Date: August 08, 2015

Golf Club Committee Role – Membership Committee


It has often been stated that the Membership Committee is possibly the most important Committee of a golf club. The reason for this is usually given that if we have the right type of members at our club, we can achieve almost anything. Obviously, systems vary quite dramatically at golf clubs over how the club invites and inducts new members.

At many clubs, traditionally, the proposer of a new member is deemed to be responsible for the introduction and education of a new member into the club‘s "style."

At some clubs, even prior to an interview taking place with the prospective member, the Membership Committee will first conduct an interview with the proposer alone to ascertain, first hand, the proposer‘s knowledge of the candidate. If, at this interview, the proposer‘s knowledge of the candidate does not appear to be strong, a Membership Committee may decline to interview the candidate.

Naturally, this interviewing technique varies greatly from club to club however, it does appear logical that if a new member is inducted into golf club life without anybody really bearing responsibility, the chances of the new member acclimatising into the ways of the golf club are greatly reduced.

Some clubs also extend their requirements past a proposer and seconder and may also require the names of another three or four members who would be prepared to support the application.

If, on the other hand, a golf club has no waiting list, and is therefore keen to secure every prospective member who may be available, the membership technique may need to be entirely different.

At all times however, the Membership Committee is responsible for ensuring that a candidate will enjoy their new membership and should take steps to seek some simple information from the candidate. It is suggested that a Membership Application Form be used which includes a number of key questions:

  • Is the candidate a member of any other golf club's?
  • If a member of more than one club, which club is designated as their home club?
  • What is/was the candidate‘s Australian Handicap?
  • Has the candidate ever been refused membership of a golf club/s?
  • Has the candidate ever been suspended or expelled from any other golf club/s?

It is important that an applicant for membership, when signing their nomination for membership form, acknowledges that they agree to be bound by the Club‘s Constitution, Rules and By-laws. Clubs should ensure that this acknowledgement is included on the Nomination for Membership form.

From time to time, a golf club committee may deem it necessary to adjust a player‘s handicap due to current golf form exceeding a player‘s current handicap. With this in mind, it is also suggested that clubs incorporate wording to the effect that the candidate acknowledges that the Committee has the power to adjust handicaps from time to time if it believes this needs to occur.