The Coast News Group
Rancho Santa Fe

New golf club member category gets approval

RANCHO SANTA FE — The Rancho Santa Fe Golf Course got a green light on a new membership category at the Jan. 17 meeting of the Association. 

The board approved the Junior Executive Membership with a limit of 10 memberships on a first-come, first-served basis.

This new category allows a resident to pay installments on the $50,000 enrollment fee until the age of 48, when he or she would become a full member.

“The new category does not directly impact the general membership of the Association and is basically a modification to the method of collecting the established enrollment fee,” said Peter Smith, Association manager.

Smith said at the board’s recent retreat, it approved the category with a limitation of 10 memberships.

“In order for this community to thrive, we must first offer people the incentive to move here versus other communities and once they are here, we must actively reinforce their incentive to stay,” said Craig McAllister, Association director.

Al Castro, the golf club’s general manager, said these new members will be charged the same dues, assessments and other charges as a regular member and will enjoy the same privileges as a regular member.

“It is a way for them to join the club sooner then later,” Castro said.

This new category is aimed at the younger homeowner who maybe moved to the Covenant because of the excellent school and has other financial obligations that would keep him away from the golf club for years.

“Because Association members have made the commitment to buy a home here, we should make the barriers for their participation in the various Association clubs and activities as low as feasibly possible,” McAllister said. “This can be accomplished through membership programs such as the golf club’s Junior Executive Membership program.”

Castro said Association voting members who have not yet reached the age of 48 may apply as a Junior Executive member. The enrollment fee will be divided equally over the years remaining until age 48 but will not be greater than 10 years.

He said for instance, if a member is 35 at the time of the application, they will pay one-tenth of the current enrollment fee in installments.

A member who is 45 at the time of the application will pay one-third of the current enrollment fee.

Golf clubs everywhere are losing members faster than new ones can be signed up, but making it more difficult is that Rancho Santa Fe’s pool of possible members is much smaller because it can only sign up people live within the Covenant.

The optimum number of members at the club is around 700. Over the past few years, the club has lost about 200 members.

“If we are able to do this, the entire Association will benefit not only socially as a community, but financially as well,” McAllister said.