Setting up a Golf Society

Many golfers get into the game through a golf society. It’s where enthusiasts get together as a group, to visit golf clubs – often at an agreed or negotiated ‘visitor rate’ that includes golf & food.

A society can be as few as eight people taking up two tees times (at a chosen club), or sometimes over 100 golfers, all enjoying some relaxed but friendly, competitive golf. 

It’s also an opportunity for the ‘occasional golfer’ and golfing nomads, to win a few prizes.

But, there are a few things you’ll need to know if you want to start a golf society, that can helps things run smoothly.

10 things to consider when starting your society.

1 – Make sure you have enough support to form a Society. Draw up regulations and rules under a range of headings for members to abide by:

  • Name of the Society
  • Objectives of Members
  • How to join and leave
  • Costs Involved
  • Organisation structure
  • Handicap procedures
  • Date and times of events
  • List competitions rules

2 – Have a meeting of members in advance of the golf year to approve rules listed above and discuss location and number of events to hold

3 – Elect Officers e.g., Treasurer, Secretary, Captain, Vice-Captain, and other officials

4 – Keep collected Monies in open bank accounts with more than one signatory and have an appointed auditor.

5 – Run the Society to the rules of golf and rules that cover amateur status (Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews)

10 things to consider when starting a golf society - thesociagolfer.com v2

6 – Lay down the rules of how handicaps will be allocated and adjusted in accordance with society’s rules – Appoint a Handicap Secretary

7 – Always collect monies in advance of an event. That way, if anyone fails to turn up, the society won’t be out of pocket.

8 – Select courses that are competitive but not too hard, ensuring that all players will enjoy their day.

9 – For speed of play, ALWAYS use the Stableford method of scoring.

10 – Make sure you have Nearest Pins, Nearest Pin in Two (shots), Longest Drive and Straightest Drive prizes to make the day as enjoyable as possible.

Other benefits of forming your own Golf Society include:

Starting a Golf Society does not mean you have to follow a long list of rules and regulations.

By forming your own Society, you are not bound by England Golf or R&A rules.

However, the downside to being a golf society organiser is you’ll sometimes find your opportunities to play a good course with good facilities limited. 

When working with the golf club Society Manager, try to be flexible on the times and dates you are requesting. 

In addition, while handicaps can be obtained in a number of different ways now, there are no rules and regulations to say you members MUST only use official Club Handicaps. 

In fact, you don’t have to use handicaps at all, if you would prefer not to make your days competitive.

However, Society Golfers who hold a handicap with online golf clubs like The Social Golfer, are at an advantage, as you have a good idea of your societies playing abilities from the start.

Furthermore, never forget that golf societies are a lifeline for golf clubs. Many rely on the funds that societies and ‘Nomadic Golfers’ generate throughout the year – these are much-needed funds for the club’s annual profits.

If you do your research, Golf Societies have proven to be great for beginners, giving them the chance to learn rules and ettiquette, without having the expense of joining a club with annual subscriptions.

Another benefit is that players get to enjoy the camaraderie of a lads’ or lassies’ day out with good friends!

By Kevin Booth