The term reciprocal is used to refer to an understood agreement between golf clubs that allow the members to play among them. This is done on an arranged and pre-agreed basis which means members get to enjoy the game in more places when they join a certain golf club.
A common arrangement for golfers
Reciprocal clubs and agreements are very common in golf. This is because golfers would want to be given the choice to play in other clubs and not be confined only to a single club because of its membership. This is very common, especially in private golf clubs.
While not every private golf club offers reciprocals, those that do give more perks and benefits to its members. In fact, reciprocal membership is often used as an attraction factor for a certain golf club to attract members to join.
This simply means that the more reciprocal memberships you have, the more chances you have to play in other clubs and this also means you have opportunities to play at more courses.
How does this work?
The mechanics of reciprocal clubs is very simple and straightforward. For instance, there is a reciprocal agreement between Club A and Club B. You recently joined as a member of Club A and you have been informed of this reciprocal agreement and you do have an interest in playing in Club B.
Hence, you inform your club that you would like to play in Course B and an arrangement will be made between the 2 clubs. If the time and space are available, then you can play in Club B.
Note: In most cases, the staff of the golf club will be making the arrangements so that you can play in the other club.
The term reciprocal is used here where there might be an instance in the future when members of Club B might want to play in Club A (in which they will then ‘return’ the arrangement).
What do you need to know?
During a reciprocal play, there are certain issues that you need to be aware of. First, the arrangements between the 2 clubs are done by the staff and not the golfer. When you are playing in the visiting club, you will have to abide by the rules of the club, just like how every other member does.
This includes observing the tee-off time, paying for whatever rates that members are paying for. Hence, you should take note of payments for caddy services and such and ensure that you fulfill the terms while keeping by the rules of the club you are visiting.