After a lot of online research and talking with some country club members he knows, dad finally decides to test the waters at the dinner table with his family: “How would you guys feel about joining the local country club?” Following a short, awkward silence, the kids strike up in unison: “That’s boring—there’s nothing to do.” And his spouse utters the phrase he was fearing: “We’re not really the country club type, dear.” Plan rejected. Dinner’s not going to taste very good.
But the dad, in this case a competitive golfer with grade-school age children whom he would like to spend more quality time with and whose wife has only dabbled in the game, must not give up so easily. What his family members are espousing are the stereotypical myths against joining a country club that have been uttered forever. And in today’s world of private country clubs, they are so far from the truth.
In fact, expertise or even interest in golf is not a requirement to join a club, plus there is so much to do outside of the fairways that even the most screen-centric child will find themselves clamoring for the next country club event on the schedule.
Persuading Your Family to Join a Country Club
Country clubs are not all created equal. While some are exclusive, difficult to join and cater to long-storied traditions of privacy and expert golfers, there are many others searching for young families with varied interests to join their community. They welcome families with open arms to become members of their club and participants in the numerous and unique activities to be found at a country club.
Let’s start with the kids:
Young members can be building blocks of a growing country club and many clubs have discovered the vibrancy their presence adds. The growing trend among country clubs of catering to kids, particularly during the summer months when they are out of school, is being embraced across the country.
Clubs will donate time, space and staff to children’s activities off the course and throughout the club—and it is more than just a room with a few scattered toys. Every month of a club’s calendar is filled with events catered to the kids and the time of year. From movie nights, Mother’s Day craft making or STEM learning nights in the spring and summer to a Halloween carnival, Turkey day celebration and Christmas tree lighting ceremony in the fall and winter, country clubs have become the hub of activity and community with programs for the kids themselves or for the whole family to participate in together.
Many clubs have swimming pools, tennis courts and, of course, the golf course, which are great places for your children to learn new skills as beginners in a safe, instructive environment, or for your adolescents and teens to develop and improve their skills as they head toward high school competition.
These programs, while providing flexibility for young working parents to leave their kids in a trusted and enjoyable environment, also create excellent opportunities for the whole family to spend time together outside the home and away from the phones.
The clubs’ programs do more than provide time for dad to get in another round of golf, however. In fact, many attempt to make golf a game for the whole family. From programs like a “Social Six” holes for less experienced golfers who want to get a feel for playing the course in a relaxed, pressure-free environment, to nightly clinics for mom to learn the game, and weekly leagues (for mom and dad) to participate in a low pressure, 9-hole, season-long team competition. Golf can be as little or as much of your country club experience as you want to make it.
If you want to have some time that isn’t centered around golf, the country club is the place to make it happen. Many clubs serve as a fitness center for members, offering everything from yoga to personal training. Social events take center stage at many clubs, with celebrations for moms and dads like Cinco de Mayo parties, Ladies Art & Wine Nights, and Valentine’s dinners (complete with on-site kids events that coordinate with the adult events). Many clubs offer a number of different dining experiences in which you can take the family out for a Sunday brunch or mingle with new friends in a fine-dining experience.
Take it a bit further, and a private country club is the perfect place to host an event for your friends and family. The list of private events at any country club includes wedding ceremonies and receptions, business meetings, teas, holiday parties, pool parties, engagement and anniversary dinners, birthday parties, baby and bridal showers, reunions and proms, school banquets, seminars, retirement parties and other gatherings. The setting is always perfect, and the club staff can help plan the event and provide top notch service for your guests.
There is a lot going on at the country club down the street that you’ve often wanted to experience. Plenty goes on inside the doors that few know about but would love to be part of. So, when your spouse says they don’t care much for golf, start with the huge number of activities for the entire family taking place at the club and you may find that spouse wanting to play more golf very soon.