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Old 15th August 2017, 10:01   #16
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Default Re: Gymkhana / Club Memberships - Are they worth it?

If the club is within a 10 minute radius, you will end up using it. Anything more and you will wonder if the commute is worth the hassle. Have been a member of a couple clubs since I was a kid. Even though the club farther away is probably better in terms of size and service, I am a regular at the one close to my home. I play tennis at least thrice a week if not more and completely use numerous facilities. It is an ecosystem - if you are a regular in any department, you will end up with new social and business contacts.

10 lacs is a decent price for Bombay. It is only bound to go up. I suggest you go for it - will be useful for the family.
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Old 15th August 2017, 14:18   #17
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Default Re: Gymkhana / Club Memberships - Are they worth it?

I belong to Jodhpur and i am a member of Umed Club here. Years ago when the membership was only 30000-40000 INR for lifetime, people used to think it was a waste of money as one could easily go and eat in a restaurant for 500-700 INR with whole family.
Then after a few years the club started developing sports facilities on its free land. It overhauled the interior of it's restaurants and bars and hotel wing. Now it's one of the biggest properties in Jodhpur. While not as lavish and swanky as a Park Plaza or Taj premises, it is a family club which incorporates restaurants, bars, rooms, sports complexes, gathering areas, etc. Getting all these facilities at your disposal at very nominal rates is a BIG deal. Now the mentality has changed and people have started understanding the benefits of being a member of such a club and using its amenities. But guess what, the memberships closed 10 years back and only on expulsion of existing members are new members admitted and that too via good approach.

You may not be a frequent going-out person, but with the membership in hand, you might start using the club facilities more and more. You would meet many people there and make new friends. Stuff which happens in clubs is more like a community than a crowd.
It may seem like a big cost today @ 10 lacs INR, but down the road, when your son-daughter wants to become a member of this establishment, they'd get a hefty discount in membership fees after they attain 21yrs of age(70% discount in my case. I became a member of Umed Club for Rs36,000, while the fee for a non-member son was Rs. 1,20,000). And thats not it. As you yourself said that the club has opened up its doors for new membership applications. Imagine if memberships were closed for all this while, what would be the scenario in future, say 8-10 years down the lane. But your children would get a priority AND a probably a discount for becoming a member.
Years down the lane, when real estate would be even more scarce and inflation would be really high, you'd really thank yourself for getting this membership because while all other establishments would be getting costlier and more exclusive, your club will be at your disposal.
Umed Club has the following affiliations in Mumbai alone: http://www.umedclub.com/affiliation?tag=mumbai
Such are the perks of being a member.

The food is VERY reasonably priced. The alcohol is usually just 10-15% more then MRP(even in 30-60ml measures). The social functions like, New Year's bash, Diwali and Holi Sneh Milan, Independence and Republic day celebrations are all at very reasonable rates.
You being a member can voice your opinions on any facility/thing/activity in the club in the general meetings and they will be picked up and acted upon. This doesn't happen in hotels and other establishments with such ease.
One thing more which i liked about the clubs are that most of them are family oriented. There are no rowdy or goon type of people. One has to maintain their behavior and, in my club's case, appearance as well. For examble, in Umeb Club the dress code forbids Hawai Chappals, sleeveless tshirts, shorts for men, etc. I mean, there's strictly no indecency allowed. I am sure the one you're talking about would also have such decorum-maintaining measures.

Even if you agree with all of the above text, you may still struggle to justify the 10 lac INR price. Well, frankly, outright it won't be. But consider it as an investment into a lifestyle of whose fruits you and your next generation will reap regularly. As the time passes, more and more properties will be affiliated and that's a positive thing.
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Old 15th August 2017, 17:24   #18
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Default Re: Gymkhana / Club Memberships - Are they worth it?

Which year is it? 1984?

Clubs are pretentious & obviously a thing of past. I see people commenting here mentioning that your children will benefit 20 years from now, when they want to become members of this club. Your children might not even stay in your city or country (or even earth, if Elon Musk's dream of Mars habitation become true).

You will get all the gym amenities at a competitive price around your house. You just need to logon to Zomato and find out n number of restaurants/bars to try every day.

Clubs are a thing of past, no point putting your hard earned money to something which always reeked of elitism.

Better get your car modded with all that money !
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Old 15th August 2017, 18:07   #19
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Default Re: Gymkhana / Club Memberships - Are they worth it?

