Club Rules

Club Rules

Club Rules


(incorporating terms and conditions of membership) effective from 1 March 2018


  1. Name, Constitution, Management and Interpretation.


  • The name of the Club shall be “Sonning Golf Club” (The Club).


  • The object of the Club is to provide recreational facilities for its members, guests and visitors at Sonning Golf Club, Duffield Road  Reading RG4 6GJ


  • The Club is a proprietary club, the proprietor of which is Sonning Golf Club Ltd (“the Proprietor”).


  • The directors and appointed employees of the Proprietor are solely responsible for all matters relating to the affairs and management of the Club.  In particular they will be responsible for the organisation and management of club competitions, social events, matches, club handicaps and all disciplinary matters.


  • These rules shall apply to all members, guests and visitors and maybe revoked, supplemented or altered at any time by the Proprietor.


  • The Proprietor will appoint a Club Secretary (or General Manager) who will have the custody of all documents belonging to the Club and who will keep full and correct minutes of the Club Committee and will conduct all correspondence in connection with Club membership matters.


  • Unless the context otherwise requires, a reference to one gender includes all other genders; and words in the singular shall include the plural and vice versa


  • The clause headings do not form part of this document and are not to be taken into account in its construction or interpretation


  1. Rights and Obligations


  • Members will not be entitled to vote on any Club matters or otherwise become involved in the management or operation of the Club or its facilities.  There is no vested or prescriptive right or easement to the use of the Club facilities.


  • Use of the Clubs facilities is subject to availability and membership does not afford any member the entitlement to exclusive use of any of the Club’s facilities or any particular times to use those facilities.


  • The Proprietor may at any time withdraw all or part of the Club’s facilities for any period with or without notice in connection with any competition or event or with cleaning, repair, alteration, maintenance work or adverse weather conditions, for any other reasonable purpose or for reasons beyond the control of the Proprietor.


  • Membership is not an investment in the Club and does not provide the member with equity or ownership interest or any other property interest in the Club or its facilities.


  1. Club Committee


  • The Club Committee will consist of the Captain, the Vice Captain and the Captain of the Men’s or Ladies’ section (as appropriate) and at least three Officers of the Proprietor.


  • Meetings of the Committee will take place not less than once a year or as and when circumstances dictate.


  • The Managing Director of the Proprietor (or his appointed representative) will chair each meeting, or in his absence his nominee.


  • The object of the meetings will be to review and monitor the Club’s activities in relation to golf competitions, club matches and social activities to ensure that in so far as it is possible, the interests of both the Proprietor and the members as a whole are fairly served.


  • Any resolution passed by the Committee must be ratified by the Proprietor.


  • Three members of the Committee shall form a quorum provided that there shall be at least one Officer of the Proprietor present throughout any Committee meeting.  If all the Officers shall not be present at any committee meeting, the vote or votes of the Officer or Officers present shall be pro-tanto increased so that the vote or votes of the Officers present shall be equal to the same aggregate number of votes as could be cast if all Officers were present.


  1. President, Captain and Ladies’ Section Captain


  • The President, the Captain, Vice Captain, the Men’s or Ladies’ Section Captain (as appropriate) and Men’s or Ladies’ Section Vice Captain (as appropriate) of the Club (if any) shall be such persons as the Proprietor may from time to time approve in its absolute discretion.


  1. Membership


  • The membership year is from 1st March to 28th/29th


  • The membership of the Club shall consist of such categories of members with such rights and restrictions as the Proprietor may in its absolute discretion determine from time to time.


  • The categories of membership in force from time to time are available from the Club Secretary on request and may be published on the Club website. Certain categories may be closed to new members or existing members wishing to change category and may only be available to new and/or existing members.


  • A register of members shall be kept on the Club premises at all times.


  • Any category of candidate who applies for admission to the Club must be either proposed by the Proprietor or proposed and seconded by any two existing members of at least two years standing who shall vouch from their personal knowledge as to the suitability of the candidate.  A candidate shall be interviewed by or on behalf of the Proprietor and shall not be admitted without the approval of the Proprietor.


