If you enjoy playing golf at a variety of courses rather than just one, buying a course membership might not be the best option for you. Instead, take advantage of the public courses in your vicinity to get exposed to different sets of challenges. Even if your area doesn't offer a specific directory of public golf courses, finding out this information is simple.
Consult with your friends who play golf to determine public courses at which they have played in the past. Not only will your friends be able to list some courses for you, they'll be able to tell you the general value, difficulty and condition of each course.
Check the sports section of one or more newspapers to look for advertisements for public golf courses. Each ad typically indicates whether the course is public or private. If the ad doesn't use this terminology, use of a term such as "public welcome" is an indicator that the course is public.
Browse the Internet to look for a website containing a directory of public courses in your municipality or state. Several such websites exist, providing information such as course location, contact information, cost and overall par and yardage.
Look through a copy of the Yellow Pages, either online or a hard copy. Search for golf courses and look at the listings that identify themselves as being public courses.