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 Fine Living Top 10: Country Clubs

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Male Number of posts : 528
Registration date : 2007-07-01

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PostSubject: Fine Living Top 10: Country Clubs   Fine Living Top 10: Country Clubs Icon_minitimeTue Jul 31, 2007 11:59 am

Fine Living Top 10: Country Clubs 23b_travel_tips
The best U.S. country clubs
The term “country club” embodies a wider variety of private clubs that includes golf, tennis and polo clubs. The finest and most exclusive country clubs
in the U.S. generally uphold an old, unspoken rule in regards to
prospective members: If you have to ask -- don’t bother. Many private
clubs rely on member referrals for new members, while a select few
prefer to follow the doctrine that says, “Don’t call us, we may or may
not call you.”

As a result, the level of security practiced at
these clubs rivals that of Fort Knox. But, unlike the famous gold
repository, security has been breached at least once: In 2002 USA Today
published the all-male membership list for Augusta National, famed home
of the Masters. The incident made a national case out of the issue of
exclusivity at these elite country clubs.

With that in mind,
I’ve collated a top 10 list using some fundamental, if reverse,
criteria that usually addresses two questions: How do clubs keep the
riffraff out? And, how badly does the riffraff want in?
Number 10

Locust Hill Country Club

Rochester, New York


Locust Hill Country Club dates back to 1925 and is among New York’s
most exclusive clubs. Its championship golf course was designed by
Seymour Dunn, and the club itself features tennis courts, an
Olympic-sized pool and world-class dining. Fairly recent clubhouse
renovations have added a ballroom, fitness center and viewing decks.


Membership at Locust Hill Country Club is fairly basic -- if you don’t
know another member, they’re uninterested in your business. A
prospective member first needs to be sponsored by a current member and
endorsed by another.
Number 9

Oakmont Country Club

Oakmont, Pennsylvania


Located in the Allegheny River Valley near Pittsburgh and dating back
more than a century, Oakmont Country Club is among the nation’s oldest
private clubs. It boasts a world-class golf course that has ranked
consistently alongside Augusta and Pebble Beach.

Much of
Oakmont’s prestige stems from the fact that they have played host to
more major golf championships than any other U.S. course, and they’ll
add to that total when they host the 2007 U.S. Open.
Number 8

Cherokee Town & Country Club

Atlanta, Georgia


Often touted as the No. 1 private club in the U.S., the Cherokee Town
& Country Club is actually two clubs. The Town Club, located in the
posh Buckhead area of Atlanta, features a massive 90,000-square-foot
clubhouse, 16 tennis courts, three pools, and more, while the Country
Club’s golf courses are world-class.

Memberships are limited, based on a referral from a current member, and fees are not made public.
Number 7

Sherwood Country Club

Thousand Oaks, California

Opened in 1989, the plush and numerous amenities of this residential country club include world-class dining, a wine cellar,
a pub, more than a dozen tennis courts of hard, grass and clay
surfaces, an Olympic-sized pool, and two golf courses designed by Jack
Nicklaus. Self-made billionaire David Murdock is among its 475 members,
but this isn’t surprising since he’s also the club’s developer.


Homes within Sherwood begin at $1.6 million, club membership initiation
fees begin at $200,000, and annual dues run at about $7,300. These are
exactly the figures that will sufficiently keep out the unwashed masses.
Number 6

Bighorn Golf Club

Palm Desert, California


Bighorn is a residential club with so many amenities that they are
almost too numerous to list, but to start, they have a pair of
championship golf courses, a 40,000-square-foot clubhouse, a
13,000-square-foot spa and salon, tennis courts, a pool, and shopping.


Home prices range from about $1.9 million to $8.4 million, and fees are
as high -- or higher -- than any in the country: A dual membership fee
costs $325,000 with another $15,000 in annual dues.

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PostSubject: Re: Fine Living Top 10: Country Clubs   Fine Living Top 10: Country Clubs Icon_minitimeTue Jul 31, 2007 11:59 am

Number 5

Hillcrest Country Club

Los Angeles, California


Los Angeles’ exclusive Hillcrest Country Club features a championship
golf course and 12 tennis courts, which are located just across the way
from the famous studios of 20th Century Fox.

Membership fees
start at $275,000 -- a figure that goes a long way to weed out the
otherwise unsuitable. Visitors are only granted entry if they are
guests of a member, and prospective members can only apply through
current members, with no guarantees that they’ll be accepted.
Number 4

Loblolly Pines Golf Club

Hobe Sound, Florida


Loblolly Pines Golf Club opened in 1988 with a golf course created by
the legendary designer Pete Dye, and the only thing that isn’t young
about Loblolly Pines is its members’ money. As a result, it keeps a low
profile and ranks among the most exclusive and secretive clubs in the
country.

The rarely available cottages on the property run as
high as $2.5 million, membership fees are kept private and no one will
even speak with you about becoming a member without a referral from a
current member.
Number 3

Pine Valley Golf Club

Pine Valley, New Jersey


Pine Valley Golf Club is a no-frills kind of place that offers little
beyond a round of golf. Why then would people be willing to pay $10,000
for the chance to play that round?

For golfers around the
world, Pine Valley’s golf course is nothing short of Shangri-la and
numerous golf publications consistently rank it as the top golf course
not just in the U.S., but in the world.

Pine Valley does not
admit women as members, but even if they did, the waiting list to
become a member is alleged to be so long that it may take a decade for
your name to come up. The club does not host any professional events
and, to my knowledge, does not even operate a website.
Number 2

Round Hill Club

Greenwich, Connecticut


Located in one of the wealthiest cities in the country, Round Hill’s
extreme exclusivity can be summed up with two examples: A large
photograph of the Bush family’s patriarch, Prescott Bush, greets you in
the foyer and in an adjoining room, former President Bush was first
introduced to his future wife Barbara.

Not surprisingly, since Round Hill is said to be the club of choice for current President George Bush and family, all information related to membership fees and requirements are kept under lock and key.
Number 1

Augusta National Golf Club

Augusta, Georgia


With a membership fee that ranges from $250,000 to $500,000, there are
few clubs that carry the prestige that Augusta National -- home to the
Masters -- does. USA Today’s ”outing” of its membership list revealed a virtual who’s who of American industry, including Bill Gates and Warren Buffett.


Membership requirements are extraordinarily simple: You must be a man
and you need to sit patiently by the phone as there are no application
processes at Augusta, no referrals and no endorsements. Membership here
is strictly by invitation.
cutting club prices

A torrent of negative publicity and criticism followed in the wake of the USA Today
piece, yet as testament to the power and privilege operating behind
private country clubs, in the years that followed not one thing has
changed -- not at Augusta, not anywhere. And their members wouldn’t
have it any other way.

Resources:
www.locusthill.org
www.oakmont-countryclub.org
www.cherokeetcc.org
www.isenberg.umass.edu/htm/uploads/basicContentWidget/14508/Cherokee%2520Country%2520Club%2520Assistant%2520Manager.pdf+%22cherokee+town+and+country+club%22&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=5&gl=us&ie=UTF-8" class="postlink" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">www.isenberg.umass.edu
www.sherwoodcc.com
www.forbes.com - Bighorn Golf Club
www.forbes.com - Best golf communities
www.forbes.com - Loblolly Pines
www.bighorngolf.com
www.hcc-la.com
www.bigbluebus.com
www.njinsider.com
http://select.nytimes.com
http://en.wikipedia.org - Pine Valley Golf Club
http://en.wikipedia.org - Augusta Golf Club

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