2024. Prices and selections may vary and are updated frequently.
It’s true that plenty of private golf clubs around the world pride themselves for their exclusivity. One of these is definitely the National Golf Links of America.
How Exclusive Is It?
Back in the 1960s, Sports Illustrated already called it “America’s snootiest golf course”. That reputation endures even in 2021, when a recent Forbes article listed it as #14 among the most exclusive golf clubs in the world.
It’s so exclusive that though it has hosted the Walker Cup several times (it hosted the first Walker Cup in 1922), it has never hosted a major men’s golf championship.
Below is the latest National Golf Links of America prices.
The initiation fee here is $150,000 and you can only be a member if you’re invited. If you’re not a member, you can only play if you’re invited to play with a member (who also plays with you).
Aside from the exclusivity, the high rates are justified by the beauty and quality of the golf course. It was developed by the famous architect Charles Blair Macdonald, and it’s still regarded as one of the most perfect golf courses in the world. Countless golf architects come to the National Golf Links of America to study the course and find inspiration for their own golf course designs.
A quick look at the founding members also help to explain the tradition of exclusivity. It’s a virtual who’s who of the political elite of the time. The list of founding members include:
- Robert Bacon. Statesman and diplomat, who served as US Secretary of State and later US Ambassador to France.
- George White Baxter. Former Territorial Governor of Wyoming.
- Urban H. Broughton. A civil engineer who married the heiress of the oil tycoon Henry Rogers of Standard Oil, and who later became a UK Member of Parliament.
- Charles Deering. American businessman, philanthropist, and art collector. The Charles Deering Library at Northwestern University in Evanston was the main library of the campus from 1933 to 1970.
- James Deering. The younger half-brother of Charles Deering, he was a businessman and socialite. He founded the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens.
- Findlay Small Douglas. The Scotsman who won the US Amateur in 1898, he later became the President of the USGA.
- Henry Clay Fick. An industrialist, financier, and art patron, he was instrumental in the formation of US Steel.
- Elbert Henry Gary. Gary, Indiana was named after him.
- Clarence Mackay. Chairman of the Board for Postal Telegraph and Cable Corporation, as well the President of the Mackay Radio and Telegraph Company.
William Kissam Vanderbilt II. A member of the famous Vanderbilt family, he was a yachtsman and motor racing enthusiast.
For more information about National Golf Links of America, visit their official website.