Downing-Frye Realty, Inc.
180 Ninth Street South Naples, Florida 34102
(239)261-2244 - Visit Main Company Site

Golf Membership Types
There is a full written explanation below the "Comparison Chart" below

Comparison Chart
Factor Equity Membership Bundled Membership
Initiations Voluntary Application Tied together to Title to Property
Cost of Initiation Can be anywhere between approximately
$35,000 - $250,000
Upon Resignation, what happens to $$'s paid in for Initiations? Will vary based on Club Policy. In most cases, a significant % of the prevailing rate will be returned. This is different from the typical 'Northern' Policy. Tied together to Title to Property and passes automatically to the new owner at closing.
Number of Members
per 18 holes
Can vary between 225 - 400
The lower the number ... $$$
Given - Every front door is a full member ... but not all play golf. #'s will vary between about
560 - 844 front doors / 18 holes.
Annual Dues Will vary from about $5000 - $10,000+ / year + Sales Tax! The lower the # of memberships, the higher the dues. Divided by the number of front doors. Typically, dues will run from about $1600 - $2500 a year.
Food & Beverage Minimums Rarely, but when they do exist, they will approximate $900
Rarely, but when they do exist, they will approximate $900.
Why F & B Minimums ?  Because, so often club owners are 'seasonal' and the club needs average monthly cash flows to maintain high levels of quality service.
Advantages - Disadvantages Ease of tee times versus Cost Affordability versus possible difficult tee times in season.
'TENANT' Policy Rarely transferable. If you do rent, chances are the Tenant is building and has already joined. Almost always transferable at a cost of about $100 transfer fee paid by the Tenant.

Entire article below...

Full Article
This is a detailed explanation of golf memberships in the Naples area. But by the time you are finished, you will have a good knowledge of how it works.

The Naples area has more golf courses per capita than any other area in the US. I am going to take liberty here and add Bonita to the Naples area. It would seem that almost all major communities, and even some small ones, have at least one golf course. It can be expensive but it can also be very affordable. Affordable versus Expensive both have their pluses and minuses. But there is something for everyone.

There are four types of golf courses: (1) Public, (2) Bundled, (3) Equity and (4) Your Favorite. Bundled is a form of equity but for sake of definition, I will keep them separate.

Public is just what it means. Everyone understands the term. The course is open to everyone. Players pay a greens fee and cart fee, which are normally put together as one fee. Greens fees change with the time of year, with higher rates in Season ... those months being January - April.

Summary: Membership bundled together with Title to the property, requiring no initiation fee and annual dues of Between $1600 - $2500 per year. Every front door in the community is a full member. Average number of front doors will be around 800 in each community. Some more ... and some less.

Looking at the $-numbers, Bundled is much less expensive than Equity golf. Bundled is a form of equity. If you live in a bundled golf community, your full membership privileges are 'bundled' together with Title to the property and automatically pass to the new owner at closing without any initiation fee. Every 'front door' is a full member with equal rights to that 8 AM tee time. Typically, there are about 800 front doors in each bundled golf community. (By Comparison, an Equity course would limit the size of the full membership up to maximum of about 375.) Golfers would pay only a cart fee to play golf. However, not everyone plays golf. A bundled club would include a major golf course, club house, pro shop, restaurant, fitness center, club pool, etc. Each 'front door' or owner will pay annual dues which cover the annual Operations and Maintenance of the club facility. Typically, annual dues will fall into a price range of between $1600 - $2600 a year and most do not have food or beverage minimums. And even if there was a minimum, it might be in the range of $1000 a year, which is not a difficult price level. The annual dues are over and above the condo maintenance fees or home owner association fees. Bundled communities make for easy rental income as tenants can assume the full rights and privileges as if they were the owners / members by paying a Transfer fee of about $100 for the time period they are in residence. The positive side of bundled golf is that it is affordable. Nothing comes without a cost. You may not pay an initiation fee but the cost of that initiation is buried in the price of the residence. It is still very affordable. Some communities have residences that sell in the range of the low $100's. The down side to bundled golf is that with so many front doors, getting a tee time can prove to be somewhat difficult during Season. Tee times are assigned by computer system.

Summary: Membership is by individual application requiring a sizable initiation fee, most or all of which will be returned to you upon resignation. Memberships are capped out at from 225 - about 375 per 18 holes with the lower number of members / club requiring greater initiation fees as would be expected. Annual dues may be in excess of $5000 as annual O&M is divided between fewer members (than bundled). Getting tee times is not the problem that can be encountered with a Bundled community.

From the starting gate, Equity is a different situation fropm Bundled golf. But it is handled very differently from the cost of an equity membership in the north. Up north, you pay a sizeable initiation fee to join a club and you 'kissitgoodby'. There is rarely a refund when you resign that northern membership. Major clubs in the Naples area will also have a sizeable initiation fee. However, as people frequently move from one community to another in the Naples area, Equity initiation fees are refundable. The timeframe in which you are refunded can vary from 'immediately' to a ratio of 4:1 ... meaning for every four new members, one outgoing member is refunded. As membership caps are maxed out, this ratio lowers. Depending on the maturity of the club ... maturity meaning, is the Developer still in control of the club or has it been turned over to the membership ... the resigning member may get back a (a) percentage of what was paid for initiation, (b) a 100% refund of what was paid or (c) a percentage of the prevailing rate, not to be less than a or b, depending on the rules and regulations. While a Bundled club might have 800 'front doors' as full members, an Equity club will typically have up to about 350 - 375 full members. As there are fewer members, it is far easier to 'walk-on and get a tee time. In some cases, the number of full Equity members will be much lower than 375, as in 225, but the costs will be much higher. (Someone has to pay the expenses !) Initiation fees might range from $40,000 to as high as $250,000 ! As there are fewer Equity members than in a Bundled club, annual dues will likewise be higher. Annual Dues may run from about $5000 upwards. A percentage of the Equity clubs will have more than one golf course with a limit on the number of members per 18 holes. The majority of the clubs will require residence in that specific community. There are exceptions to this requirement.

Is the one you are playing 'today'!!!

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