Beachside golf club rides a new wave of non-traditional golfers

Carlsbad – A new type of golf club is growing in popularity amid the sport’s pandemic boom.

Known as “affiliate golf clubs,” they attract non-traditional golfers and individuals who do not belong to a country club by meeting on various courses (usually municipal) and developing topics to engage and recruit members in the sport. The primary goal is to have fun and socialize without feeling like a country club.

Beachside Golf Club was founded by Carlsbad resident Kristen Finley, in 2020 when she was living in Los Angeles. Endorsed by the Southern California Golf Association, the Finlay Mixed Club has about 20 members from Los Angeles to San Diego.

Outside of golf, Finley said another essential component of her club is philanthropy, which is why they host fundraisers for First Tee, a junior golf program for disadvantaged youth.

“There’s a lot of this stuff coming out, and the SCGA is really backing it,” Finley said of the affiliated clubs. “These are the people who are interested in golf. It helps grow the game of golf through different populations.”

Beach golf club members Kristin Franz, left, and Sherry Swanson, right, pose with founder Kristin Finley during a recent tournament. The Affiliate Golf Club is a new way for people to learn or continue to play golf in a fun and relaxing atmosphere. photo courtesy

Finlay said the pandemic has seen a significant increase in “affiliate clubs,” while the golf association has reported a 25% increase since 2020. According to reports, 6.2 million people have played golf during the pandemic with courses being one of the few facilities allowed to open during the first months. for the epidemic.

“I slept very normally with my weekly range outings becoming very regular,” said Beachside member Kristin Franz, who is based in Carlsbad. “We had over 60 people in our tournament in July. It’s about people wanting to get together with their friends on the golf course and to have a more comfortable space.”

Franz found the club on Instagram this year and played in two events. She said the club is a fun way to learn the game, meet new people, and do a good job for her community.

Franz said the mixed component was also a draw because she loves to play with both men and women.

Members pay $100 annually, of which $50 goes to the club and the rest is for SCGA membership. The union allows players to qualify for ranking and handicap, among other perks.

“I like to play different courses,” Franz said. “I didn’t want to join a country club because you are locked into one. They are all young professionals in their thirties, and Kristen is really big on philanthropy, and she loved it.”

Another difference is how some Beachside golf club members dress not normally seen on country club courses. Colorful uniforms are one way players can express themselves without following the strict standards of private clubs.

Finley also said her tournaments are mostly held at municipal tournaments, where dress codes aren’t strict.

“We’re focused on getting a funky golfer,” she said.

Beachside Golf Club hosts the mixer starting at 9 a.m. on October 1 at Arrowood Golf Course in Oceanside. For more information, visit facebook.com/beachsidegolfclub.

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