One thing I have been considering for about 9 months now is getting a membership to a course. I cant afford to go private but many courses in my area offer a Player Development Program (PDP). Most of the courses offer a program that ranges from 40-65 dollars a month. This usually includes unlimited range balls,free golf clinics,and discounted rates at the course during twilight.
Is it worth it?
When I was looking up these programs I decided to do a cost benefit analysis. I figured I could play once every other week and go to the range 3-4 times a week. If I am at the range that much spending $10 a bucket doesnt make much sense. Without the membership I wouldnt be able to afford to go to the range as much. Most of these memberships included golf but it was only Monday-Friday. That took away my chance at playing on the weekend. I wasnt a huge fan of this but figured I could go to the range on the weeknds and make use of the unlimited range.When thinking about the golf costs per month I figured $50-$60 in range fees then $25-$30 per round. That would get me 2 rounds of golf at a course plus a bunch of range time for $100-$115 a month. Thats not a bad deal at all. For me the most important part was the range time. I am a range rat and can always take 20 minutes at the range. I had decided on a course and was about to sign up when I thought of something else.
PGA Tour Superstore
I remembered seeing something at the PGA Superstore. It was called the Player Plus Pass. It costs $100 for a year. For your money you get 30 free regrippings, exclusive offers, half off all club work and unlimited 30 minute sessions in the simulators. I was worried about the availability of the sims. I thought that when it was busy I would be told I couldnt use the simulator. I went to the store for a week at times I would be using the simulator. When I showed up at these times it seemed to be empty. There were obviously some negatives with using the PGA Superstore. They dont have a short game area for me to use. Also I would feel a little weird putting on the practice green with my putter. I will also be hitting off of mats consistently. This can mask some problems in my swing. I had used their mats before and they give very good feed back if you catch it fat. Before I bought the membership I needed to figure out how to account for those short falls.
Finding a solution to my problems
I took a week to think about it and figured out a couple of solutions. To address the short game problem I decided to make use of the short game area at the muncipal course by my house. I feel a little bad about using the facilities without buying anything but I justify it by assuming since I live in Dallas I am probably paying a tax for it somewhere. In my eyes its like any other park (side note: go play Luna Vista in Dallas great course,nice staff,nice facilities). As far as hitting off mats I couldnt quite figure out how to make up for that. I was going to have to trust myself. I was going to have to take it out to the course and see how it goes.
The value was just too good
I decided to go with the PGA Superstore membership. I have had it for about 2 weeks now and have used the simulators 4 times. Each time has been great. There has been no problems with getting a simulator. I have also taken advantage of some regrippings and some other club work. So far so good. For $100 I cant beat the value. I will get the most value when winter hits. I can still practice no matter the weather. This whole week it is supposed to rain. If I had a normal membership I would be out a full week of practice and it is also a waste of money. If you couldnt tell in this blog so far I dont like wasting money.