What are Semi Private Golf Courses? (& How To Play Them)

Semi private golf courses are a type of course that offers both public access to tee times and also restricted tee time access reserved for the course members who pay a yearly or monthly fee.  The semi private course will try to cater to both groups of people.  The semi private course will often try to offer a higher level experience for the golfer compared to traditional public options. Golf courses are grouped into several types of courses including: public, private, semi private, resort, university and military

What’s the difference between semi private vs. public golf courses?

A public golf course is a course that allows anyone to make a tee time and pay the green fee to play the course or use the practice facilities.  Access is not generally restricted in any way.  The practice areas, concessions, and locker rooms will be more minimal.  The drawback to public courses is they can be crowded and produce slow rounds.  Also, the course condition can worsen due to the high traffic and wear it produces on the grass.  Public courses typically will offer some discounts and promotions that frequent players can take advantage of.  

 A semi-private course will hold some tee times each day for public play but will also hold tee times each day for those that have joined the course  Access to other facilities may also be restricted based on if someone is a member.  Things like practice areas, locker rooms and clubhouse may have areas set aside just for the members.  A semi private course will require someone to pay upfront money to become a member and get the preferred tee times and access to member benefits at the course.  A semi private may also offer some tournaments for the members of the course.  The membership may also offer discounts on merchandise, food and beverage deals and better access to premium tee times.  The benefits of semi-private are guaranteed tee times, usually less crowded, more amenities for golfers, better practice facilities and more clubhouse amenities.

Are golf courses on resorts semi private?

Resort courses are slightly different from semi private courses.  Many resort courses require someone to be a guest of the resort in order to play the course.  Some will allow non-guests to play for a higher fee, but you must ask the course. Unlike semi-private, all who play the resort course typically have access to all the facilities at the course.

What is the best way to find semi private golf courses?

There are several ways to search out semi-private courses in your area:

  • Google search/Internet searches for the best courses you can play
  • Local golf association websites have info on area courses (like Golfcoursesnearby.com)
  • Look for websites such as www.golfnow.com and www.supremegolf.com
  • Golf apps such as GolfNow and Teeoff
  • Reach out to courses directly to see what their access policies are

In terms of accessibility, how does a semi-private course compare to other types of golf courses?

A semi-private course is one of the more accessible options in golf.  The least accessible would be a private course and the most accessible is a public course.  All other types of courses fall somewhere between private and public.  


What are the benefits of a semi-private course?

Semi private golf courses offer members a wide array of benefits including secured tee times, faster rounds of golf, better course conditions, practice facilities, and member-only events and tournaments.

What are the drawbacks of semi private golf courses?

The biggest drawback of semi private golf courses is the expense. There is typically a monthly or yearly fee required to be a member, as well as a higher greens fee than most public courses. Additionally, many semi private courses host tournaments and events which can restrict access to both public and member play.

What are the typical amenities found at a semi-private golf course?

Semi private courses typically have better maintained grass, nicer clubhouses and locker rooms, driving ranges, practice putting greens, and dining options with food for members