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How to Join a Country Club
Country clubs are private clubs that offer a range of recreational activities. These clubs tend to be expensive and exclusive, so joining one is difficult for most people. You can improve your chances of acceptance by finding a club that fits your circumstances and by carefully following the application process.
Choosing a Country Club
Know what to expect from a posh country club.Posh country clubs cater to the upper class, so they cost more and are generally considered more prestigious. The application process also tends to be more rigid for these clubs.
- These clubs offer activities like golf, polo, and horseback riding. You can expect to find a high-class restaurant and wine cellar on the premises, as well.
- "Old money" country clubs have some of the strictest membership requirements since membership is often based on heritage and social connections. It can cost anywhere from 0,000 to ,000,000 to join, and yearly dues are usually between 0,000 and 0,000.
- "New money" country clubs are less particular about membership and typically accept anyone who can afford the fees. Joining can cost between 0,000 and 0,000, while yearly dues range between ,000 and 0,000.
Consider a working class country club.Working class country clubs are more affordable than their posh counterparts. Some are still aimed at executive level professionals, while others are usually frequented by members of the standard working class.
- Executive country clubs are typically populated by people like doctors, lawyers, and executive businessmen. Joining can cost between ,000 and ,000, and your yearly fees can range between ,000 and ,000. Along with standard activities like golf and tennis, these clubs usually offer some form of nice indoor dining.
- Working class country clubs are the least expensive and have the fewest amenities. Joining is almost always free, but you may need to pay yearly dues ranging between ,200 and ,000.
Search for country clubs in your area.Before you can join a country club, you'll need to find one. The easiest way to find a club is to get a recommendation from someone who already belongs to one, but you can search for one on your own, too.
- Getting a recommendation may also help you with the application process since many posh and executive country clubs expect you to come on the recommendation of at least one current club member.
- If you don't know anyone who currently belongs to a country club, you can find one by searching in the phone book under "Country Clubs." An Internet search for "country clubs near (your zip code)" will usually turn up a decent number of results, too.
Shop around.If you're searching for a country club on your own, it's best to do some shopping around to determine which is the best fit for you and your family.
- Even if a colleague or friend recommends a particular country club to you, it might still be in your best interest to shop around before committing to it.
- Pay attention to the costs. Find out how much the initiation fee is (when applicable) and how much your yearly dues will cost. It's a good idea to look at how much the cost of membership has risen at a particular club over the past five years, as well.
- Research possible hidden fees, too. Some clubs expect you to spend a minimum amount of money on food and amenities each month. Others may also require or request additional money for various improvements to the club.
- Beyond cost, ask yourself what you want from your club membership. Make sure that the activities, amenities, and social opportunities you seek will be available to you at each club you check out.
Joining the Club
Research the club's application process.Each club has different requirements, so once you find a country club you want to join, you'll need to find out from that club what you need to do to get in.
- The steps noted here are fairly common to most country clubs, but some clubs may omit a few of these steps. Other clubs may have additional procedures not listed here.
Inquire about different membership levels.Many country clubs offer different levels of membership. Each level has different costs associated with it. Higher-cost levels offer a wider range of benefits than lower-cost levels.
- Regular or full members will have unrestricted access to the country club's services and grounds. This level of membership also carries the most expensive fees.
- House or social members have limited access to many of the grounds. Some parts of the club, like the restaurant and pool, might still be open without restriction, though.
- Nonresident members pay the least amount in fees, but the club only opens certain services to them. The amount of time you can use those services and grounds will also be restricted.
Find a sponsor.Many posh and executive country clubs will only allow you to join on referral. In these instances, it is best to look for one or two sponsors before you fill out the application.
- The sponsor and co-sponsor (when required) will usually need to submit a letter of recommendation in your favor.
- Note that some clubs may list referrals as a membership requirement, but in many cases, these clubs are still willing to consider applications without referrals. Find out if this is the case before spending time and money on the application process, though.
Fill out the application.In most cases, applications can be obtained by calling, writing, or e-mailing the country club.
- Some country clubs make the application available on their website.
- Fill out the application as completely and accurately as possible. Aside from basic contact information, this application will ask about your family and hobbies.
- Most working class country clubs do not have an application fee, but higher-end clubs will usually require you to pay a fee when you submit your application.
Submit to a background check.Many country clubs will require you to agree to a credit and background check upon submission of your application.
- These checks are done to verify that you will be able and likely to pay your membership dues. A poor credit rating will decrease your odds of acceptance. A criminal history will also decrease your odds.
Attend an interview.Once your application, background check, and credit check clear, you might be asked to schedule an interview.
- Interviews can be done by phone or in person.
- The individual conducting the interview will ask questions about your hobbies and the way you intend to use the club. If your answers do not meet the country club's vision or demands, your application may still be rejected.
Tour the grounds.During or after your interview, you might be invited to tour the grounds and test the facilities. When such invitations are extended, it is highly recommended to follow through with them.
- Touring the grounds will give you an opportunity to meet the members. Both you and the voting members will get a better idea of whether you'll fit in with the others at the club.
- Note that if you already know one of the members, you might be able to tour the grounds before you have to submit the application or sit through an interview. It's generally a good idea to tour the grounds as early in the process as possible. The club structure may not sit well with you, and if you know that you aren't interested early on, you can save yourself and the voting members a lot of time, effort, and money.
Wait for a response.Once you've completed the entire application process, all you can do is wait for an answer from the club.
- You will usually receive an answer within 30 days.
- If you decide to withdraw your application during this waiting period, you should contact the country club and let them know as soon as you arrive at that decision. You will likely lose your application fee, but no other fines or consequences should follow the withdrawal of an application.
Pay the initiation fee.If the voting board of the country club accepts you for membership, you'll get a call or letter letting you know. Once you pay the initiation fee, you will have access to the club according to the membership level you were accepted to.
- If your application is rejected, you will need to start the process over with a different country club.
- Some clubs may give you a reason for rejecting your application, but not all country clubs will do so.
- Applying to the same club more than once is not recommended unless the circumstances you were rejected upon change.
QuestionHow do I write a letter of acceptance into a private club?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYou don’t. The country club writes the “letter of acceptance,” if one is written at all.Thanks!
QuestionHow can I cancel the membership?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerGo to the reception desk, and ask them to cancel your membership.Thanks!
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