In addition to covering the maintenance and upkeep of a course's grounds, golf membership fees cover the cost of providing the wide range of amenities typically not available to non-members or offered at public courses. Most private clubs offer a number of different membership tiers to people who join, with member fees dependent on the level of membership.
Examples of amenities exclusive to members include unlimited access to the pool, restaurant, tournaments and weekly matches. Other amenities may include access to expert clinics and instruction and social events such as brunches, wine tastings, live music and holiday parties. Some private clubs may feature tennis courts, fitness centers and access to water sports. Many allow members to bring guests a certain number of times each month.
Membership costs include up-front initiation fees that may range from $2,000 to upwards of $100,000. Members may also pay annual dues and meet food and beverage minimums each month along with other miscellaneous fees such as locker rental, club storage, and range and practice facility fees.
Membership types common across private clubs include individual, family, social, out-of-state and corporate. In an effort to attract younger golfers that could potentially become life-long members, many courses offer discounted junior memberships for younger golfers.