Ever dream of playing any private golf clubs that surround the Toledo area? Well if you are like most of us, it can sometimes be a challenge to get access to those courses.
Everything from the famed Inverness Club to Highland Meadows (home of the Marathon Classic) and more are desired to be played by all, but many just never get the chance.
I have been lucky enough to play on 4 private courses in the area including Inverness Club, Highland Meadows, Stone Oak and Lenawee Country Club. Some places are easier to gain access to than one would think, so let me share my top 5 ways to play a private golf course.
#1: Join a Club
I know it sounds a little funny, of course if you join a club you will have access, but you think you can’t afford it an that may not be the case.
Over the past several years, especially with the downturn in the economy after 2008, many clubs are doing all they can to survive and make it another year. During the last 5 years there have been more affordable opportunities in Toledo to join a private golf club than ever.
Lately you may have heard a few radio commercials for places like Brandywine Country Club offering membership as low as $130 or so per month. That is less than half of what most of us pay for our car each month!
#2: Charity Outings
If you are looking for a way to help out the community, while at the same time getting the chance to play a nice private golf course, charity outings are a great vehicle.
There are many large charity outings that happen each year at Toledo’s private clubs. One of the most popular weeks is during the Marathon Classic, when golfers have the opportunity to play a round at Inverness or Highland Meadows with some of the LPGA’s top pros.
This can get a little on the pricey side for a one and done deal, but remember you are there to enjoy yourself, help out great charities and sometimes even get a round in with the pros.
In my opinion the simplest way to get on a private course is through a tournament. It doesn’t take any special connections and is usually cheaper than an outing.
In the Toledo area, the Toledo Metro Golf Association has held a tournament at Lenawee Country Club in Adrian, Michigan the past few years. This is a great setting tucked away in Adrian, that features many elevation changes, small greens and tough scoring conditions. The course is always welcoming and easy to play, just sign up for the tournament (usually held in May), show up, and you can play one of the private courses in the area.
#4: Befriend a Member
The most recurring way to potentially ensure a round on a private club in the area is to have friends that belong to a club. There are over five private golf clubs in the Toledo area each with hundreds of members. Chances are you may know someone who is a member.
Having a friend that is a member at a club can get a little tricky. You never want to bombard them with the question of “When are you gonna take me out to play?”. They probably hear that fifty times a year from the whole lot of their friends. Instead, if you are ever asked to be a guest at their club, treat it as a privilege and don’t make your friends look bad by acting out at their club.
#5: Work for Trade
Many members of country club are small business owners or executives in larger businesses. If you have a business relationship with one of these members you could use that as an angle to get onto the course.
Usually small businessmen are willing to work for a little bit of trade. That is, you could trade some of your services for a round of golf at their club. My suggestion would be to always get paid at least half in cash, but after that, if you have a long-standing relationship, taking a round or two at their club to round out your payment is sometimes well worth it.
Whatever you do to play your next round on a private course, don’t abuse those privileges, especially if you have hopes of playing there again someday soon.