There are very few golfers going around that don’t have a golf course that they can’t play on, regardless of circumstances. If you are one of these people, you can please email me!
If you are one of the masses, there is nothing wrong with daydreaming about an out-of-reach course. But what about if there was a way to play a round? What would you pay? How many kids would you give away for the privilege?
Truth be told, some courses in the world think Augusta National or Cypress Point, where no matter what scheme you concoct, nothing will work. But for the rest, there is no harm in trying right. If you have some time, why not give these ideas a shot
- Just ask
For many elite courses, this is not even an option. Good luck finding the number for the Augusta National front desk. But if you can find an email or phone number, give it a blast. Chances are you will need a story, and you may need to be the most charming version of yourself ever, but as long as you are polite, you never know what you will get.
- Use your connections an ask a member
This is your best shot to play a bucket list track of all the items on the list. Most top private establishments will allow members guests, and some may even allow guests to play alone if they have been approved.
Connections to top courses may not always be obvious, so you need to be creative. Friends of friends, Linked In contacts, your kid’s doctor … whatever it takes. It could be a lifetime pursuit to find the right contact, so it’s a case of patience. Mentioning your love of golf as often as possible is the best way to start. If you do strike gold one day, remember to play it cool. Don’t go in for the kill on day 1. Exchange contacts and start the courting process gently.
This will only work for select courses, but sometime in the event of a major golf tournament, such as a major, hose courses have been known to give some lucky volunteers a round in return. Whatever you do, don’t volunteer for this purpose alone, however, as it’s a long shot.
- Stay on site
For some private courses slightly below the ‘bucket list’ level, staying on-site is a well-known route to playing your dream course. It may cost you an arm and a leg, but golfers have been known to play with less than 2 arms. Shadow Creek in Las Vegas is a good example of a course where staying at an MGM resort can earn you access rights.
- Use a golf travel agent
- Some specialist golf booking agents may have access to limited bookings at some elite private tracks. Once again you will pay for the privilege and you may have to purchase a larger package of rounds but there are pros to this also.
- Pro-ams and Charity Events
You will notice a theme here, but if you are willing to stump up the cash once again, some top courses will allow you to gain access through paying to play or sponsoring a pro-am or charity event held on-site.
Expect the donation required to be eye-watering but think of the business networking opportunities.
- Join a reciprocal course
One of the hidden gems of this list is finding out what courses your dream club has a reciprocal venue. It could be that the reciprocal course is as impressive and presents the same challenge, but if you are looking for a course to join, keep any reciprocal arrangements in mind.
- Check out real estate
The one item on this list I can personally vouch for to get on-site is to check out the real estate if any is being offered. Expect your personal situation to be fully vetted before being allowed on-site, so you possibly need to be able to buy property in the first place.
But if you can get on-site, you are much more likely to access members and contacts that at worst present other networking opportunities.
Let me know if any of these ideas work. It will be a great day for every man!