If you love nothing more than grabbing a set of golf clubs and taking to the green, then you likely dream of stepping foot onto one of the most prestigious courses in the world. Perhaps one which has welcomed some of the most famous professional golf players of all time, from Arnold Palmer to Tiger Woods.
Unfortunately, there are some golf clubs that aren’t open to the public; they often require extravagant membership fees and enforce strict dress codes. Keep reading to take a peek at these most exclusive golf and country clubs.
Augusta National Golf Club
Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia, is one of the most exclusive golf clubs in the world and has recently opened its membership to women. Only 300 people are lucky enough to call themselves members and they include various notable figures, such as Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Condoleezza Rice and Ginni Rometty. Membership is also anything but cheap, as the initiation fees cost between $250,000 to $500,000. While the club doesn’t have a strict dress code in place, it does have an expectation for decorum. There is, however, a ban on denim and collared shirts are required.
The golf course was designed by Bobby Jones, a former champion golfer, and Dr. Alister MacKenzie, and it is best-known for playing host to the annual Master’s tournament every April, which is one of the four major championships in professional golf. The likes of Rory McIlroy, Tiger Woods and John Rahm will, therefore, walk across the green once again this year with the aim of becoming the sought-after 2020 US Masters winner.
Pine Valley Golf Club
Top of each amateur and professional golf player’s bucket list will undoubtedly be Pine Valley Golf Club in New Jersey. After all, it was crowned the number one golf course in Golf Magazine’s 100 Top Courses in the United States, and it ranked number one in the world in 2012, 2015 and 2019. Sadly, it is unlikely you’ll ever be able to play on the course, as only the board of directors will invite potential members to join the club and there is no application process. It is also a male-only club, but women can attend as guests on Sundays. Members and their guests are also required to follow the golf club’s dress code policy, which is similar to Augusta National, as guests are not permitted to wear denim clothing and must wear a collared shirt and Bermuda shorts.
The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews
The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews is not only the oldest golf club in the world, but it is also the most prestigious. Located in St Andrews, Fife, Scotland, many regard the golf course as the “Home of Golf”, as it was founded in 1754 and continues to attract members from across the globe.
While it originally had a male-only policy, the respected golf course recently opened its membership to honorary female golfers, including Princess Anne and pro female golf players. However, the club isn’t open to everyone, as membership is by invitation only. The club also has a strict dress code for both members and their guests to adhere to, as only denim is permitted on Fridays, while workout clothing, sports jerseys and shorts or shirts without collars are banned. Shorts and slacks also cannot be four inches above the knee and people must wear either collared shirts or turtlenecks and golf shoes when on the course. Members and guests are required to tuck in their shirts, as unkempt dress is not permitted.
So, if you want to secure membership to one of the above courses, you’ll need the expensive membership fees in the bank and referrals from fellow members or the board of directors.