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Valley Club Membership
updated: Jan 24, 2013, 6:03 PM

By Edhat Subscriber

I'm Jewish and an avid golfer. I've played the Valley Club as a guest and it's a great course.

I've always heard that the Valley Club did not have any jewish members. I wonder if anyone can confirm this. I didn't want to be rude to my host and ask directly though perhaps I should've.

I know membership there is very exclusive regardless of background and perhaps it is just a numbers game and not many Jews have applied in the first place. Or is there an unstated policy.

I'm not calling for slander or speculation but if anyone has real world information I'd appreciate it. And no, it isn't to muckrake. If they are anti-Semitic then I wouldn't want to be a part of it to begin with. I just wanted to give them a fair shake.

Comments in order of when they were received | (reverse order)

 COMMENT 367141P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-24 06:07 PM

Let's hope this isn't true, especially in 2013.


 COMMENT 367142P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-24 06:12 PM

Not true. BTW one doesn't apply, one is asked.


 COMMENT 367143 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-24 06:12 PM

Well if you want fair, you've come to the right place.


 SBROCKS agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-24 06:23 PM

The Mesa would not sell to blacks when the trac homes were built. There are a lot of old outdated rules on the books. Go apply and have fun. They will not ask you if you are Jewish.


 COMMENT 367152 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-24 06:32 PM

Rich people playing golf not advised...


 COMMENT 367155 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-24 06:41 PM

We have several members who are Jewish.

You do not 'apply' for membership at VC....you are invited.


 COMMENT 367161 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-24 07:01 PM

Well there sir, you will have 'to be invited' and as they have 'several Jewish members' - how modern of them. Why bother with all this snobbish over-priced nonsense when we have so many lovely public courses? Don't fall prey to 'only want to the join clubs that won't have you' phenomenon.


 COMMENT 367164 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-24 07:03 PM

I have always heard that Valley Club does not have members who are poor. I know for a fact that there are no poor people who own cars that race on the Formula I circuit or race yachts in The America's Cup. Being jealous of those with dough won't make you happier. It's free to walk on the beaches around here. Just sayin' -


 COMMENT 367170 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-24 07:30 PM

I know the "joining fee" for many of these elite clubs is in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. What is it for VC and La Cumbre? I thought I heard (could be wrong!) it was $300k for LC. (never mind the "invite")


 COMMENT 367177 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-24 07:39 PM

A "few" Jewish members? How many blacks? Latinos?


 COMMENT 367182 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-24 07:47 PM

7177... you misquoted. It's not a "few" but "several".


 COMMENT 367186P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-24 07:54 PM

How many women? (Two?)


 COMMENT 367189 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-24 08:20 PM

can of worms


 COMMENT 367192P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-24 08:44 PM

Valley Club and La Cumbre both cost around $100k to join. Both have incredible golf courses. La Cumbre is a true country club offering tennis, pools, a fitness center and several dining options. Valley Club is strictly a golf club full of slow playing old men.


 COMMENT 367203P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-24 09:18 PM

That long ago used to be the (unstated) policy according to my late mother-in-law who was a member. It's long since been changed.


 COMMENT 367225P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-25 02:26 AM

Restrictive general housing covenants were made illegal in 1948 and private covenants in the 1968 civil rights act. Private clubs no longer have such restrictions overtly, but they can still be restrictive just by who they invite and make welcome. People don't need to ask if you are Jewish, they can figure it out in all kinds of ways, if that's what they care about. I'm a Jew with and English name, and I know how those people go about it. Has anyone see the old movie about this, Gentleman's Agreement? Very funny Rex.


 COMMENT 367227P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-25 05:12 AM

I think the crowd at Valley Club would be far more worried you were nouveau riche from LA, or under 60 than if you are one of the chosen people. Unfortunately you still have to be chosen by them to get a invite to join, La Cumbre did in the past not allow there to be Jewish members but thankfully they moved past that. VC's course is superior to La Cumbres if its the golf you crave.


 COMMENT 367231 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-25 06:43 AM

Why would anyone care if someone was Jewish? No, I don't expect an answer, I just never got that. I understood the development of other prejudices, but not Jewish. I'm not Jewish and grew up thinking it was just another religion. Regardless, in this day and age, there are not written policies and generally not unwritten ones either, it's just who is liked by the group at large.


