Sebonack Membership Story

8.jpgThanks to reader Tuco for the heads up on this Michael Buteau story about Sebonack's affordable membership pricing.

Sebonack Golf Club, which opened for limited play last weekend in Southampton, New York, costs what might be a world- highest $650,000 for a membership that ensures accommodations at one of 15 four-bedroom ``cottages'' being built around the course. It's $500,000 just for golf.

The new club sits between 95-year-old National Golf Links of America and four-time U.S. Open host Shinnecock Hills Golf Club at the eastern end of Long Island. Other neighbors include Atlantic Golf Club and the Bridge, both in Bridgehampton. Membership in those clubs -- by invitation only -- tops out at $575,000.

``The numbers are all amazing, but you're dealing with the Hamptons here,'' said Phyllis Dixon, a broker with Prudential Douglas Elliman, which lists about 2,500 properties in the area. ``I guess that's the going rate.''

The initiation fee at Sebonack doesn't include the $12,000 annual dues, or items such as tips for caddies. Like most clubs, members can play as much as they like for that price. They will have access to a yet-to-be-built 28,000-square-foot clubhouse and a 19th hole with a green rather than barstools; it's a par-3 constructed especially to break ties and settle wagers.


Sebonack has 10 founding members who paid $1.5 million each to join. Among them are Stanley Druckenmiller, chairman of Duquesne Capital Management LLC; Richard Santulli, chief executive of Woodbridge, New Jersey-based NetJets Inc.; Paul Desmarais Jr., chairman of Power Corp. of Canada; and Johann Rupert, chief executive of Geneva-based Cie. Financiere Richemont, the world's second-largest luxury-goods company.

The 7,286-yard course, similar in length to a PGA Tour event, was carved into the dunes along the Great Peconic Bay. It once was ``Bayberry Land,'' the summer estate of Charles H. Sabin, a former president of Guaranty Trust Co. of New York.

Most recently, the property was owned by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Union Local No. 3, who used the old Sabin mansion as a convalescent home for its members.

The club will cost about $120 million to build, including $46 million for the 314-acre site, Pascucci said.


The pairing of Doak, who lets the contours of the land dictate his designs, and Nicklaus, who builds manicured courses to challenge the best golfers, brought together two opposing philosophies. Pascucci was able to get them to put aside their differences: Doak once criticized a Nicklaus design with man-made waterfalls as "client overkill.''

"It was insurance that we wouldn't have any bad holes,'' Pascucci said.


Pascucci said he's drawing people from around the world, and prefers serious golfers over jet-setters.

"Our type of members love golf, respect the game and are low-maintenance, non-glitzy type of people,'' he said. "It's not a valet-parking type of place.''