Former President Barack Obama will join the exclusive Columbia Country Club in Chevy Chase, Md., reported to be one of the oldest country clubs in America.
Columbia Country Club is a private, member-owned club, according to its website. Columbia was organized on Sep. 29, 1898, and the location “has earned a tremendous reputation for everything from its championship golf course to its first class dining facilities to an unparalleled social fabric.”
Regarding membership, the site says Columbia’s members are “distinguished, diverse, and colorful,” however, not just anyone can join. The site says it’s a “private club,” which is only “open for membership by invitation.”
On Friday, the Washingtonian reported that Obama is joining the Columbia, the second club he’s joined since leaving office.
“Following careful deliberation, the Board of Governors voted to extend an invitation for Honorary Membership to former President of the United States Barack Obama,” the club’s announcement to members read. “We have received official word from Mr. Obama of his acceptance of our invitation.”
According to a job placement advertisement by the Florida Chapter Club Managers Association of America, “the initiation fee for an Active Full Golf Member is $80,000, with annual dues of $6,300.” It’s unclear if, as an honorary member, the former commander-in-chief will be required to pay the dues, however.
Obama would be the first president to join the exclusive establishment. But according to the club’s Facebook page, there have been other important members. “Through its history, the club has counted among its members two Five Star Generals, Omar Bradley and Hap Arnold, along with countless politicians, journalists, CEOs and lobbyists,” the page informs readers.
Obama has already joined the Robert Trent Jones Golf Club in Gainesville, Va. According to reports, annual membership fees and dues there total around $15,000. Every former president has an honorary membership there, one source says, and their fees are waived.
He was also previously invited to join Woodmont Country Club, a predominantly Jewish country club in the state of Maryland. Due to some controversial stances the former president took regarding Israeli settlements, some of the members expressed disinterest in having him join the club. It is unclear whether Obama accepted that invitation.
In their letter to members, Columbia states that its members are encouraged to welcome the former president.
“The Board looks forward to the addition of Mr. Obama and his family to our wonderful and very special membership,” their letter to members reads, “and encourage[s] everyone to provide them with our traditional and time-honored ‘Warm Columbia Welcome.’”
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