Do Golf Club Members Pay Green Fee? (Explained!)

Last Updated on October 9, 2023 by Alex PT

Whether or not golf club members pay a green fee depends on the type of membership they have. Some clubs offer full memberships, which include unlimited green fees. Other clubs offer social memberships, which do not include green fees.

What Is A Green Fee?

What Is A Green Fee

The green fee is the cost of playing golf. It is the cost you incur for being on the green of a golf course. This is the basic fee that allows you to play either nine or 18 holes, it’s the literal fee you pay for both walking and playing on the golf course.

What Other Fees Are There In Golf?

There are other fees golfers are expected or should volunteer to pay. This list of fees varies from golf course to golf course, which is excluded from the green fee. 

Another common fee before you can play golf includes a cart fee. This is the fee for renting a golf cart which you will ride throughout your round. This fee is different from the green fee, although some luxurious golf clubs mandate golfers to ride with a golf cart whilst playing and shun walking for whatsoever reason.

Rental fees cover a walking cart, golf clubs, and other needed accessories that make you enjoy the golf rounds.

Golfers can pay for beverages and food separately during rounds. However, the core cost of playing golf is the green fee.

What is included in a golf membership?

A golf membership offers an all-inclusive experience for passionate golfers. It is not just limited to the golfing realm but also extends to the numerous amenities and privileges the club provides. Below are the key offerings that come along with a golf membership.

  1. Unlimited Access to the Golf Course:
    Members have the privilege of unlimited use of the golf course. They can play as many rounds of golf as they wish without having to pay additional green fees.
  2. Access to Golf Carts:
    Most golf clubs offer golf carts as part of the membership. This helps in easier navigation of the vast golf course, enhances comfort, and saves time.
  3. Golf Lessons:
    Many golf clubs also offer complimentary golf lessons or tutorials for their members. These lessons help beginners to get started and allow seasoned players to improve their techniques and strategies.
  4. Access to Practice facilities:
    Members are granted unrestricted access to practice facilities like a driving range, chipping area, and putting greens at no extra cost.
  5. Advanced Tee Time Reservations:
    Golf members enjoy the privilege of booking tee times well in advance compared to non-members, securing their preferred timings.
  6. Tournaments and Events:
    Golf clubs organize tournaments and events exclusive to their members. These events provide a platform for members to showcase their skills and compete with fellow members.
  7. Discounts at Pro Shop:
    Golf memberships often come with discounts on merchandise at the pro shop. This can include golfing gear, clothes, equipment, and accessories.
  8. Clubhouse Facilities:
    Golf memberships also include access to the clubhouse. The clubhouse may provide amenities such as locker rooms, gourmet restaurants, a bar, a swimming pool, a gym, spas, and event spaces.
  9. Social Networking:
    Being a member of a golf club presents an excellent opportunity to network. It offers a community that shares the common interest of golf and often extends to business and personal networks.
  10. Guest Privileges:
    Most golf clubs allow members to invite guests to the club. This privilege can be extended up to a certain limit as set by the club policies.

Things To Consider Before Becoming A Member Of A Golf Club?

 Becoming A Member Of A Golf Club

Before deciding to become a golf course member, you must consider the below


Membership at most clubhouses ranges from a few bucks to several thousand, depending on facilities, location, and prestige.

Anyone earning modest wages signing up for a clubhouse fee might be a huge investment.


Some golf courses especially those around Australia are known not to condone golfing snobbery. They fully understand that for some people golf membership is an index of success and, more importantly, a means to play regularly.

Some prestigious courses can charge as high as $10,000 annually, so ensure you’re making a decent income especially if you feel this fee is enough to boost your self-image.


Golf membership is significantly cheaper, especially for regular players but it saves you the stress of paying for a green fee every time you hit the course.

Why Is Membership So Expensive?

A standardized golf course can cost millions to both build and maintain, thus membership can be expensive. 

Clubs with superior facilities such as an exotic clubhouse and several golf courses on the premises are known to charge more than courses with nine hours with a lower maintenance rate.

