How Much Does a Country Club Membership Cost?


Written by:  Howmuchisit.org Staff
Last Updated:  August 8, 2018

A country club is a private club that has certain restrictions for those who want to sign up for the club.  Located in multiple cities throughout the world, these clubs can offer anything from golf to swimming, dining and social activities.

Ashdown Park Hotel and Country Club, Eas by Su--May, on Flickr
Ashdown Park Hotel and Country Club, Eas” (CC BY 2.0) by Su–May

How much does a country club membership cost?

Overall, the fees for a country club are going to be all over the place.  Some can as little as $500 to join, while your premium country clubs can demand $500,000 or even more.  The average price, however, will normally be in the $500 to $20,000 range to just join.  This won’t include the monthly fees, which, again, depending on the club, can range anywhere from $50 to more than $1,000 per month.  We have a whole section on our website that talks about the costs at many country clubs in the United States.

Many clubs will charge based on the age of the person applying for membership.  Usually, the older you are, the more you may have to pay.  This is not always the case, though.

An article published on Hollywoodreporter.com talked about the Los Angeles’ top country clubs and reveals the figures and how tight acceptance is in these clubs with ultra-exclusivity, even with the right connections.  For instance, the Riviera Country Club tops the list with its initiation fee pegged at $250,000, while the Hillcrest Country Club requires $185,000.  The Sherwood Country Club’s initiation fee is $160,000, the Brentwood Country Club’s fee is $180,000, the Bel-Air Country Club initiation fee is $150,000, the El Caballero Country Club, the cheapest on the list had an initiation fee of $45,000.

According to Askmen.com, initiation fees for a membership at the Sherwood Country Club begins at $200,000, whereas the Bighorn Golf Club asks $325,000 for a dual membership fee.  The Augusta National Golf Club’s fee is anywhere from $250,000 to $500,000.  Keep in mind that these are going to be the higher-end clubs that cost a lot more than the typical country club up the road.

Golf Digest says many elite clubs can command $250,000 to $500,000 in initiation fees alone.  As for the annual cost, a survey they performed stated it was $6,245, which is about $520 per month.

What is going to be included in a membership?

All country clubs will vary with their inclusions.  Some membership fees are only going to include the golf, while other fees will include the fitness center, pool, clubhouse festivities and more.

There are two types of clubs available:  a non-equity and equity club.  An equity club means, as a member, you will be able to hold a share and can vote.  Upon leaving, you can either sell your shares or cash it in.  A non-equity club, on the other hand, is similar to renting.  You won’t own anything and strictly allowed to use the club.

What are the extra costs?

Most upper scale country clubs require monthly food minimums.  At most, this will be $50 to $100 per month.

Some country clubs also bill for equipment storage and cart rentals.

Golf fees may apply, especially if you’re bringing a guest.  This can often be about $100 per person.

Some residential country clubs require a home purchase.  These country clubs are usually located in a neighborhood, and you must live in the neighborhood to be a part of the country club.

Aside from golf, some may charge for other activities such as playing tennis, working out in the gym or swimming in the pool.  Most country clubs will have memberships that cater to just about everyone applying.  Some memberships will be for golf only, whereas another membership may be for those who only want to play tennis.  Usually, the most expensive membership, will include all of the amenities.

Corporate fees can be more than the individual fees.  If you would like all of the employees at your business to be able to enjoy the luxuries of a country club, it will cost you a lot of money.

Some hidden fees should be known about, such as an assessment fee.  This assessment fee can often be charged if the club is running low on funds or need the capital to perform a large job on site, such as a locker room remodel.  It’s not uncommon to see one-time assessment fees in the $5,000 range.

Tips to know:

Recommendation or sponsorship is the only way in for ultra-exclusive country clubs.

Country clubs do not always have openings, even if you have the money.  Therefore, if you have your eye on a specific country club, be sure to check ahead of time before getting excited about joining one.  You should call a while in advance and put your name on the waiting list.

Almost all clubs will have restrictions, so be sure to inquire about any of these before joining.  For example, some clubs may limitations for guests, whereas other clubs may ban children from certain areas.

How can I save money?

Some clubs do offer programs such as the young executive programs for those who are younger than a certain age.  Be sure to ask about discounts if considering a country club.

Like anything, call a few country clubs in your area that allow public memberships.  Be sure to take a tour in person and ask a lot of questions before signing for your membership to make sure it fits your needs.  Some clubs, when you sign up, may require you commit for at least one year.

Country clubs, depending on the economic conditions, often lower fees or offer promotions.  Be sure to talk with the membership department to see if there are any promotions you can take advantage of.


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