There’s been a long-standing mystic associated with the famous Pine Valley Golf Club in New Jersey, a short jaunt from Philly.
It’s always ranked among the top 10 courses in the United States, often in the top five and many times it has been ranked number one as it is once again, listed as the No. 1 course in Golf Digest’s latest list of The Top 100 Greatest Courses in America.
The only problem is that most people, male or female, will never have the opportunity to play there.
When it comes to exclusivity, it’s right up there with Augusta National, which is ranked No. 2 behind Pine Valley on this year’s “list.” Basically, you have to be invited to join. Same for Seminole Golf Club on the east coast of Florida in Juno Beach.
So it made national headlines this week when the fellas at Pine Valley decided that they will now allow female members — a total departure from the club’s long-standing “men only” tradition.
Prospective members at Pine Valley better be pretty flush — in other words, cash, and lots of it better not be a problem. No one talks about the initiation fee or what it costs monthly to call oneself a Pine Valley member.
Over the years, numbers have been thrown out regarding Augusta National, estimating the initiation fee anywhere between $250,000 and $500,000. Let’s meet in the middle and call it a cool $375,000. Go ahead, cut the check. Once you’re in, dues aren’t outrageous, they’re estimated in the $10,000 a year range. The club doesn’t even need those dues — it makes so much money off The Masters that it can basically buy up most of Augusta and has done exactly that, acquiring all sorts of properties anywhere near the course, even retail properties along Washington Avenue.
Anyway back to Pine Valley.
So let’s guess the initiation at Pine Valley is pretty strong, let’s say $300,000. How many women who play golf want to pony up that sort of money?
Oh, then there are the club standards for membership and it sounds like this:
“Prospective members would have to be deemed socially compatible, deeply passionate about golf and skilled enough to play the course ‘with the skill level our founder, George Crump, intended.'”
That’s where it gets tricky — “socially compatible” and “skilled enough to play the course the way founder George Crump intended.”
So basically find a female player that doesn’t mind forking over the huge initiation fee and can play and score well enough on a course where most cannot.
So yes, Pine Valley is looking for a few good women, kinda like The Marines are looking for a few good men and in 2021, a few good women as well.
So the new women members at Pine Valley can simply refer to themselves as: “The Few, The Proud, The Women of Pine Valley.”
Good luck ladies!
LPGA Tour Heads To Thailand:
With hot, steamy Singapore in the rear view mirror, the LPGA Tour heads to Thailand for the Honda.
This week’s stop is in Chonburi and it won’t be quite as hot as last week but hot enough.
There were a lot of U.S. stars missing in last week’s lineup — Lexi Thompson, the Kordas and Danielle Kang. Don’t look for them this week either.
The entire country will be pulling for rookie Patty Tavatanakit, a native of Bangkok and the 2021 ANA Inspiration champion.
“I’m already confident with my game ever since ANA and I feel like I can compete out there even more. If anything, I don’t want to get too ahead of myself, because next week, I know the course, I’ve played there. It’s my home country,” said Tavatanakit after her final round at the HSBC Women’s World Championship. “Obviously there’s a little bit more pressure because everyone wants me to play well, but you know, seeing what I can do out here and try to carry it on to next week, it’s going to be important.”
Tavatanakit said even though it’ll be an exciting experience this week in Chonburi, she said she’ll take it one day at a time and not let anything overwhelm her. “I get to go back home and play in my home country,” said Tavatanakit. “But you know, if anything, it’s just another course, another — it’s going to be a tough week again with the weather and everything. It’s not going to be easy.”