Why joining an exclusive golf club isn’t as unrealistic as you might think
It’s been 15 years since I was first invited to Oakmont Country Club. There were 12 of us on that trip to Pittsburgh. Besides being generous enough to invite all of us, our host Jerry, who lived in Atlanta, was something I’d never heard of before: a national member.
Here’s how much money a golf course stands to make — or lose — by hosting a high-profile event
Getting the opportunity to host a big-time event is both easier and harder than a club might think. While the USGA has recently awarded a large number of championships to a rota of Top 100 stalwarts such as Pinehurst No. 2, Oakmont and Merion — part of the organization’s strategy to establish anchor sites for the men’s and women’s U.S. Opens — there are still plenty of national championships up for grabs, not to mention regional tournaments and maybe even a PGA Tour event for the right club. .
Money Game: Here’s how much it costs to maintain a golf course for a year
As golfers, we complain about the course. Miss a putt and we instinctively touch the green, tamping down a raised ball mark that only our eye can see. Hit it wide off the fairway and we’re likely to comment on the consistency of the rough. Patchy. Burned out. Trampled down. Even if we get to play a U.S. Open–level course like Winged Foot, where the rough is thick and pristine, we’re likely to complain that it’s too thick! And then there are bunkers, where golfers are apt to note that the sand is different from hole to hole. Send it flying over the green? Not a bad swing — no sand in the bunker!
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