Country Clubs Need To Change DNA And Allow Jeans
Earlier this spring, I had a lunch date
with a friend at one of the very private, very
tony Palm Beach country clubs. As I waited
for him in the lobby, I witnessed the most
astounding parade I have seen in my life.
Nine out of every 10 people who walked
in the front door at midday had a walker,
a cane, a wheelchair or a portable oxygen
tank. This place, I thought to myself, desperately needs a visit from Al Czervik.
Czervik, no doubt you recall, was the
Rodney Dangerfield character who invaded
the very proper Bushwood Country Club in
one of golf’s all-time great films, “
Cad-dyshack.” Although he had designs on bulldozing the place and building condos, in
the short run he introduced fun and games
to a very staid environment.
I bring this up because of a piece, “
Admitting Jeans to the Club,” that ran in the
May 27 issue of the Wall Street Journal. For
the life of me, I cannot believe that in the
year 2010, we are still having the discussion about whether jeans are appropriate
dress in private clubs.
Let’s face it, the private-club market in
America is under considerable pressure.
Some may stick their head in the sand and
blame recent economic woes, but real-
ists understand that many private country
clubs are really threatened by changes
in society at large having little to do with
admission fees and monthly dues. Simply
stated, many private clubs must drastically
alter their value proposition if they want to
continue to attract members.
paddle tennis courts, adorned in attractive
sweat attire and altering the aroma in the
immediate area. No jeans allowed at this
place, but come on in after a hearty workout and stink up the place.
Six months later in San Diego: A couple
is enjoying dinner, seeking respite from an
extended heat wave. Soon, they are joined
at the table next to them. Fresh off the
course, four sweaty 30-somethings are recounting the 18 holes while swilling gin and
tonics, again altering the aroma. No jeans
allowed, but sweaty golf attire is.
One more: A Dallas couple, both work-
ing professionals, have had one of those
days. Since both work in casual environ-
ments, one is wearing jeans, and neither
wants to cook. They agree to grab a bite
somewhere, but because one is in jeans,
the club is out. So it’s off to a local bistro,
Silly, isn’t it?
Attention Mr. Club Presi-
dent, are you aware that your
wife (and daughters) spend
$100, sometimes $200, $300
or $400 on a fashionable pair
of jeans – and then more on
top of that to accessorize? Did you know
your wife could be seated in those jeans in
any restaurant of the moment in any city in
the world and be thought fashionable? And
that you might be thought well of for being
seated with her?