Golf's Most Exclusive Clubs
The courses that figure on our ranking of the world's best are many things: always challenging, often beautiful. But some of them will never be accused of being welcoming. Even to the paying members! These are our picks as the most exclusive clubs in America, places where the world's richest man can spend years waiting for the call, and where even Jack Nicklaus can be turned away.
By Joe Passov
Augusta National Golf Club Augusta, Georgia
The 300 or so members of Augusta National include generations of Southern society folks and corporate titans who are discouraged from using the club too often. Microsoft founder Bill Gates was kept out for years for the sin of stating publicly that he wanted in. He made it, eventually. But will women ever be admitted into a club that is famously independent? "There may well come a day when women will be invited to join our membership," former club chairman Hootie Johnson said in 2003. "But that timetable will be ours, and not at the point of a bayonet."