When you are searching for local golf courses, you will have to divide your playing time between using private golf courses and the ones that are open to the general public. As the name implies, private golf courses can’t be used by just anybody, they will normally require a membership to the country club to let you use the golf courses. However, not all of these golf courses are like that, and the vast majority of them will allow you to play a round regardless of if you’re a member or not- as long as you are willing to pay the price for a round of golf.
While the fact that some golf courses are closed off to the public may give off the impression that they are generally more enjoyable and better-kept courses, this really isn’t true and with just a little bit of research you can find some public golf courses in your area that are up to par with the standards that you see in private golf courses.
The biggest difference between private golf courses and public ones is how they raise the money to maintain their business. The way a private golf course works is that they require all members of the club to pay an annual fee (sometimes this can be an enormous amount, depending on what country club), and as long as the members pay this recurring bill, they are free to use the golf course at their discretion, whenever they wish, at no extra charge. When using a public golf course however, things are just a tad bit different. Some public golf courses may offer a similar “membership program” to its customers, but most will just charge the traditional way, and that is per round of golf.
The amenities offered by the golf course to its customers at public golf courses will also be very similar to that of private courses, if not identical. This means that the only real special treatment you will be missing out on when using a golf course that is open to the public is that there are probably going to be less crowds when using a private course vs. a public course. Crowds can easily be avoided by choosing the least busy times of the week to choose your tee times. A lot of local neighborhoods probably have their own golf course that they offer to their residents, and even though it would appear that these would be private golf courses, most of the time they are actually public ones, and they will let you play a round as long as you are willing to pay the rate for a round of golf.
Finding public golf courses is a pretty simple task that anybody with a computer that has access to the internet can do with ease. All you have to do is a load up a website like Google Maps or MapQuest, and then go to your area and type in something like “public golf courses”. You will then be presented with a list of golf courses that are both local to your area, and they don’t require an annual membership to use. A lot of these sites will even give you directions from your house to the golf course, so if it is the first time you are going there and you don’t want to get lost on the way, this is a great perk that you should take full advantage of.
So if you are interested in visiting some public golf courses after reading this, hopefully you have a little better idea of how to make the most of these courses and their information.