I forgot to add, an additional benefit for some clubs are the affiliation to other clubs. You get to stay for ridiculous rates. Facilities are clean, basic and comfortable. Examples

A suite in Secundrabad for Rs 4500 per day
A 1000 sq ft room opp Gateway of India for Rs 3000
Lovely accomodation in Munnar, Kodaikanal

Need I go on!
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Old 16th August 2017, 07:46   #20
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Default Re: Gymkhana / Club Memberships - Are they worth it?

Interesting thread. In my view, life membership in a club at least in Bombay is always worth it. Most clubs shut life memberships sooner or later - think of Bombay Gym, CCI and Willingdon where non inherited life memberships have been shut for decades.

However, I do agree with GTO that club memberships are most valuable if the club is located nearby. I use my corporate CCI membership less than once a month, mainly to entertain foreign clients. The family just does not use it since it is 30 minutes away and our building has all sports facilities.

Specialist clubs like BPGC are probably more sustainable - you can't play golf at home
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Old 16th August 2017, 08:28   #21
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Default Re: Gymkhana / Club Memberships - Are they worth it?

There was a time when it made sense to join clubs. It put you high up on the social ladder to be part of an exclusive club and got you brownie points to say you were. Not anymore.

Conceptualised as a "hang out" place for the Brits it has long lost its relevance.It was never meant to be as expensive as it is now nor have a ridiculous waiting list of 30 years or more as they do now.

The original intention of clubs was to make up for the lack of good places where one could lounge, play indoor or outdoor sport, have a drink and get together with like minded friends.

Clubs also made up for the lack of good hotels or restaurants as you could get reasonably priced accomodation, food, and drinks.

They have now outlived their usefulness and their time is over. You now have several places where you can hang out and you have hotels and restaurants that give you much better rooms more reasonably priced and food with far better service. Most good residential complexes have sports facilities offered by clubs too.

Take for instance the Bangalore Club - you could find much cheaper and far better rooms in good hotels close by. Food at the Bangalore Club isn't too great and the service is worse. As a member of the Bangalore Club, I find it increasing in irrelevance when compared with the general situation that existed earlier on.

Several clubs such as Munnar etc now throw open their rooms to anyone so there is no need to even have an affiliation to use their rooms / facilities.

The only reasons to become a member of any club are:

1. Meeting like minded people - you could do this in one of the better Rotary Clubs too.
2. Large Golf courses - you don't usually find this anywhere else usually except a club with a golf course attached these days.

Clubs will probably last another generation or two as most youngsters would find no value in becoming a member and those youngsters that queue up are probably clinging onto the legacy left by their parents.

You will not find any youngster eager to join a club as youth did back in the day and that would mean less of "like minded" people for the young leading to the gradual extinction of this concept.

The forced air of exclusivity is probably what still draws people to clubs but it is a concept that has outlived its intention and usefulness and probably only survives because of the prized real estate to which one has access.

Don't get me wrong here - I enjoy going to the Club. But that doesn't make me oblivious to the fact that, as a species, the writing on the wall for clubs as they are known now is clear.

Last edited by AMG Power : 16th August 2017 at 08:56.
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Old 16th August 2017, 15:09   #22
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Default Re: Gymkhana / Club Memberships - Are they worth it?

I personally think club memberships are a waste of money, because it is a human tendency to get bored of visiting the same place, using the same amenities, restaurants, etc over a period of time. The only reason why a person keeps visiting such clubs is because of the social circle they made there, but over time, these too change and the frequency of the visits keeps coming down, till it reaches a point where one just forgets about it.

But a colleague is a member in some gymkhana in Navi Mumbai. And with his brothers marriage coming up, he just explained me the amount of money he was able to save on the accommodation and marriage hall, plus the charges per plate that he would pay at the gymkhana. And the amount of savings was damn good amount, no kidding.
Though I did not ask the amount he would have paid for the membership years back, I am sure the cost he will save on this single marriage would easily recover it (even if compounded at interest rates I believe).

So there are benefits to be had from the membership even if one stops using the club regularly.
But my personal opinion continues to remain the same.
And looking at your realities (o/s home loan, club being an hours drive, used max 3-4 times a month), Avoidable.
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Old 16th August 2017, 16:09   #23
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Default Re: Gymkhana / Club Memberships - Are they worth it?

I am a member of a premier golf club in Bangalore (won't mention the name though) for a little less than 10 years. While I enjoy going there, over a period of time, I have noticed food quality has deteriorated (its not bad, but substantially much less than what it was when I joined). Having paid about 10 lakhs for a life membership , I am paying Rs.400/- as fees every month and an additional Rs.100/- if I don't use anything in the club for that month.

