Sunday, 29 January 2012

Choosing a club to join (4) - decision time

All this looking at clubs had proved quite time consuming, and by September that year, with my current membership about to run out, I had left myself seriously short of time. There was nothing for it but to pitch up at Club C.  I already knew the clubhouse was being rebuilt and the bar in temporary accommodation.  Was I going to fork out the annual sub (highest so far) for coffee in a Portakabin?
Knowing the course quite well, I didn't ask to go out, but the Director of Golf (ie senior pro) took me round in a buggy to remind me of the rather gorgeous views from the top of the newer of two courses.
Yes, two full eighteens. I reminded myself I need never worry about getting a tee-time even at weekends, and on a week day I'd probably have a choice between sheltered tree-lined fairways or the more rugged scenic option.
My resolve to do my homework properly was dissolving, but when I mutttered an enquiry about the ladies section I was immediately given the phone number of the captain. I rang with a feeling of resignation but her reaction was so positive 'We'd love to have you - I do hope you'll join!' I was sold straight away.  When I turned up at my first ladies morning the rest were as friendly as the captain, and from day one  I was included in every golf and social occasion. Since roll-up sessions are managed so that all names go in a draw (regardless of handicap or 'friendship groups') I soon knew all the regular golfers and had joined in weekend comps both ladies and mixed.
I realise that to a great extent I was lucky. My research was hardly scientific and I might easily have joined Clubs A or B which if rumours are anything to go by are less inclusive in their arrangements. But with hindsight, what would I say to any other single ladies (or I suppose men) looking for a new home?
  • if you're after social golf, try to find out who you'll be socialising with
  • check out the arrangements for 'roll-up' days. Are groupings decided in advance or on the day?
  • how many diary clashes were htere the previous year between ladies' and men's events adn what was the outcome?
And a final note to club managers or membership secretaries. If you want us to make up our minds, give us a fair chance to meet and play with fellow members. A welcoming atmosphere isn't something you can take on trust, you have to suck it and see.

As for the Portakabin, I'm afraid it's still there. But the coffee is fresh and the company is good. Who could ask for more?
Don't forget to check out the apres golf


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