Forget everything you think you know about what it means to join a golf club. These groups are taking everything that’s great about being a part of a club (competition, camaraderie, always having people to fill out your foursome) while adding appeal to the next generation of golfers. For those of you that love golf but aren’t a part of the new club movement, read on to find out what you’re missing:
It all starts with the motto—Ego-Free Golf For All. No stuffy, exclusive BS. Just fun, affordable golf with people you actually want to be friends with. Whether you’re a 4 handicap or a 34—everyone is welcome. Members can play in monthly tournaments, the annual Bracket of Doom match play event, earn points over the year to bring home the coveted Tiny Cup, and join a dedicated Slack channel to connect for more rounds and network.
Primary Stomping Grounds: San Gabriel Valley/Inland Empire
Photo: @tropicanagolfclubandbarbershop Instagram
Pioneering the golf league format in Southern California, Tropicana brings a fun twist to the typical tournament by frequently matching up against other golf clubs. Join the league, get put on a team, play in a match 1 Sunday per month, make the playoffs, win the championship and take your team to Rams Hill to play golf and stay in their mini mansion, FOR FREE.
What makes this a golf “collective”? Everyone who is a member has an equal share. Everyone’s experience is designed to be similar. Their goal is to rid the game of the outdated stigma’s, increase the number of people who golf, and make sure we leave golf better than we found it. Started by the founder of Back Tee Supply Co., the collective hosts tournament golf once a month, as well as random group outings, contests, and skins games throughout the year.
This one’s for the ladies. Babes Golf was founded on the concept of introducing the game of golf to women in a fun and inviting fashion. In addition to providing casual golf events, they also host instructional clinics, yoga sessions, and social gatherings.
This club is all about finding the perfect mix of competition and fun. The club tracks a point list throughout the season, just like the PGA Tour, and members participate in events inspired by the U.S. Open and The Masters. There are also competitions that are far from ordinary (think tournaments where everyone putts with a blindfold on and the winner goes home with a gold chain). They’re also more than just a golf club, with poker nights, fireside chats, and events for families and children all in the works.
PGC was started as a think-tank experiment in effort to break down the barriers and prior stigmas of golf in hopes to make it more accessible and appealing to all. Their mission statement is simple: “to bring like-minded passions together, while contributing to the modern evolution of the game. We consider the state of California our stomping grounds, and welcome those who are interested in the journey; a diverse club pushing the norms of the pastime we love.”
Primary Stomping Grounds: Greater LA/Orange County
For those with more exclusive tastes. You may have heard of them already as a golf lifestyle brand, but they also run a golf club based in Southern California. The club is invite-only and caters to athletes, entertainers, artists and creatives. Members have access to monthly Members Tournaments, as well as digital putting competitions, and Members-only MGC merch.
Primary Stomping Grounds: Orange County/North San Diego County
Photo: @memberswithoutdues Instagram
Members W/O Dues, whose founder started their career diving for golf balls, was created to share exclusive golf membership perks without the massive price tag often associated with them. Along with their regular golf outings, Members W/O Dues also features a line of affordable golf apparel.
Beer and golf: name a more iconic duo. Dogleg Brewing membership offers patrons the opportunity to combine these iconic industries in an immersive, entertaining, and casual environment filled with great golf and craft beer perks. At the flagship Dogleg Brewery in Vista, you can whack some balls on their simulator while enjoying top-notch craft beers on tap. When their not at the brewery, members enjoy rounds at San Diego’s best courses.
Perfect for those struggling to balance golf with work, school, family, friends, etc.: this is tour golf, on YOUR schedule. Players compete in four-round “tours”, playing at one course a month on whatever day fits their schedule. Play with at least on other golfer to verify your score, post your score to the app, and watch the leaderboard throughout the month. There are also great prizes for the winners, including a Travis Mathew jacket for the Tour champion. There are tours in 4 different regions throughout SoCal, so you can join no matter where you live.
Kevin is a born and raised Southern California golfer. His golf highlights include occasionally breaking 90, losing an entire dozen balls in one round, and sinking a 20 foot putt on camera on the first take. Kevin is a member of Tiny Putters Golf and his current Handicap Index is none of your business.