10 Most Expensive and Exclusive Country Clubs in the World

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Country clubs are a mainstay in the lives of the world’s wealthiest people. They are privately owned clubs often with a membership quota and admittance by invitation or sponsorship, that generally offers both a variety of recreational sports and facilities for dining and entertaining. Country clubs originated in Scotland, with the advent of golf, and spread to the United States in the late 19th century. As Western culture spread through globalization, elite members of other countries began starting their own country clubs.

Due to the private nature of country clubs, membership fees are not disclosed to the public. This is why this list only contains country clubs with membership fees that have been uncovered through reliable resources. For this reason, some of the world’s more prestigious country clubs have been left off this list.

As of September 2021, the information on this list is as accurate as possible and will be updated as needed.

  1. The Madison Club
  2. Initiation Fee: Est. $200,000
    Location: La Quinta, California, USA
    Annual Fees: Est. $33,000
    Amenities: Access to clubhouse, golf course, wellness center, restaurants, and outdoor events and activities
    The Madison Club
    photo source: The Madison Club

     

    The Madison Club is a private residential country club for homeowners in the La Qunita, California community. The club is home to a Tom Fazio-designed golf course that is the centerpiece of the community and includes a lounge, full-service spa, and complete fitness facility. There are also five private, one-bedroom suites located in the clubhouse. The Madison Club’s clubhouse also has full kitchen, private movie theatre, game room, and main lounge that overlooks the 18th hole of the golf course.

    Did you know?

    Many celebrities are part of The Madison Club, including a member of the Kardashian family.


  3. Cherokee Town and Country Club
  4. Initiation Fee: Est. $200,000
    Location: Atlanta, Georgia
    Annual Fees: Est. $7,500
    Amenities: Access to clubhouse, golf course, tennis courts, and other unknown amenities
    Cherokee Town and Country Club
    photo source: Cherokee Town and Country Club

    Cherokee Town and Country Club is another exclusive private country club located in the American South. The club has two primary locations, the Town Club and the Country Club. There are two world-class golf courses, 16 tennis courts, and three swimming pools. Like other country clubs on this list, Cherokee Town and Country Club’s membership is invite only. While the exact cost of the initiation fee is unknown, its estimated to be about $200,000.

    Did you know?

    Surprisingly, the Art collection of the Cherokee Art Endowment at the Cherokee Town and Country Club is available for public viewing through appointments.


  5. Winged Foot Golf Club
  6. Initiation Fee: Est. over $200,000
    Location: Mamaroneck, New York, USA
    Annual Fees: Unknown
    Amenities: Access to clubhouse; other amenities unknown
    Winged Foot Golf Club
    photo source: Winged Foot Golf Club

    Winged Foot Golf Club is a private golf club located in a suburb just outside of New York City. The club was founded back in 1921 by members The New York Athletic Club, a private social and athletic club. Initiation fees for entry into the Winged Foot Golf Club are estimated to begin at $200,000. Cost of annual dues is not public information.

    Winged Foot is home to two 18-hole golf courses that have been ranked among the best 100 golf courses in America. The West Course is the more famous of the two and it ranked in the Top 10 of the best 100 golf courses in America list.

    Did you know?

    Winged Foot Golf Club’s name and logo are taken from a sculpture in the lobby floor of the New York Athletic Club in Manhattan.


  7. Fisher Island Club
  8. Initiation Fee: Est. $250,000
    Location: Fisher Island, Miami Beach, Florida
    Annual Fees: Est. $20,330
    Amenities: Access to beach club and pool, spa and wellness center, private marina, private beach, golf course, Vanderbilt Theater, aviary, and observatory
    Fisher Island Club
    photo source: Fisher Island Club

    Located on the edge of Miami Beach, Fisher Island Club is the most exclusive country club in South Florida. Like many of the other country clubs on this list, membership into Fisher Island Club is only open to those who have property on Fisher Island. The cost of membership is about $250,000 with annual dues of $20,330.

    Since its located in a tropical area, Fisher Island Club members have access to a private beach, as well as a pool complex, a private marina for their yachts, and a spa and wellness center. The island is also home to a theater, aviary, observatory, and golf course.

    Did you know?

    Although Fisher Island is named for its original owner Carl Fisher, the island and club did not become what it is today until Fisher traded 7 acres of land with William K. Vanderbilt II for Vanderbilt’s 265-foot yacht the “Eagle.”


  9. The Yellowstone Club
  10. Initiation Fee: Est. $300,000
    Location: Big Sky, Montana, USA
    Annual Fees: Est. $36,000
    Amenities: Access to golf course, seasonal activities, private ski slopes, restaurants, and wellness center
    The Yellowstone Club
    photo source: The Yellowstone Club Gallery

    The Yellowstone Club is the world’s only private golf and ski country club/community. The club’s home is Big Sky, Montana, which is a renowned ski destination. In fact, the Yellowstone Club’s resort and private ski runs are right next to Big Sky Resort. The two resorts even share a ski lift system. Besides skiing, in the warmer months, Yellowstone Club members can enjoy an 18-hole golf course designed by Tom Weiskopf, that overlooks the Rocky Mountains.

    Membership into the Yellowstone Club is only open to residents of the Yellowstone Club community. Initiation fee is estimated to be about $300,000 with $36,000 annual dues.

    Did you know?

