So what’s the word on local clubs – feeling the pinch or feeling robust? A completely unreliable, unverifiable poll says most are hurting. I’ve mentioned that the Riverside Yacht Club has adopted a two-year rule whereby unemployed members can drop out and look for work without permanently losing their membership and I hear that Greenwich Country Club now has the same provision. Stanwich Club’s $100,000 initiation fee that used to be payable upon admittance is now on a “pay us when you can” basis. Waiting lists of 7 years have been whittled to one and Tamarack, with it’s big spanking new clubhouse is considering bake sales and car washes to pay it off.
Some members see opportunity here. At Riverside, I hear that pressure is again building to tear down the old clubhouse and erect a new one, the hope being, I suspect, that a huge assessment will finally chase out the last remnants of the middle class and elevate membership to its proper orbit. Innis Arden also has a middle class component to its membership but I don’t golf so I don’t know if there is a similar snob element at work over there.
The good news to all this is if you wanted to move to town but didn’t want to wait ten years to play golf or sail, now’s your opportunity. Just like house prices, there’s an opening here.