A Golfer's Fantasy: The Tour Club
The idea of trumpeting golf as a corporate perk seems as dated as the oversize shirts so many Tour pros (including Tiger Woods) somehow saw fit to wear not that long ago. But even in these chastened economic times, it's hard to ignore the game's effectiveness as a business tool. Which explains the recent announcement of the Tour Club, a fantasy-like club that offers, among other amenities, access to a network of private and resort courses, lodging at luxury golf residences, and VIP access to PGA tournaments and other sporting events.
The Tour Club bills itself as the first national sports entertainment club. Membership is open to families and individuals as well as to businesses, but it's conceived primarily for corporate entertaining. The portfolio of residences--the Tour Club has the same parent company as the destination club Quintess--includes retreats in places such as Pinehurst, N.C.; Bend, Ore. (see Pronghorn, above); and Los Cabos, Mexico. The list of golf clubs consists mainly of Tournament Players Clubs (TPC)--many of them well-regarded, some, like the remodeled TPC Boston, outstanding, all of them high-end.
Gallery: The Tour Club
But it's the promise of unique and exclusive experiences that the Tour Club is selling the most. Such as: Golf tours of Scotland and Ireland hosted by PGA Tour Hall of Famers; visits to the TV control center during live Tour broadcasts; flying to the President's Cup on the team plane.
All of this, of course, comes at a price. Corporate memberships begin at $200,000 for initiation fee and $39,000 in annual dues. For a family, the initiation costs $125,000 and annual dues about $20,000. Individual plans are coming in April.