New Era: The changing face of member-only clubs

New Era: The changing face of member-only clubs.

Golf is still an important offering for many clubs, but it’s only one piece of the membership puzzle. With very few exceptions, modern-day private clubs determined to proper have had to adapt to interest and expectations of a broader demographic who will, ultimately, decide if the establishment remains viable.

For decades after Marin Country Club opened in 1957, its image was clouded by a perception among nonmembers that it was a good-old-boys’ place reserved for an elite clientele. Originally, the club was conceived with the intent of creating a residential neighborhood surrounding a championship golf course, a plan that succeeded for similar organizations during the past half-century as grazing land was converted for recreational uses. But that part of the plan was never carried out. Meanwhile, outmoded aspects like handpicked exclusivity to secure a wealthy staid, typically male membership fell by the wayside, opening the door to a more varied and family-friendly clientele. With amenities that include an 18-hole championship golf course, tennis courts, swimming pools, fitness area, kids’ camps and eclectic cuisine, Marin Country Club (MCC) has developed into a notably inclusive place that couples and multigenerational families can enjoy in a sunny pocket of Ignacio Valley.

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