Seminole Golf Club, Juno Beach, Florida: Seminole turned down Jack Nicklaus for membership, so that should tell you something.Ben Hogan used to practice here for 30 straight days every spring to prepare for the Masters. With only about 100 members and a steeplechase worth of hurdles to clear in order to get in, it's no wonder that little has changed there in 100 years.It's not impossible for a visitor to play as a guest, but bring a blazer and be prepared to change clothes and shoes in the car park.
In a 1963 exhibition match Jack Nicklaus became the first man to reach the 565-yard, par-5 15th hole in two, but not many outsiders since have had a chance to duplicate the feat.National Golf Links of America, Southampton, New York: Home to the first collection of "all-star" holes in the United States, courtesy of pioneering architect and club founder C. Macdonald, this museum piece in the ritzy Hamptons is renowned for serving the best lunch in American golf. Wandering amid the windmills, punchbowl greens and views of Peconic Bay is a membership that values its privacy. Architect Tom Doak said, "I cannot deny that on a breezy summer's day, Fishers Island is one of the most idyllic places possible for a round of golf." No doubt the ambience is enhanced by the paucity of players roaming its Seth Raynor-designed fairways.Just take it from a couple of PGA Tour winners who asked to come tee it up after missing the cut at the 1995 U. Nanea Golf Club, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii: The brainchild of financial wizards Charles Schwab and George Roberts, this Hawaiian hideaway is carved from a Big Island mountainside with views of the Pacific on every hole.They drove out 40 members." Hope was himself a member for more than 40 years, but he didn't recall playing there more than a half-dozen times outside of the "Crosby Clambake." He still paid, however.At the end of every year Cypress Point divides its total operating costs evenly among the members, even if they never set foot on the property that year.