  • Members are required to pay all dues in advance for the period for which they relate, in particular:


  • annual membership subscription fees are payable on or by 1st March;


  • monthly payment membership subscription fees are payable on or by the 1st of the relevant month;


  • subscriptions to golf unions are payable on or by 1st March;


  • minimum levy contributions are payable on or by 1st


  • On joining members are required to pay immediately all joining fees and dues (calculated on a pro-rata basis) for period from commencement of membership until the next date for payment for each fee element as appropriate for their membership category.


  • Members may opt to pay dues (other than the first payment on joining) by Direct Debit; enrolment in the Direct Debit scheme is mandatory for all members opting for a monthly payment membership subscription (“Monthly Members”). Direct Debits will be collected around the first working day of the month during which payment is due.


  • The term of membership for all members (other than Temporary Day Members) is from their date of joining (in their first subscription year) or the first day of the membership year (following renewal) until the end of that membership year; members may not bring an end to their membership prior to the end of membership year unless in accordance with a specific term of this agreement.


  • Monthly Members may resign their membership during the membership year, for any reason, upon giving not less than 6 months prior notice (ending on the last day of a month) in writing.


  • The failure of any member to pay the required dues by the appropriate date is a ground for immediate suspension or forfeiture of membership at the discretion of the Proprietor.


  • The Proprietor may impose from time to time reasonable administration and/or interest charges in connection with any late payment, failed Direct Debit, other failed payment and/or any re-instatement of membership (following suspension).


  • Membership can only be renewed by invitation of the Proprietor.  In the event of resignation, suspension or termination of membership for any reason during the membership year, the member will not be entitled to a refund of any subscription fee, joining fee or food and beverage levy.


  • The Proprietor may at any time terminate a membership where in its absolute discretion the Proprietor believes that the member’s continued membership would be against the best interests of the Club.


  • Reviewed membership prices are normally introduced at the beginning of each membership year. Members are informed of the ensuing year’s prices in January of each year.


  • Any member wishing to resign or to a change to a lower category of membership for the ensuing year may do so by giving notice in writing to that effect before 1st February for the ensuing year.


Save for in exceptional circumstances (as determined by the Proprietor acting reasonably) if a member is invited by the Proprietor to renew their membership for the forthcoming year and fails to give the required notice of resignation or change to a lower category of membership then the member remains responsible for dues for the ensuing membership year


  • Notices of resignation (or to change to a lower category of membership) from members should be addressed to the Club Secretary. The Club Secretary will provide an acknowledgement of receipt of a notice of resignation on request; it is the member’s responsibility to ensure that the Club Secretary has received the notice.


  • Once a member has resigned, or membership has otherwise ended any entitlement to use the Club’s facilities (other than where permitted as a guest or visitor) ends.


  • Joint members (and any named individuals of any corporate members) are jointly and severally liable for payment of dues as and when they become payable.


  • Members must promptly notify the Club of any change of address (including email addresses).  Should the Club engage in any correspondence with any member, such will be addressed to the member’s last address (or email address) recorded with the Club and shall be considered as duly delivered.


  1. Guests


  • Members may introduce and entertain guests on payment of the appropriate fees in force on the day and subject to these rules.  Green fees are to be paid before play commences.


  • A maximum of three playing guests may be introduced at any one time.  The introducing member must sign in his guest or guests before playing.


  • An introducing member will be responsible for the conduct and expenditure of his guest and must not leave the premises before his guest.


  • A member may not introduce the same guest more than six times in a Club year.


  • The Proprietor may suspend the right of members to introduce guests on any day or days if it deems it desirable to do so.


  • The Proprietor may in its discretion refuse any guest admission to the Club without assigning a reason.


  1. Visitors


  • Visitors may, at the discretion of the Proprietor, be admitted to the Club and use its facilities on payment of the appropriate fees in force on the day giving Temporary Day Membership.


