Wentworth, its West Course being the original home of the World Matchplay Championship, founded in 1964, and current home to the BMW PGA Championship, has never been a cheap place to play golf. It just got a load more expensive.
The Wentworth Club was bought in September 2014 by the Reignwood Group, a Chinese-owned company, from restaurant entrepreneur, Richard Caring. Before Reignwood rained on the members’ parade, the joining fee was £15,000, with annual dues at £8,000. (BTW, there are two other 18-hole courses, the East and the Edinburgh, as well as a 9-hole executive course.) With effect from April 2017, the annual fee will double to £16,000. Furthermore, in order to retain their playing privileges, existing members will have to pay a fee of £100,000 for a debenture. New members will be required to stump up £125,000 to join. It’s a lot of dosh either way.
The late Bob Hope, himself an avid golfer, once joked of one renowned, ultra-exclusive California golf club: “Cypress Point just had a membership drive. They drove out 200 members.” The members at Wentworth probably aren’t laughing.
Robert Green’s ‘Seve: Golf’s Flawed Genius’ is available on Amazon. You can follow him on Twitter @robrtgreen