“If anyone calls, tell them I’m at the Club”, I told my secretary, Felicia, as I left for my tee time.
OK, I said nothing of the sort. I’m not the country club type. At least, I don’t see myself that way. But, I did recently enjoy a round of golf as part of a lovely afternoon at Canterbury Golf Club.
The Beachwood Chamber of Commerce holds two networking lunches each year. One is in March. The other was last month. I was facilitating one of the tables. Jane Clarke, the new Membership and Marketing Director of Canterbury, was at my table.
Canterbury is a long-time and active member of our chamber and a respected member of the Beachwood business community. I have been to the club for chamber lunches and attended the 1996 U.S. Senior Open and last year’s Senior PGA Championship. Canterbury has an incredible course and a recently renovated facility. I told Jane that I was a big fan. I also confessed that I had never played Canterbury.
I received an email from Mrs. Clark the next day. She thanked me for welcoming her to the chamber and for leading the networking at the table. And, she invited me to tour the clubhouse and, if I’d like, to be paired with a member for a round of golf.
The email conversation went something like this:
I’d love to play a round at Canterbury, but I didn’t think a country club had hazing.
It wouldn’t be right to force one of your members to play with me.
We’re not that kind of club, Dave. You just have to like golf. You don’t have to be good at it.
Well, I really do like golf, but I normally shoot around 100 at a good course. I’m sure my score will be higher at Canterbury.
Her solution? She invited me to put together a foursome. Not just me, now it was me and three friends about to experience one of the top 100 golf courses in America.
Putting together a foursome was easy. I invited Karl, a website developer, Barry, an attorney, and Dan who owns a software development company. We arrived early to warm up on the putting green and tour the clubhouse. Jane met us in the pro shop.
I won’t go into the gory details about the golf. We all had a few good shots. I even had a couple of pars. The course was in terrific shape. The layout is challenging, but fair. The greens were fast.
The golf, though fun, was not the best part of the day.
I was surprised by Canterbury’s warm welcome. My friends and I were invited to be a part of Canterbury. There was none of the stuffiness that I had experienced at some of the other clubs in Greater Cleveland. The atmosphere was relaxed and friendly. Several people bragged about the number of families with young children.
After golf we had a drink with Pat Sedlak of the membership committee. It was obvious that he and his family, we met two of his kids, really enjoyed everything the club has to offer. He made sure that Jane had given us membership packets and asked us to consider joining.
I’ve got the membership packet in my office. How much does it cost? I have no idea. I truly enjoyed my day at Canterbury. The course. The caddy. The clubhouse. The attitude. It was great. The issue is me. I can’t see myself as a member of a country club. That may change one day. If I ever change, if I ever become open to the idea of belonging to a country club, I will open the packet. Because if I was going to join a club, it would be Canterbury.