  1. Members Levy Accounts


  • The Club operates an electronic levy account system which Members may use to purchase certain goods and services provided by the Club from time to time.


  • Discounts that are afforded to Members (or certain categories of Members) from time to time may only be obtained if purchases are made using the levy account system.


  • Each member may be required to make a minimum contribution to their levy account at the beginning of each membership year (or on joining).


  • The minimum contribution is payable immediately on joining the Club or 1st March each year together with any other dues payable on that date.


  • The amount of the minimum contribution may vary by membership category and from time to time at the discretion of the Proprietor.


  • A member may ‘top up’ his or her levy from time to time at the Club bar. Top ups may be made by cash or credit/debit card. Top ups are subject to minimum instalments of £20.


  • It is a members’ responsibility to maintain safe custody of their membership cards. The Proprietor does not accept responsibility for the unauthorised use of a member’s levy resulting from a lost, stolen or lent membership card (unless occurring within a reasonable period after the member has brought such loss to the attention of the Club Secretary)


  • The lending of membership card for use by others is prohibited.


  • The Proprietor may charge members’ levy accounts for goods and services consumed by members (or the guests of that member) which have not otherwise been paid for. This may include the price of tickets for functions operated by the Club for which the member has made a booking(s) and/or for competitions in which the member is participating.


  • Members are not permitted to a cash or other form of monetary reimbursement of any unspent minimum contribution, or top up, to their levy account.


  • Members are not permitted to allow their levy accounts to become overdrawn. If a members’ levy account becomes overdrawn, the member must immediately make a ‘top up’ to return their account to credit.


  • Members must spend all minimum contributions by the end of the membership year (28/29 February), any balance of minimum contribution remaining thereafter will be forfeited.


  • A balance remaining on a member’s levy account on cessation of their membership (if not renewed) will be forfeited.


  1. Membership Cards, Bag Tags and Keys


  • Any membership cards, bag tags, keys or similar materials (“Member Materials”) that may be provided to a member from time to time to provide access to the Club, or any of its facilities remain the property of the Proprietor at all times.


  • Member Materials are provided to a member for their exclusive use, the Member may not transfer to, or loan, the Member Materials to any other person.


  • Members must ensure the safe custody of the Member Materials which have been provided to them and on cessation of membership must promptly return all Member Materials to the Club Secretary.


  • The loss or theft of any Member Materials must be promptly notified to the Club Secretary as soon as the Member becomes aware of such loss.


  • Following the loss, theft or failure of return of any Member Materials, the Proprietor may impose a reasonable charge on the relevant member (or former member) for cancellation &/or the provision of any replacement Member Materials. This charge fee will typically reflect the costs arising from the provision of a replacement and of administration.


  1. Events and Functions


  • From time to time the Proprietor may hold certain events and/or functions for members, guests and visitors which are subject to certain specific terms and conditions, those terms are deemed to form an integral part of these rules.


  1. Complaints


  • All complaints including any concerning staff must be made in writing to the Club Secretary (or if the severity dictates to one of the Directors) who shall submit the matter to the Proprietor whose decision shall be final.  In no instance may a member reprimand any member of staff.


  1. Exclusion of Liability


  • To the maximum extent permitted by law, neither the Proprietor, the Club nor any Officer or Employee thereof shall be liable to anyone for any loss or damage to any property, occurring from whatever cause, in or about the Club premises, course or grounds, nor for the death or injury of any such person whilst in or entering or leaving the Club.


  • Any golfing equipment or other possessions brought onto, left at or stored at the Club is entirely at the owner’s risk. The Proprietor, the Club nor any Officer or Employee thereof accepts no liability for the loss or damage to such items; members, visitors and guests are advised to take out their own insurances.


  • Nothing in these terms and conditions is meant to limit any rights to which a member, visitor or guest may be entitled to as a consumer.


