Are you really getting a great bargain with golf discount cards or are you just buying a useless membership that costs more than it saves? If golf is one of your life's passions, you know how costly it is to play twice or more a week.
Add up $65 for greens fees + $25 for a cart, twice a week for 23 weeks and you spend will more than $3,500 a year to tee it up on golf courses. Your golf score may probably improve, but bank account probably won't!
Many discount golf programs promise that you can "Play more golf and pay less." Is that an "unplayable lie" or blasting out of a trap? There are many golf discounts from golf course greens fee arrangements. Some are on-line; some are printed coupon books.
Some work very effectively, where you can double your money or cut your fees in half. Some are real duds. To become a savvy buyer that your golf buddies and friends look up to. Use this 7 question checklist to figure out whether buying an on-line membership golf card is worth it.
1. How many courses belong to the discount golf course network?
Is it 10? 50? 150? 3,000? The more courses the better. Why? Because if 100,000 people buy the membership and there are only one hundred courses, you'll get stuck trying to get a good tee time.
2. Do you have to travel to Montana to play golf?
Does this program offer local courses for just one state, like Wisconsin or New Mexico? Is the network nationwide? Do you have to drive to the middle of Montana to find a course?
With the cost of gasoline and driving these days, are there enough golf course within a 50 mile radius of your home? If you vacation in Peoria, do those golf courses belong to the network?
3. Can you avoid cow pastures, the "Turtle Greens" golf networks?
I learned to play golf as a teenager in Wisconsin. My father took us to Turtle Greens, built by farmer on the outskirts of his farm. The clubhouse was a barn; the fairways were like cow pastures; the greens were shabby like a mowed back yard. Of course, we were real hackers and kids at the time.
Make sure that the golf courses in your membership directory are a decent mix of very good courses, medium courses and "practice" courses. That way you can select the ones you want for a particular round. Some days, you may want to play a challenging forest course. Other times, you just want to play a simple course to get some exercise.
4. Do You Get Discounts for the ENTIRE golf season?
Know how long the season is for the discount golf green fees. Is it a short time from mid-June to August 31? Do you have to play before May or after September?
The best discount green fees cards will allow you to get savings all year round for as long as the golf course is open. Don't buy a golf card that has seasonal playing restrictions.
5. How easily can you find a golf course?
The program should make it easy to find a course. I have purchased a number of state golf discount coupon books. A paper coupon book allows you to look in the index to find where the golf courses are listed.
Before you buy these in a golf store, you can look through the book to see if your favorite courses are listed. If you subscribe to an online discount golf card program, make sure you can search the golf course directory.
It helps to search by zip code, state, city, distance to the golf course and even golf course name. If the search function is missing or limited, don't buy that membership.
6. Can you learn the pluses and minuses of the golf courses in the network - before you buy?
If the online golf card membership program allows you to search, it should also give you the details of what you get. Different golf courses offer different discounts.
When many golf courses belong to the network, there will be many different variations. Just make sure that there is enough variety to fit your best times to tee it up. Take tee times for instance. Is the discount network allow you to play only on weekdays? Does the discount apply to weekends? Is your play restricted to a certain time of day, like before 7:00 a.m. or after 5:00 p.m.?
7. How reputable is the vendor's performance and longevity?
Is this program new? How long has it been around? How many members has it served? How many belong now? Does it offer a money-back guarantee? These are important questions to ask, especially with on-line services. Anyone can put up a website.
Take care to do due diligence and check out the vendor before you spend your hard earned money. And make sure that they have a money-back guarantee if you are unsatisfied for any reason.
Now that you have these questions about discount green fees programs, all you need to do is find one that helps you save money and get out on the links for less.