On the other side, membership has practically closed for the category I am a member, so you cannot even get membership even if you are willing to pay. For the regular membership there is a waiting list of close to 20 years.

On the good side, it is a good place if one wants to host a dinner or party since the food and liquor is much cheaper than outside.

Is it worth it? I still think it is. On my demise and in this category, the membership passes on to my wife, but without voting rights.

Is it worth it to go every weekend? Except for the golf which is free for me, I can get much better food in an outside restaurant (except for the low cost of liquor). So probably not.

So, one must really decide on his / her priorities and decide.
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Old 16th August 2017, 20:41   #24
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Default Re: Gymkhana / Club Memberships - Are they worth it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dieseltuned View Post
hi guys,

Many thanks for all your valuable inputs, after going through all the replies and having a discussion with family I have decided to not pursue this membership at this point in time.
Guess you made a wise choice opting against it.

As many here already pointed out - this would have been a benefit 10-20 years ago not in today's world where you see a well equipped Gym in every corner of a Metropolitan city with competitive pricing.
The other options of social gathering and dining could be striked off as well as this could easily get boring with the same location, people and dishes.

Again in today's world most apartments, villa projects or even decent neighborhoods would have a personal club / society / Gym - whatever you call it. And you would also require to pay periodic charges for maintenance - whether you make use of it or not. So why pay again for the club?
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Old 16th August 2017, 22:56   #25
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Default Re: Gymkhana / Club Memberships - Are they worth it?

I think majority of the pros and cons are already covered. One important thing while selecting a Clubs is ability to transfer. You should be able to sell the membership or transfer it to your children.

I have two club memberships in Ahmedabad and both have this option. Even though I don't use the clubs that much, I know I'm not going to lose money. It is almost an investment.
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Old 17th August 2017, 09:22   #26
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Default Re: Gymkhana / Club Memberships - Are they worth it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by motorguy View Post
I am a member of a premier golf club in Bangalore (won't mention the name though) for a little less than 10 years. While I enjoy going there, over a period of time, I have noticed food quality has deteriorated (its not bad, but substantially much less than what it was when I joined). Having paid about 10 lakhs for a life membership , I am paying Rs.400/- as fees every month and an additional Rs.100/- if I don't use anything in the club for that month.
.
I am a member of the same club. Unless you are a golf enthusiast, the 10 Lakhs are not really worth it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by troublemaker View Post
I think majority of the pros and cons are already covered. One important thing while selecting a Clubs is ability to transfer. You should be able to sell the membership or transfer it to your children.
.
I can understand the transfer option if you are paying big money. However, transfering to anybody and everybody could lead to unruly elements. I prefer that 5-6 members second a transferee to ensure a like minded person joins


Quote:
Originally Posted by unni246 View Post
The other options of social gathering and dining could be striked off as well as this could easily get boring with the same location, people and dishes.

Again in today's world most apartments, villa projects or even decent neighborhoods would have a personal club / society / Gym - whatever you call it. And you would also require to pay periodic charges for maintenance - whether you make use of it or not. So why pay again for the club?
You have a point re apartment clubs etc but it is the same argument - same location, same people etc. I enjoy my club - they are making attempts to vary the food. I dont get fed up of my frieneds. We have various new activities now and then it all depends on how the club is managed.
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Old 17th August 2017, 12:23   #27
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Default Re: Gymkhana / Club Memberships - Are they worth it?

For the price you quote a premier club membership is worth it, ofcourse you will have to deal with the distance of travel etc. But in terms of cost lot of things balances out eventually.
One additional benefit of a high end club is what affiliations it has with other clubs across India ( and abroad ), this certainly comes in handy when you travel and you get good accommodation at low prices.
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Old 17th August 2017, 17:38   #28
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Default Re: Gymkhana / Club Memberships - Are they worth it?

This is the first time I'm hearing about the existence of such clubs at relatively affordable looking prices!

I'm curious as to what sort of infrastructure such a place actually has and how much overselling of the available space is done or can be done in the future. Bombay has probably the highest population density in India, which is already has a very dense population overall. If cricket was a car company and team-bhp published its car sales figures and analysis on a monthly basis, it'd have as much market share as Maruti, Hyundai, Mahindra, Toyota, Tata and Honda combined. So I'd be super weary about paying big membership fees but having insufficient access to the facilities.