  1. Golf Insurances


  • From time to time the Proprietor may (in its discretion and without obligation) maintain golf liability insurance which benefits the Club’s members, visitors &/or guests. The provision of any such insurance is an ancillary benefit that is provided without additional charge and consequently may be withdrawn.


  • The Proprietor makes no warranty or recommendation whatsoever that the terms of any golf liability insurance that is provided is adequate for the particular needs of any person who may seek to rely on it.


  • The policy terms and conditions for golf liability insurance are available from the Club Secretary on request. It is strongly recommended that any person who wishes to rely on the golf insurance familiarises themselves with its terms to assess whether or not the cover is adequate for their purposes.


  1. Force Majeure


  • If the Proprietor is prevented from fulfilling its obligations by reason of any supervening event beyond their control including but not limited to war, national emergency, flood, earthquake, strike or lockout (other than a strike or lockout induced by us) then it shall not be deemed to be in breach of any failure to perform its obligations provided that it uses its reasonable endeavours to resume performance of its obligations as soon as is reasonably possible.


  1. Severability


  • If any provision of these terms conditions or rules is held by any court or other competent authority to be invalid or unenforceable in whole or in part, the terms conditions or rules shall continue to be valid as to their other provisions and the remainder of the affected provision.


  1. Rights of other people who are not a party to this agreement


  • A person who is not a party to this agreement will not have any rights under the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999 to enforce any term of this agreement.


  1. Assignment and Transfer


  • Membership is personal to the individual(s) to whom it is granted and may not be transferred.


  • The Proprietor may assign or otherwise transfer the benefit of this membership agreement to a new operator of the Club and promptly following such a transfer the Proprietor will give notice to the member of the new operator.


  • A member may terminate their membership at any time and without penalty within 30 days of receiving notice of such a transfer by the Proprietor, but only if the member’s rights are unduly prejudiced as a direct consequence.


  1. Clubhouse Hours


  • The Clubhouse shall open and close at such hours as the Proprietor shall from time to time determine.


  1. Dress


  • All members, guests and visitors must adhere to the Club’s dress code as in force from time to time and is published on the Club’s website and within the Clubhouse.


  1. Children (other than Junior Members)


  • Children under 14 years of age are not allowed in the Club premises unless accompanied by an adult member or unless permitted by the Proprietor.


  1. Car Parking


  • Members, visitors and guests are only entitled to use the Clubs car park whilst using the Club’s facilities.


  • Parking is only permitted in marked spaces and in disabled spaces when there is proper reason to do so.


  • The availability of car parking at the Club is not guaranteed.


  • Parking in the car park is entirely at the owner’s risk. The Proprietor, the Club nor any Officer or Employee thereof accepts no liability for any loss or damage to motor vehicles or their contents.


  • From time to time the Proprietor may designate certain areas of the car park for specific purposes/persons.


  1. Data Protection and Image Rights


  • The Proprietor and the Club will comply with the provisions of the Data Protection Act 1998 and the General Data Protection Regulation when it comes into effect.  The Proprietor and the Club will also comply with the terms of the Club’s privacy policy as in force from time to time.


  • Except with the written consent of the Proprietor no Member, guest or visitor may take or include photographs, film footage or the address of the club in any advertisement or use the Club’s name or likeness or address for any business or commercial purpose.


  • The Proprietor reserves the right to the use of any photographs/film taken by or on behalf of the Proprietor of any Member, guest or visitor at the Club for use in its own materials (website, newsletter, brochure, advertising etc…)


  1. Etiquette


  • The Etiquette of Golf as detailed under Section 1 of the Rules of Golf by the Royal and Ancient Golf Club is adopted by the Club.  Members are expected to be courteous and considerate at all times and respectful of our golf course.  Slow play must be avoided at all times in the interests of every golfer.  The cardinal rule is that it is the duty of the golfers in every match to keep their position on the course and up with the match in front.  Players should be ready to play as soon as it is their turn to play.