March 7, 2008
The new golf season is about to begin, and Cape Region country clubs are seeking new members.
That’s an old story line, but it’s true again this year.
The one constant in any country club’s existence is an annual membership turnover. With retirements, relocations to other areas, and the normal circle of life effects, it’s not uncommon for a few dozen members to resign at the end of each winter.
For other interested golfers, thankfully, that means they now have increased opportunities to join a local club. Some of these places are a bit circumspect about their openings, while others are more than happy to let folks know about the chance to belong.
Two of the more open Cape Region venues are Shawnee Country Club, near Milford, and Sussex Pines Country Club, near Georgetown. Both also enjoy reputations for challenging layouts and remarkably reasonable carrying costs for their members.
Shawnee CC’s three tee boxes stretch from 5333 yards from the red tees to 6393 yards from the blue tees. Don’t let the relatively short yardage fool you, however. It’s a par 70 for the white and blue tees, and a par 71 from the red boxes, with five par threes to test one’s iron (and fairway wood) skills.
The club features four lighted tennis courts and a large swimming pool, and also sponsors an active youth swim team.
Membership requires a stock purchase of $1,000, payable by installments. There is also a food/beverage minimum of $300 per year for individuals and $600 for family memberships.
The club offers several different membership options. An individual membership is currently set at $2110 per year. Another popular option is the individual full/family social membership, designed for families with one golfer and several tennis/pool enthusiasts, at $2390 per year.
More information about Shawnee CC can be found at the club’s new web site, shawneecountryclubonline.com, or by calling Patricia Marney at 422-9745.
Sussex Pines Country Club is waiving its usual $4,000 initiation fee as part of its current membership drive. The popular mid-county layout is also holding a special event for prospective members on March 15.
Designed by popular mid-Atlantic course designer Ed Ault, the course is a good mix of wooded parkland and open, links-like challenges. A few of the ponds dotting the course will also test golfers’ nerve on their approach shots to the greens.
The club does a nice lunch and dinner business, as one of the few fine-dining options in the county seat. The banquet facilities also enjoy a good local reputation.
The club’s ongoing membership campaign also offers several choices of add-on benefits, depending on when new members join. These can include a driving range pass for 2008, lessons from club pro Tim Mumford, pro shop credits, or a dinner for four in the club’s Pines Room. Those who sign up for a full shareholder membership can also receive a voucher for a second, limited social membership. One-golfer couples might find that option very appealing.
For more information about joining Sussex Pines or the March 15 event, call their office at 856-6283, or go to sussexpinescountryclub.com.
Mixed events a problem?
Last Sunday I joined seven other golfers for a friendly competition. The ball toss put me with Rich Collins, Dave Hermansader, and our team’s best player, Lisa Hutchins. Her husband Jim played in the other foursome.
For our bunch, having a low-handicap golfer like Lisa play with us is just fine. At other courses, however, blending genders is apparently a big deal.
A February 19 New York Times article described a federal lawsuit filed by Elaine Joyce of Cape Cod, Massachusetts. She and her father’s recent attempts to play in a municipal golf course’s weekend tournament were stymied by the club’s refusal to let Ms. Joyce play, despite her amateur champion credentials.
The town will now have to defend its tournament participation policies in the courthouse.
In Lisa’s case, however, all it meant was that paying off her bet at the end of the round kept the money in the family.