SW Florida Golf Club Membership Options
Southwest Florida is famous for its golfing! Every type and caliber of golfer will find a unique experience to ensure a terrific day on the links. Over the years, we've discovered that the same questions come up about how golf works in Florida, so this page is dedicated to providing just that information.
Golf is divided into three major categories, private country club that offers equity memberships, and of late, some are offering specials of non-equity positions; bundled, where the paying of annual golf fees are required in the community and the golf membership is transferred with the ownership of the property - there may be a select group of homes, condos, or villas that only offer social memberships and you cannot access the course, and lastly public golf courses. The public golf courses may very well have a community built on them, but they are still pay as you play golf.
Private Equity Membership
If the golf course is private equity, then you will not be permitted to play the course unless you are a member, even if you live in the community. Nor will you have to pay any fees to "keep up" the golf club. For non-members, many of these communities will offer some form of a social membership with varying degrees of golf available in the off season and year round dining and amenity privileges at the club.
Bundled Golf Membership
Bundled golf communities will offer the best pricing, both for the home, and the cost to play golf if you are a true golfer. Many of these communities are amenity rich, offering tennis, fitness, dining, and planned activities – they are also noticeably busy. Golf is a true passion in these communities so during the winter you'll find them filled with residents both meeting for golf, dining, tennis, or enjoying a game of cards or Mah Jongg.
Public Golf Courses
More often than you might think, public golf courses are also part of many of the gated and non-gated communities alike. Homeowners get the golf course views without the cost of upkeep. However, they also get quite a bit of outside traffic and hustle and bustle in and out of their neighborhoods.
General Information and Costs
In terms of the type of golf offered in these three categories, you'll typically find that country club golf will be the most challenging golf to be found – many of these courses will be designed by Fazio, Norman, or Nicklaus. In bundled golf, Arthur Hill predominates, and the public courses – many in our area are designed, or improved by, Azinger and Gordon Lewis, and Jack Nicklaus. So, although a public course could be designated "beginner" friendly, it might also be a championship course from the far set of tees.
All private and bundled golf courses feature golf pros for lessons in 99% of the cases. The only time you might not find an on-site golf pro would be at an executive course contained within a very small community that is not open to the public.
Pricing varies dramatically in the equity country club memberships, usually between $25,000 to over $100,000 as an initiation fee and annual fees that will cost about $1,000 per month – give or take. In the private non-equity area, which many clubs are now offering, it could be as low as an $8,000 initiation fee to as high as $50,000, each club is different.
Bundled golf, especially in an executive course situation, of which there are not many – remember most of the really nice bundled golf courses are Arthur Hill designed, it can be as low as $1,300 per year, mid-range is about $3,500, and the higher end will run about $8,500 per year. These fees are over and above the fees paid to the community for your specific subdivision. What that means is that you may still have homeowner or condo association fees due also. Typically, buying in a bundled golf community will also have a one-time fee, due at closing, in the amount of the annual golf membership. The public courses all vary, but we've seen those daily fees to be as low as $20 out of season and $65 in the winter season, on average.
Be sure to check out our newest addition, SW Florida's Best 18 Golf Holes. It's quite a read for the golf enthusiast!
Page Authored by Benjamin Dona of Gulf Coast Associates, Realtors