Unfortunately, most prestigious golf courses pay obsessive attention to their image, and fees are placed higher than usual with the intention to stop “common people” from joining, making these exotic clubs beyond reach to the golfing population.

What Are The Advantages Of Joining A Golf Club?

Have you found a club you like, that represents value for money, and is affordable, with a huge amount of perks and benefits you can enjoy over the year by being a member?


A lot of courses organizes several weekly competition for a small additional fee and the winner takes a prize either at the pro shop or a special coupon to spend in the clubhouse.

Special Golf Events

Clubs always organize matchplay, twilight golf nights, masters morning breakfast, ambrose competition, and a host of other events to combine golf and socialization. As a member, you can enjoy these events.

Unlimited Golf

The primary reason for joining a golf club is unlimited access to the golf course. Members have unrestricted access to play golf seven days away compared to non-members who only have weekdays to play.

Other ways to play golf without being a golf club member

There are several ways to play golf without being a golf club member:

  1. Public Golf Courses:
    • Public courses are open to anyone and often offer affordable green fees. They may have varying levels of difficulty and amenities.
  2. Municipal Golf Courses:
    • Many cities operate municipal golf courses that are open to residents and non-residents alike. These courses can provide an economical option for golfers.
  3. Pay-As-You-Play:
    • Some courses offer a pay-as-you-play model, allowing non-members to play by paying a fee each time they golf. This is flexible and doesn’t require a long-term commitment.
  4. Golf Packages and Deals:
    • Look for golf packages, special deals, and promotions offered by courses, especially during off-peak hours or seasons. These can provide cost savings.
  5. Driving Ranges and Practice Facilities:
    • If you want to work on your swing or short game, consider visiting driving ranges and practice facilities. They often charge a fee per bucket of balls or practice session.
  6. Golf Course Memberships:
    • Some courses offer limited memberships or season passes, allowing access to the course for a specific period without full membership privileges.
  7. Golf Outings and Tournaments:
    • Participate in golf outings, charity tournaments, or corporate events. These may offer access to private courses for a day, often with proceeds going to a charitable cause.
  8. Reciprocal Agreements:
    • If you’re a member at one course, check if they have reciprocal agreements with other clubs. This can grant you access to additional courses.
  9. Resort Golf:
    • Stay at golf resorts that have on-site courses. Guests often receive discounted rates or even complimentary rounds as part of their stay.
  10. Online Booking Platforms:
    • Use online booking platforms to find discounted tee times at various courses. Websites and apps like GolfNow and TeeOff offer convenient access to available tee times and deals.
  11. Twilight and Off-Peak Hours:
    • Courses often offer reduced rates for playing during twilight or off-peak hours. Take advantage of these cost-effective options.
  12. Golf Passes and Memberships:
    • Some organizations offer golf passes or memberships that provide access to multiple courses within a network. These can be economical for frequent golfers.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Green Fee Expensive?

Green Fee is either cheap or expensive. It depends on which course you decide to play. If you choose an exotic club then the fee would be expensive compared to if you are playing at a less expensive club.

Does All Golfer Pay Green Fee?

No, not all golfers pay a green fee. The green fee is solely for non-members of a golf club. Hence members are excluded from paying the green fee since their membership allows them all access to the course and clubhouse.

Is Green Fee Cheaper Than Membership?

You can’t categorically say Yes or No. If you only play golf a few days a month then a membership fee would be a waste of cash but if you play golf more often and relish the idea of enjoying the full package of a golf club then it would be economical for you to pay a membership fee.

Which Is Appropriate For You, Green Fee Or Membership

Ultimately, it depends on your golf intentions. If you want to play golf to relax over the weekends then a green fee is perfect but if you wish to forge a career in golf or the comfort and prestige associated with a clubhouse mixed with unlimited golf time, then membership is best.


Green Fees are strictly for Non-members, which they have to pay before allowed to play on the course. Different courses have different green fees with exotic clubs charging more because of the image, prestige, and superior facilities that they provide compared to regular golf courses.

To determine whether it’s right to opt to join a club or continue paying green fees depends heavily on how often you play.


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