    In late 2008, during the Great Recession, the Yellowstone Club filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, but the club and its owners have recovered since then.


  11. The Vintage Club
  12. Initiation Fee: Est. $300,000
    Location: Indian Wells, California, USA
    Annual Fees: Est. $28,000
    Amenities: Access to clubhouse, golf course, tennis courts, spa and wellness center, and restaurants
    The Vintage Club
    photo source: Palm Springs Life

     

    Although The Vintage Club isn’t the most expensive country club on this list, it is perhaps the most exclusive. The Vintage Club is only open to residents of the heavily secure and gated private community, which is located in Indian Wells, California. The community boasts sprawling multi-million dollar estates, an 85,000-square-foot clubhouse, restaurants, boutiques, and an 18,000 square foot spa and wellness center. The Vintage Club is also home to 11 championship tennis courts, as well as two beautiful award-winning 18-hole golf courses designed by Tom Fazio. The golf courses are named The Mountain and The Desert.

    Did you know?

    According to several sources, since 1999, Bill Gates has been the most high profile member and estate owner of The Vintage Club.


  13. Trump National Golf Club Bedminster
  14. Initiation Fee: Est. $350,000
    Location: Bedminster, New Jersey, USA
    Annual Fees: Unknown
    Amenities: Full access to club facilities for member, member’s spouse and dependent children
    Trump National Golf Club Bedminster
    photo source: Wikimedia Commons

    As we all know, former President Donald Trump loves to play golf, so it’s only natural for The Trump Organization to own and operate golf clubs/courses around the world. Trump National Golf Club Bedminster has the most expensive initiation fee out of all of Trump’s clubs, at about $350,000. Membership includes access to the 36-hole golf course, 16-acre golf practice facility, indoor golf learning center, dining, pool complex, Har-Tru tennis courts, heated paddle courts, state-of-the-art-fitness center, overnight accommodations, helipad, member golf tournaments, social events, junior programs, club storage and full lockers.

    Did you know?

    In 2014, the PGA of America selected Trump National Golf Club Bedminster to host the 2022 Men’s PGA Championship. However, this decision was reversed in January 2021, following the storming of the United States Capitol on January 6th, because hosting the tournament there would be “detrimental to the PGA of America brand.”


  15. Augusta National Golf Club
  16. Initiation Fee: Est. $250,000 to $500,000
    Location: Augusta, Georgia, USA
    Annual Fees: Est. $30,000
    Amenities: Access to clubhouse, complimentary snack and restaurant options, access to Berckmans Place
    Augusta National Golf Club
    photo source: Wikimedia Commons

    Membership into the Augusta National Golf Club is probably one of the most coveted things amongst the richest people in the world. The Augusta National Golf Club is best known for hosting the annual Masters Tournament, a tradition that started in 1934. At any given time, there are only 300 members in the Augusta National Golf Club and membership is strictly invitation only. While no one knows for sure how much initiation fees are, estimates range between $250,000 to $500,000 (according to Forbes).

    Although Augusta National Golf Club does not personally publish its list of members, some notable current members include Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, Jack Nicklaus, and Peyton Manning.

    Did you know?

    Prior to 2012, Augusta National Golf Club did not allow women membership into the club. However, that year, former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and American inventor and philanthropist Darla Moore, became the first women admitted to the club.


  17. Liberty National Golf Club
  18. Initiation Fee: Est. $450,000 to $500,000
    Location: Jersey City, New Jersey, USA
    Annual Fees: Est. $25,000
    Amenities: Access to clubhouse, access to Liberty National boat, spa services, reservations, transportation services (including helicopters)
    Liberty National Golf Club
    photo source: Wikimedia Commons

     

    Liberty National Golf Club is a country club located in Jersey City, New Jersey. The club has some of the highest known initiation fees in the U.S., boasting a price tag of $450,000 to $500,000. The club is relatively young, compared to some of the others on this list, and only dates back to 2006. The former chief executive of Reebok, Paul Fireman and his son Dan, are the co-founders of Liberty National Golf Club.

    Initially, Liberty National Golf Club and its course received a lukewarm reception, but Paul Fireman footed the bill for massive renovations. Liberty National Golf Club is now one of the most luxurious country clubs in the U.S. and its amenities include a spa, yacht services, and an on-site helipad.

    Did you know?

    The Liberty National Golf Club cost over $250 million to build, making it one of the most expensive golf courses in history.


  19. Shanqin Bay Golf Club
  20. Initiation Fee: Est. up to $1 Million
    Location: Longgun Town, Wanning Shi, China
    Annual Fees: Unknown
    Amenities: Access to golf courses, clubhouse, bars and restaurants
    Shanqin Bay Golf Club
    photo source: golfproperty.com

    Shanqin Bay Golf Club is the most expensive and most exclusive country club in the world, with an estimated initiation fee of up to $1 million. This prestigious country club is so exclusive that it only has 20 members and pretty much everything about the club is kept private. In order to even apply to be a member of the Shanqin Bay Golf Club, you need a recommendation from at least one current member of the club as well as a personal invitation from the Executive Committee of Shanqin Bay.

    The golf course at Shanqin Bay Golf Club was designed and built by famed golf course architect Bill Coore, who was hired by former CITIC Gropu Chairman Wang Jun.

    Did you know?

    Shanqin Bay Golf Club was built on the site of a former radar station on a cliff overlooking the South China Sea.

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