Look at the left side of this blog. You will notice 22 courses in North America that C+C have designed (not counting their renovation work, individual designs, etc.) and a full 11 of which are private. Private golf courses in the United States are almost NEVER opened to the hoi polloi and only if you scrounge a friendship, a business connection or go to a charity event do the rest of us get to peer inside the gate.
Many people have lifted the curtain on courses in print and on the web but very few people tell you HOW they got onto these tracks. I have started the process with my own Cypress Point Quest but John Sabino has really upped the ante with his recently released book "How To Play The World's Most Exclusive Golf Clubs" and boy does he take you all over the world and how to get into these places.
This "how to" knowledge is key when accessing C+C courses like Sand Hills (pictured above). John breaks down throughout the book how he got invites to courses, tips and tricks including fascinating 21st century tricks that even for me as an old hand of the Twitterverse made me perk up my ears.
What all these techniques come down to are establishing personal connections but John offers novel ways to make them happen. The real problem when undertaking a quest like this is geography. The private courses are spread from Tahoe to New Jersey, from Georgia to New York. I am based in California and while I come from the East Coast, I have limited contacts in most places and clearly I need to up my networking game by connecting with people in the same geographic locale as the courses.
So what have I been doing so far? I have written letters, I have made connections through Twitter and I am keeping my ears open at the private clubs I am lucky enough to play to see if there are multiple members. Whether this gets me to 22 or not remains to be seen but I bet I will take a healthy chunk out of the list in the next few years.
John's book will put on the right track to making those connections and I highly recommend you checking it out!
Check out John's review of some C+C courses:
Sand Hills: http://top100golf.blogspot.com/2006/07/sand-hills-golf-club.html
Friar's Head: http://top100golf.blogspot.com/2008/01/friars-head.html
Want to buy John's book? Check it out here: http://www.amazon.com/Play-World%C2%92s-Most-Exclusive-Clubs/dp/1634507991/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1463454977&sr=8-1&keywords=john+sabino+golf
All pictures are taken from Mr. Sabino's book are for review and commentary purposes only. All copyrights in such work belong to him. Check out his book and blog for some great golf reading!