Even then I'd only consider a membership here if I was permanently based near where the gymkhana is located and more importantly, I was that keen on cricket or another sport for which the gymkhana has an adequate infrastructure. If this is the case, a million rupees is definitely a sweet deal.

If general functional fitness is what you're after and you aren't into a specific sport, you can visit the nearest Decathlon store, go to the fitness section, buy a pull-up bar (that's removable and fits on a doorway), some resistance cables, a dips stand and a yoga mat and keep every muscle group in shape using a combination of body weight, physics, geometry and the aforementioned equipment. Read the book Convict Conditioning (click for Kindle version) and check out http://www.startbodyweight.com/ before you get started and refer back to these resources periodically. Oh and you may also want to try the BYG app https://www.byg.co.in/ if you need one-off access to a very specific piece of infrastructure.

My own setup is even smaller that what I just described - I only have a single resistance band and a doorway pull-up bar both of which fit into my backpack while I travel. I should probably start a separate thread about a home gym / backpack gym setup sometime

Note that I've not written about the social aspects of a club because that isn't a personal priority.
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Old 18th August 2017, 13:08   #29
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Default Re: Gymkhana / Club Memberships - Are they worth it?

This is turning out to be a great discussion with many Pros and cons coming out of it.

Many of you have suggested to go for the membership keeping in mind that the club allows transfer of ownerships to children/wife. But, In my specific case my daughter is just 3 years old and how can I guess where in part of the world she might choose to stay, where she might pursue her education / career ? So, buying that membership keeping in mind that it will be transferable to my daughter seems a bit confusing to me and has me in 2 minds.

Also, the other point that was raised was facilities available for marriage / other functions. We do have a marriage coming up in a family in a next year or two, but being a conservative family I doubt the overall budget might go above a lakh or 2 considering how expensive things are here in Bombay.
But still a million INR for a marriage is definitely a no no.

The club though is reputable, there are other priorities that I mentioned earlier and have played a big part in my decision to not opt for it right now.

Regards
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Old 18th August 2017, 14:19   #30
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Default Re: Gymkhana / Club Memberships - Are they worth it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dieseltuned View Post
hi people,

Could you please from any of your experiences in any city across India guide me whether it is worthwhile spending a million INR on such a membership ? Considering that we are a family of normal salaried professionals (though earning a decent monthly sum) and not a high flying corporate or business family, is it worth considering such a membership.
Club membership at a million bucks is dirt cheap. To make the perspective clear, clubs in Ahmedabad are charging close to 3 to 4 million

Why you should opt for club membership ?
a) Cool, calm, serene place to unwind after a hectic week - Most of the places in India are crowded and chaotic, a good club is like a peaceful meditation centre for you.
You might not get these in all the clubs and gymkhanas as some of them only look at increasing membership strength where-as some actually interview prospects after you provide with 4 referrals and proper interview is conducted

b) Sports, health, recreational activities : They are the best place to master sports and not just at learning sports. My family has been associated with few clubs in Ahmedabad and the facilities coupled with competitive environment helped me go till State and National level in swimming, chess etc. ( Inter clubs, Club tournaments use to happen quite often).
Most of the apartments boast of swimming pools but those are primarily breeding grounds of infection as in my apartment and many others I have noticed. Take it with a pinch of salt but we guys are highly educated but not culturally literate especially if you are paying maintenance amount - you are suppose to urinate, defecate, take kid with diapers in the pool as its your right.

c) Good dinning & networking facility : You again get to eat variety of cuisines and less crowded places. Housie games, movie nights etc are enjoyable with family

d) Concessional membership charges for children on maturity : Most of the clubs have nominal fees for members children when they turn 18 or 21 respectively. Outside membership fee would have sky rocketed.

e) Club affiliations - Most of the clubs have affiliations with other clubs in India and abroad.

f) Stay : Cost effective, premium rooms available for members and their guests for overnight stay

Why or when you should not opt for club memberships ?
a) If the club is quite far from your residence and reaching the club at the end of the day or on weekend is again an effort in itself.
b) If you cannot instil discipline amongst your children - Clubs are breeding grounds for getting in hands of wrong company of friends. Children especially teenagers are mostly lured to luxurious life and lifestyles and need monitoring
c) Club is already over crowded with people and the facilities are no different from what you get outside.

Bottom line - The money spent on club membership is "expense" on the Financial side of life but "investment" in quality side of life.
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