How to Start A Golf Society? [Follow These Steps]

A golf society is a great way for new golfers to get into the game of golf. It’s also a really fun way of getting a load of your mates together for a competitive and enjoyable round of golf every few weeks or so.

Starting a society can be a great option for the right person to get behind. Whether that’s a couple of tee times once a month or a group of up to 100 members, a golf society is brilliant for a social with an element of competitive golf.

So how do you go about setting up a golf society if you’re willing to get one going? Let’s take a look.

Golf societies are great fun for all golfers.

How To Start A Golfing Society?

What Is A Golf Society?

A golf society is basically a golf club without a set golf course. A society can have many different members of differing abilities which are tracked using conventional handicap methods.

The UK is home to many golf societies all across the country, which gives new golfers or any level of golfer a chance to join and participate.

A golf society will run very similarly to a traditional golf club, running competitions and monitoring handicaps, and some societies may even charge an annual membership fee.

Why Join A Golf Society?

A golf society is a great place for many golfers to meet new friends and enjoy a friendly level of competition.

If you’re not able or not interested in a golf club membership, the next best alternative is to join a golf society. Whether it’s a big group or just a few keen golfers, it’s a great way to play new courses and get out for some golf.

It also means you’re not tied to a certain course, so can experience lots of different layouts and types of golf.

Why Start A Golf Society?

Having your own society for golf is great fun. Golf societies offer a tone of flexibility for golfers that aren’t looking for an annual golf club membership and just want a bit of friendly competition.

Organising a golf society may feel like a bit of hard work, but once it’s set up and you’re out on the course enjoying the delights that golf has to offer, you’ll soon understand why starting a golf society was a great idea.

Setting Up A Golf Society

Starting your own golf society may seem like a lot of fun (and it is), but it also does require a little bit of thought and hard work to get it to a level where you want it.

Of course, your golf society can be as big or as small as you wish, but the principles are still the same no matter what sort of size you choose.

With that said, let’s take a look at some of the key things you need to think about before embarking on your new golf society.

Check Interest

First of all, you need to make sure that you have sufficient interest in a potential golf society before you start putting in the work to start one.

Whether that’s a group of your mates from the golf club or a few friends from work. There needs to be a good amount of interest, otherwise, it’s just another normal day golfing with your buddies.

Set Regulations and Organisation Structure

Now you’ve got some interest, it’s time to start making the society official.

Pick a name, set the objectives of the members, decide on joining and leaving rules, what costs are involved for organisers and members (including annual fee), and the structure of the society.

Set up a committee structure with a few elected officers including a Secretary, Captain, Vice-Captain, Treasurer and other officials, as you would at a normal golf club.

Determine handicap rules, list a few competitions for the year and decide on dates and times of when the society will get together.

Golf societies can run however the organiser would like. However, it’s always a good idea to follow a few rules and maintain a bit of structure to keep all members happy, even if it is only a few of your mates.

For handicaps, it’s best to use the World Handicap System for players’ handicaps and to have a handicap secretary to monitor those during the year.

As for rules, following those set by the Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews is the best place to start. These include basic rules such as playing rules and those on amateur status.

Of course you’re not bound by these rules from the R&A or England Golf. You can set whatever rules you like to make the competition fun, however, this will limit which scores can be included for handicap purposes.

With all this agreed, have a meeting of all the current members of the society and outline how it is going to run before the golf season starts.

Organise Events

Now that you’ve got all the admin sorted and you’ve got a well-structured committee with members, it’s time to start playing some golf.

Having already listed out the events for the year with courses to be played and dates agreed, you’re ready to get playing.

Collect funds for each event prior to the day and keep them in a separate bank account from any personal accounts, with access for multiple appointed officials such as a society auditor. This ensures transparency and that the club is never short-handed.

Choose courses that are fun to play, not too difficult, and won’t break the bank to play. A lot of golf clubs will offer a nice discount for a large group and will likely throw in some extras as well.

Golf clubs with a nice pro shop, good facilities and a bar for afterward makes sense to run events as a society, and if it’s a good course – even better.

A society day isn’t complete without a few nearest pin or longest drives, so ensure they’re all ready to go before play. Throw in a few prizes for top finishers as well to make things interesting.

It’s also a good idea for organisers to go out first so that they’re in first to get things ready for the post-golf activities such as prize giving.

And that’s about it. Most clubs love to have a golf society come and enjoy their course. It brings in welcomed revenue after all.

Just remember that you are a guest at the club. Some golf clubs might not be overly welcoming to societies, especially a new society. But showing that yours is a group of passionate golfers that treat the club with respect will help the society going forward.

Final Thoughts

Starting a golf society is a lot of fun and it’s up to you how you wish to orgainse and run it.

If you want to keep it small and simple, that’s totally fine. If you fancy a club of over 100 members, that’s also totally fine. However, the better you structure it early on in the process, the fewer problems there will be further down the line.

A golf society is a brilliant group for golfers to have a laugh and enjoy the fantastic game of golf.

Ed Welton

Founder, Editor

Ed is the founder and editor at EEE Golf. He’s been playing golf for over 20 years, competing in many top amateur events. He’s played courses all over the world and played with some of the best players in the game. His aim is to help educate people about the game of golf and give insights into the sport he loves most.

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