How many of the FJC are members of a club where they pay an amount for unlimited golf, practice, etc. I have been looking into joining a club and wanted to collect a few opinions. Does playing the same course over and over get old?
I belong to a few private clubs around the world. Some are so inexpensive to keep as an out of town member that I can't bring myself to let go. Plus they offer good reciprocal arrangements when travelling.
Golf wise, I belong to one private club and am about to join another. Over in my part of the world (Asia/India), there are no public courses so you have to become a member of a club if you don't want to pay exorbitantly high greens fees. The downside is that many of the established clubs have 10-15 year waiting periods. Luckily I got into one a few years ago that has reciprocal arrangements with most of the courses and I pay a moderate amount when I'm in those areas.
I would do the financial calcs first. In my case, there's a new club opening just outside of the city and by playing there 2x/wk amounts to 75% of the annual dues. It's a no brainer when you add in the other amenities (practise facilities, gym, pool, etc). Most private clubs in the US have a monthly fee for the restaurant that can be quite high and that's charged even if you don't eat there. So make sure you like the food!
Then I would look at the overall membership. Are they the sort you would hang out with or enjoy rounds? You'll need to play a few times with as a guest to get a better feel.
Now the course is the key. I think you would want something challenging enough to stretch your game but not impossible for your skill; something to grow into. I also think that if your club has matches against other clubs it will give you just enough variety. Combine that with the occasional round with your non-member friends at other clubs, you'll probably be okay. Unless of course you are loner (not likely as you are a FJC Amby).
And lastly, do they have FJ gear in the pro shop. Key criterion for sure.