Winged Foot Country Club Prices

For those who feel inspired to play golf, there are golf courses that are available to fairly much anyone who wants to use them and there are golf courses that all but a wealthy few can only dream of ever setting foot upon.

And it isn’t just a question of quality. There are some superb public access courses and indeed many private clubs offer facilities at prices that most would not find particularly prohibitive.

But it is true also that some of the more exclusive clubs are priced in such a manner that can only be designed to ward off the hoi polloi, and to guarantee a particular class of customer at the expense of all else.

If I may be pardoned the pun, it really it is a question of horses for (golf) courses.

Pride of place amongst the high-end venues often resides with the country club. In golfing terms, a country club tends to be a private club with a membership quota and admittance either by sponsorship or by invitation.

It may also typically feature other facilities such as tennis courts, swimming pools, and space for dining and entertainment. When it comes to membership cost and price structures, country clubs will generally be among the more high-end venues.

But facilities notwithstanding, it is the standard of golf which makes a venue sought after and even the most exclusive clubs will take care to ensure that they offer quality in the field.

Sometimes a good indication of the value of a golf course is the number of recognized golf tournaments that it has hosted.

About Winged Foot Golf Club

Winged Foot golf club has two golf courses, the East course and the West course. Both of them were designed by course architect A.W.

Tillinghast and between them they have hosted no fewer than six US Opens. a PGA Championship, the US Amateur, the US Women’s open twice, the Walker Cup and the US Senior Open.

As an institution it boasts a long and rich history. Incorporated in 1921, it saw its first round of golf played some two years later.

According to the club website: “On that memorable day, a Sunday morning in June 1923, Charles ‘Nibs’ Nobles, Fred Williamson, Ed Engle and Fran Gabriel teed off on first hole East.”

This select private club is located in Mamaroneck, New York. Many top golfers past and present have been members of Winged Foot Country Club, including Jess Sweetser, the 1922 US Amateur champion, and John Anderson, who has finished as runner-up twice in the same tournament.

Tommy Armour, winner of three major titles, was a member, as was Claude Harmon Sr. – indeed he was head professional – when he won the 1948 Masters.

The club professional between 1939 and 1945 was Craig Harmon, who won the US Open and 1941 Masters. Another of the club pros, Claude Harmon, was the 1948 Masters winner.

A club pro assistant, Jackie Burke Jr., won the Masters in 1956, and Dave Marr was a PGA champion in 1965.

Probably the most famous of all its members is former US president Donald Trump. who joined in 1969.

Only six years after Winged Foot opened for business the West course hosted the club’s first US Open tournament. It has already been selected to stage its seventh in 2028.

Both courses are highly rated. The West has repeatedly ranked inside the Golf Digest top ten golf courses in the United States of America, and Winged Foot is the only golf club anywhere in the world with both courses rating inside the world Top 100. In 2019 Winged Foot Golf Club was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

In golfing parlance, Winged Foot is what is known as a “player’s club”, which means that many of its best trainers went on to become professional players in their own right.

Unlike many golf clubs it does not have a formal tee time, taking the view that play should not be dictated by the clock.

One interesting and perhaps significant statistic is that Winged Foot famously has one of the highest percentages of single-digit handicappers among any golf institution in the US.

For the purpose of USGA championship competitions, Winged Foot West course typically is set up at par 70.

In this configuration the par five ninth becomes one of the longest par fours to be used in major championship golf. The 640 yard par five twelfth hole is the sixth longest anywhere in the sport at major championship level.

But what sets Winged Foot apart from most other clubs is that it isn’t only about the quality of play out on the green.

Indeed it is a private golf club quite unlike any other when it comes to presentation, from its historic stone clubhouse, built in 1929 and still retaining its original style and slate roof, to the sculpted lion named Leo which stands guard under the front patio at the entrance.

The Exclusivity of Winged Foot Golf Club

A Winged Foot golf club membership does not come cheaply.

Membership Costs at Winged Foot

Said to start at around $200,000, there are also annual fees that run to tens of thousands, and in any case membership is by invitation only.

It has been suggested that there is also a ten year waiting list before signing up.

Private golf clubs can of course set their own membership fees according to their own criteria and levels of demand. Of these, the country clubs can often be at the most exclusive end of the range, and some will favor inclusivity by keeping fees and annual dues within the reach of the everyday player.

Beyond that of course there are some excellent public access courses spread liberally around most states.

But Winged Foot golf club is unapologetic in the standards it sets and in the commitment which it demands.

On top of the initiation fee and the annual dues comes the cost of dining and beverages, as well as of private lessons, grille, locker rooms, outings and any social events. A strict dress code is applied, and the use of cell phones is restricted.

What is Special About a Country Club?

A country club is a golf club which is privately owned, sometimes with a limited membership which often is by invitation only.

Amenities at Winged Foot Country Club

Although the focus here is upon golf, often other sports such as tennis and swimming is provided, as well as sometimes spa and gym facilities.

Dining Options

Invariably it will also include dining and bar areas, and will usually operate some kind of dress and behavior codes.

Other Sports and Activities

As the name might suggest, country clubs tend generally to be located in more rural or at least suburban settings, as opposed to the town centers.

Like many things around golf, they originated in Scotland and found their way to the US in the late nineteenth century. Golf clubs located in more urban environments tend more towards the more modest, athletic club model.

Whilst membership of a country club was once a symbol of social class (“the very essence of the American upper-class”, according to Wikipedia), it is now more about pure wealth – which of course is not always the same thing.

Either way, as a rule they would exclude anybody on what most would consider a “normal” income.

The Winged Foot Golf Club is itself an elite, invitation only membership club which provides total hospitality as well of course as access to two golf courses, both of which have pride of place in the world’s Top 100.

Winged Foot’s Iconic Clubhouse

Its famous, iconic clubhouse was created by the renowned architect Clifford Wendehack and it has retained its classic design for nearly a century, making it one of the most attractive and desired of its kind anywhere in the world.

Winged Foot Golf Club Today

At the time of writing Winged Foot Golf Club is enjoying its 100th year, and today it is still one of the most highly rated golf venues in the United States of America and indeed in the world.

In the century that has passed an impressive list of winners from previous major championships has been included amongst its members and its resident club pros.

The History and Prestige of Winged Foot

One of the oldest golf clubs of its kind, it is fortunate enough to be able to offer two world class golf courses for the exclusive use of its members.

So sought after is membership of the club and of its facilities that applicants happily wait for up to ten years for the golf privileges which it bestows.

As a center for golfing excellence Winged Foot stands tall amongst its competitors throughout the region, the country and way beyond.

Major Golf Championships at Winged Foot

It took just six years for Winged Foot to host its first major championship event, and it has been the venue of choice for a great many since – most recently in 2020 when it held its sixth USGA National Championship. And it continues to this day – in 2028 it will stage its seventh US Open.

Unlike many country clubs in the US, the Winged Foot Golf Club has not rushed headlong into modernity where its fabric is concerned, but rather has traded upon the unique beauty and elegance of its totemic clubhouse.

Everywhere one goes is a reminder of the aesthetic qualities of this historic club as well as its functional and timeless golf courses which more than hold their own against most of those introduced more recently at any other country club.

And yet in terms of the facilities it provides, these are every bit as up to date as those on offer elsewhere. Behind the 1923 Wendehack veneer lies a modern golf club much deserving of its most exclusive status.

Phil Andrews
Phil Andrews

Phil Andrews is an English-language article writer and author of the 1970s nostalgia fiction novel The Best Year Of Our Lives. His special interests are current affairs, economics and sport - in particular soccer, boxing and golf.

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