Is Thousand Greens the answer?

Every few months, one of the top golf websites in the world releases a list showcasing its top 50 or 100 courses worldwide. Golfers will typically salivate at the list before realizing a high percentage of the courses are out of reach through being private clubs.

Famous resorts such as Bandon Dunes, and many of the world’s top courses outside of the USA, have aided in making access to Top 100 courses much easier. Still, realistically unless you have a magic wand, it will be impossible to live out all your golfing dreams without a secret potion of sorts…

This is where Thousand Greens may come in. Thousand Greens are not brand new; it was one of the leaders in creating greater access to the world’s best courses.

To join Thousand Greens, which is free to use, you must be a member of a private golf course. Which in itself is still a major barrier for most. So I apologize if you were looking for a golden ticket onto Augusta National (skip to the other options at the bottom of this post if that’s what you’re after).

Members are placed in one of four tiers (best in the world, best in the country, best in state/province, and other private clubs) depending on the reputation of their best club as determined by a variety of ranking sources, including the major golf websites and magazines.

Upon being accepted into the network, you will see courses that other members of Thousands of Greens are part of.

In addition, to general chit chat and banter, you can request access to play these courses via the members who will have the choice of whether you accept your message.

Members have full control over how many times and when they are willing to host, and there is no requirement to accept any connection request that is not convenient for them.

A member’s ability to request multiple rounds is controlled by their own willingness to host. Each time a member hosts, they earn a request credit. The more a member hosts, the more credits they earn. There is no limit to how many times a member may host. To maintain their membership, members are expected to be willing to host occasionally.

The details for the round are handled between the host and requester, and it would generally be accepted that costs if the requester carries any.

At the time of writing, it is estimated over 60% of private tracks in America that you could normally not play are represented in some way on Thousand Greens. However, it is important to note that you are unlikely to see the likes of Augusta, Cyprus Point, and Pine Valley. Members of these courses are unlikely to keep their memberships for long if they show up online.

Ranking courses can be a subjective job obviously and is made harder by comparing courses in multiple countries. Still, it could be worth a look if you are lucky enough to be part of a private club already.

A thousand Greens in itself is not the only option now springing up to give average golfers more access to top clubs. There are now multiple web-based golf memberships that claim to offer members access to top private clubs worldwide.

Eligo Club offers its members access to over 100 premium courses worldwide. With membership rates around USD 10,000, depending on where you live, it is not cheap golf, but membership may represent a steal compared to a one-off club. Also, if you are lucky enough to travel regularly, you may see some real value in this sort of opportunity. There are dozens of platforms like Eligo Club out there; Epic Golf Club is another option, so do your research to find the courses that most suit you.

In some countries, like New Zealand, where golf courses tend to be public or semi-private, it is also worth investigating simply joining the national golf body. For as low as $100 a year, you can become an affiliated member, something that will give you access and cheap rates to the vast majority of courses in the country.

If you are always scheming of ways onto the best courses in the world, take a read of this post about how to go about it. The best option available to anyone is always to work your networks. Personal invites will be the only way onto most of the world’s true elite courses, so never miss a chance to explore where others golfers play if you are lucky enough to get into a conversation.

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