The 18 most exclusive golf clubs in the US

Augusta National The MastersDavid Cannon/Getty ImagesThe Masters at Augusta National.

Many golf clubs make people jump through hoops to even be considered for membership.

These places attract the 1% and have become popular among the rich and famous, like Warren Buffett and Justin Timberlake.

In conjunction with this year’s Masters tournament, we decided to look at just how difficult it is to get into some of the most premier golf clubs in the US.

Augusta National Golf Club is home to the prestigious Masters tournament. Membership at the club is strictly invitation only, with initiation fees ranging from $250,000 to $500,000. Known for being an exclusively male club, Augusta recently opened its doors to three women: former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, former banking magnate Darla Moore, and, most recently, IBM CEO Ginni Rometty. Bill Gates and Warren Buffett are also among the Georgia golf club's 300 members.

Source: Golf, Ask Men

Seminole Golf Club is so exclusive it turned down golf legend Jack Nicklaus for membership. Every year, members look forward to the Seminole Pro-Member, a tournament where Seminole members are paired with pro golfers to play the course. The Juno Beach, Florida, club was golf great Ben Hogan's favourite course to prepare for the Masters.

Source: Golf, Golf Digest

Nestled in the Palm Beach, California, desert, Bighorn Golf Club is a residential golf community, meaning you need to own property there to become a member. The initiation fee is around $325,000, with annual club dues of $15,000. Golf greats Arnold Palmer, Payne Stewart, and Tiger Woods have played the courses.

America's first country club is aptly named The Country Club. The Brookline, Massachusetts, golf club is one of the five founding members of the United States Golf Association and has hosted 16 USGA tournaments and the Ryder Cup. The Country Club has 1,300 members and 27 golf holes.

In order to play the man-made course at Las Vegas's Shadow Creek Golf Club, you must be a guest at an MGM resort. The playing fee is $500 per person per round, and includes a round-trip limousine ride from your hotel. But even if you secure a tee time, you may get bumped off the roster if a big-name celebrity is in town.

Source: Golf, The Richest

Popular among Wall Streeters, the invitation-only National Golf Links of America sits on 285 acres of shoreline along Southampton, New York's Peconic Bay. The initiation fee is well into the hundreds of thousands of dollars, and guests can play only if they're accompanied by a member.

The Chicago Golf Club is the oldest 18-hole course in the US. The Wheaton, Illinois, club limits its membership to 100 people with 'a steeplechase worth of hurdles to clear in order to get in,' according to Golf magazine. The exclusive club has hosted a number of tournaments, including the US Open and the US Amateur.

Source: Golf

Oakmont Country Club is one of the oldest golf clubs in the country and has hosted more combined USGA and PGA championships than any other course in the US. The Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania-area course, ranked No. 5 in the US by Golf Digest, has attracted the world's best golfers for years.

Located in ritzy Greenwich, Connecticut, the Round Hill Club has a long wait list for membership. Entrance to the country club is so coveted in part because of the Bush family's ties to the club. Prescott S. Bush, father and grandfather to the two former Bush presidents, once served as the Round Hill Club's president.

Source: Ask Men, Vanity Fair

In order to become a member of Hobe Sound, Florida's Loblolly Pines Golf Club, you better know a couple of the 275 members: In order to be considered for membership, a current member must sponsor you, and up to four other members must second the sponsorship.

Source: Ask Men, Loblolly

Hillcrest Country Club attracts members with its championship golf course and facilities to the tune of $185,000-$275,000 in membership fees. Potential members can only apply through current members, but that still doesn't guarantee entry. The Los Angeles, California, club is across the street from the 20th Century Fox studios, and attracts a famous clientele.

Atlanta, Georgia's Cherokee Town and Country Club offers membership through an invitation-only policy. The exclusive club has two world-class golf courses, 16 tennis courts, and three swimming pools. Membership prices are kept under wraps.

Golf legend Jack Nicklaus designed both courses at Sherwood Country Club. The Thousand Oaks, California, club has 475 members who pay a $160,000-$200,000 initiation fee and around $7,300 in annual dues. While some prominent golf clubs have strict no-celebrity rules, Sherwood has opened membership to celebrities including Justin Timberlake and Will Smith.

Fishers Island Club is located on Fishers Island off the coast of New York and Connecticut, and is home to some of the nation's oldest money. Not only is the club hard to get into, it's also hard to get to, as it's only accessible by ferry.

Source: Golf

Finance power players Charles Schwab and George Roberts wanted to make a spacious and luxurious golf club limited to the elite, so they founded the Nanea Golf Club in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. Every hole on the course has a view of the Pacific Ocean.

Source: Golf

You can't play at Southampton, New York's Shinnecock Hills without the accompaniment of a member, and guest tee times usually fill up months in advance. There's also a green fee of $350 per round, and you must have a caddy. Shinnecock has hosted the US Open four times, and will do so again in 2018.

Source: Golfweek

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