Platinum Clubs of America (Platinum) posted the top 125 Country Clubs 2014 Rankings. Congratulations to the country clubs honored as the top 4% of all Country Clubs in America - an amazing achievement. However, the actual ranking criteria within has been changed by Platinum is questionable for several reasons.
- Two categories merged: residential country club and non-resident country club which has made the entire number cumbersome and unequal. How do you compare clubs with homes, homeowner associations, school buses and architectural review boards with those that solely the amenities?
- The new "Universal Recognition" criteria negatively impacts residential country club's privacy for residents. Security is critical in the residential communities of "... the strata of American society that frequent private clubs." The phrase, PRIVATE CLUBS implies that members expect a higher level of privacy, secrecy (for want of a better word), and exclusivity.
- How valid are the rankings this year when the clubs with General Managers on the Platinum Clubs' Advisory Board are all top ten?
I live in St. Andrews Country Club as my readers and social media followers know. My postings clearly show my conviction that it's #1 and yet what a "secret" St. Andrews Country Club is! I wish I'd raised my family here but I didn't know about it. Ah-ha, that's the issue with rating "private clubs." That exclusivity factor which is a desired quality in a premier country club is what makes rankings like PCofA passe when voting criteria punishes "exclusivity and privacy."
Many country clubs on PCofA's list are far from exclusive and really far from the upper "... strata of American society that frequent private clubs." So, has it solely become a popularity contest?
Consider these points before you answer: Many country clubs in the list rent out their Club to non-members for weddings and events; others have golf outings or tennis events that close the Club to members for days at a time; and there's the Clubs that allow non-residents to become members. Clubs of the caliber of St. Andrews Country Club would never allow their members' privacy, security and pleasure to be compromised in such a way. St. Andrews Country Club and others (on and off the list) have no tee-time required for their members, no necessity to reserve a tennis court and members are known by name by every employee. C'mon, you know that's the coolest part - never having to carry a membership ID -- every member is treated as a celebrity, as a ruler of their own domain, and without the need to wait for reservations, tee times and ID validation. It's the most exclusive, highest level of Clubs that are penalized by organizations that rate Clubs based on "Universal Recognition."
As I explored the voting further, I learned the organization that rates the Private Clubs is the same one selling consulting services to the Club so that they can achieve a higher rating the following year. I confess, I'm a bit suspect when an organization has such an agenda. I'm a real estate professional; I'm judged by my product and I'm proud of that. I am a bit suspect of many of the real estate post cards and emails I receive which brag about how many houses they sold, when they leave out how many they listed. If you had 45 listings and only sold 15, you should admit that and not just give half of the equation. So, I don't put a whole lot of credibility into the rankings. That said,
The Country Clubs named as Platinum Clubs of America should be proud. The requirements to be considered are steep and to achieve recognition for excellence is always splendid. So, my congratulations to the following local country clubs.
- Boca West
- Addison Reserve
- Frenchman's Creek
- Jupiter Island Club
- The Country Club at Mirasol
- Club at Admiral's Cove
- Broken Sound
- St. Andrews Country Club
- The Polo Club
- Woodfield Country Club
A standing ovation to St. Andrews Country Club for its constant inclusion in this elite group and which has maintained its exclusive private club essence. The Management, Board of Governors and Members of each of these premier Platinum Clubs are to be commended for their commitment to excellence above and beyond the ordinary.
To the members of each Club awarded the Platinum Club of America status, enjoy your club -- it's obviously something very special! To those who want to live in a Platinum Club of America, I'd be happy to provide you with online access to homes available for sale in each of these communities and/or show you the homes in real life.
If anyone wants the complete list of Platinum Clubs of America Five Star Clubs of Excellence for 2014 or the published criteria used in the voting, just let me know and I'm happy to forward it! However, you may not universally recognize many of them.
contributed by Kathy Fineman
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