I have a different view of the club vs. freelance thing.
My dad took me duck hunting on public a half-dozen times or less and then said, "you're on your own, fly little bird fly".
He's wealthy and was a club-hunter but for some reason free-lanced with me.
So I had to learn just about everything on my own. My dad sucked at calling and about everything because he was just starting out at about the same time I did only I was 14 and he was much older. Plus he hired guides to do all the "work". Dad's from South Dakota. He hunted ducks but only shot at passing ones. That's how they do it up where he's from. No decoys, calls, etc.
I had to teach myself how to kill ducks consistently. It took many years, many mistakes, and many, many bad hunts.
There's a lot of stuff to learn for a beginner.
Calls, guns, decoys, dogs, waders, boats, boat motor maintenance, and so much I can't list it all.
THAT is why I recommend joining a duck club for a few seasons as you can collect up all the stuff and know-how you need to be successful and MOST IMPORTANTLY...not mess it up for everyone else. Hopefully a club would have good guides to learn from.
Of course there are complicated rules and you need to call ahead to let the club know you're coming or you're SOL. The rules are there for a reason. For instance how would you feel about three other club members from another state showing up out of the blue unannounced and cramming themselves into the blind with you and your kids? You had it all in your head that you had the place to yourselves for a nice little family hunt and...doh.
INTERNET CREDIBILITY is...an OXYMORON.