Private club membership is a bit of an enigma. Having gone through whatever process your local golf or country club requires of candidates for membership, your access is limited to that club. Your ability to enjoy other similar facilities is restricted by your personal network of friends and associates who are Members at other clubs. Alternatively, you can always ask your local PGA Professional for assistance in the hope that his or her professional network extends to another club you are trying to access.
Over the last 30+ years I have witnessed the same scenarios play out time and time again. Over the years, different variations of the same “network” or “virtual club” theme have made a run at the idea but hitherto most have failed because of the commercial aspect which runs afoul of most high end private clubs in the USA. Quite simply, the idea that someone can pay a fee to a third party that in turn provides access to “their” private club runs counter to the ethos of private clubs.
With that background, I came across ThousandGreens.com recently which is a new perspective on the same issue. It appears to address all the legitimate concerns a private club may have while providing a thoughtful platform to accelerate your opportunity to develop a genuine private golfing network. Importantly it is noncommercial and created by golfers with a technology background who have a deep passion for the game, and the friendships and relationships which follow.
I would expect that our local, hardworking PGA Professionals will appreciate this concept as it can remove them from these awkward Member conversations to explain the limitations of their professional network for course access. Alternatively, the same professionals must manage the favors they extend for incoming golfers as part of the quid pro quo of gaining access when their Members are seeking reciprocity.