are also a number of Public Golf Courses in the Greater Naples Area.   They do not require a membership and are open to all on a fee basis.

I hope the above has been helpful in clearing up the different golf club membership types.

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