Country Clubs For The Very Rich Shuttering

The clubs with those outrageous fees are—surprise, surprise—not holding up well in this economy. $85,000 initiation fee, anyone? Anyone?

WSJ’s Wealth Report: Just a year ago, clubs were touting their outrageously high fees, meant to keep out the riff-raff and insure true exclusivity. Now they are acting more like desperate fitness gyms. The Golf Club of Cape Cod, in Falmouth, opened in 2007 with an $85,000 initiation fee. Now initiation is…free! (they may have to pay a fee later or higher dues).

….Golf clubs in the South are shutting down or going into foreclosure faster than a Hummer dealership. Gold Creek Golf Club, a 354-acre golf and tennis facility in Dawsonville, Ga., shut down in August after the company that owned it went bankrupt. Cherokee Run Country Club in Conyers, Ga., filed for bankruptcy last fall, owing more than $2.9 million to various creditors.

And we’ve already told you about Sea Island’s problems.

…During the Great Depression, a third of the nation’s golf clubs shut down for lack of business. With all the overbuilding, harebrained financing and wildly optimistic forecasts for the number of rich people who would spend their days lounging around the 8th hole or sipping mint julips on the veranda, it is possible we could see a similar casualty list this time around.

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