 COMMENT 367232 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-25 06:48 AM

In the 70's I was invited to lunch with a friend at the La Cumbre Country Club. The fashion in Europe that year was "Denim". It was everywhere. I am British and had just been visiting my home. In London women were wearing pearls and diamonds and fur trimmed denim to the theatre, and the runways were competing heavily for this material!

I entered the club with my friend, dressed in my denim skirt and a crisp white shirt.

The head waiter came up and said, " I am sorry, denim is not worn at this establishment". We left. I was red faced, totally embarrassed and almost in tears. I decided then that SB must be a backwoods pretentious town.

I wonder what the club rules are now?


 COMMENT 367233 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-25 06:52 AM

Growing up in the neighborhood of Ramaro Cyn. the word was it cost lots of money to join and all the costs of running the place were divided up evenlly between the membership plus an extra % to to run it for the next year. Triple net. The other rumor was Bob Hope was a member, but hardly ever played there. True or False?
I also used to hunt for golf balls in the creek in the summer after the place closed for the evening. I could fill up an egg carton every time. I wonder why? :-)


 COMMENT 367235 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-25 06:55 AM

Some people hate and/or distrust Jews. They don't really know why. And they don't come right out and admit it, because in today's world you would get vilified. Same thing for gays and blacks. Anyone who thinks that racism, homophobia, and anti-Semitism has significantly decreased over the past 50 years is living in a dream land. What has significantly decreased is the number of people willing to admit their feelings openly.

If you are ever asked to join the Valley Club, and you are gay, black, and/or Jewish, you had better believe that that will be held against you.


 COMMENT 367240P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-25 07:10 AM

If you desire personal access to rich, successful people then the cost of admission is whatever it is. Whether its worth it to you, or yor business; or not, is an age old question. The dues can be tax deductible if you have a good accountant...and btw, there are some of those at the VC who will tell you how to do it over 18 holes. :)


 COMMENT 367243 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-25 07:18 AM

At La Cumbre CC members are allowed to sell their memberships. My father sold his full membership (golf) about 8 years ago for $225,000. I'm not sure what they are getting today. And we were never allowed in the dining room wearing denim.


 ARCHIE agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-25 07:51 AM

OP, congrats on asking a question most keep below the radar.


 COMMENT 367259 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-25 08:18 AM

In the 1960`s, no Chumash were allowed past Haley st. going West. Alot of the men would dress like "Pachuco`s" [my Dad included] so they could cruise State st. up to the Blue Onion..where he met my Mom....awwww...[Makes me want a Frimple`s cinn. roll!]


 COMMENT 367268P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-25 08:33 AM

Since we're on the subject, my Lear jet really needs some new leather seats, can anyone suggest a reasonably priced Lear Jet leather upholsterer?


 CORKY agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-25 08:40 AM

Years ago, Catholics called Jews Jesus killers, so there was a lot of prejudice on that score, but it's not the policy anymore I'm pretty sure.


 COMMENT 367277 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-25 08:46 AM

My brother used to pick up balls at the Valley Club. I think he may have caddied a bit too.


 MTNDRIVER agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-25 10:28 AM

Hello? Anyone really interested in becoming a member of the Valley Club would not be asking about it on Edhat! I'm sure the OP was just looking to stir up some hornets, which is pretty easy to do around here lately.


 COMMENT 367355P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-25 10:59 AM

235, I think racism, homophobia and anti-semitism has significantly decreased over the years Those isms are now against the law for any public (and most private) gatherings and that is very significant. Who knows about peoples' deeper feelings! I like to think that those growing up now with integrated classes and so forth are much, much less anti-anything.


 COMMENT 367366 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-25 11:10 AM

232 - Many golf establishments do not allow denim. Has been that way for decades and is still that way, not just at private clubs like La Cumbre, but also public courses like Sanpiper and Rancho San Marcos.

I like how many golf courses require their players to have some level of decorum. I would not consider the fashion industry, which changes what is popular on a yearly basis, to be a good example of what to wear at a golf course.

Some restaurants still require men to wear ties, would you consider that to be the town to be a backwater?


 SBROCKS agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-25 12:42 PM

Talk of the Town required ties and ladies in dresses. Coral Casino, no beach wear entering the front door. Threre are many many (what I call old money) rules that made SB. Beverly Jackson once said "SB was runied the day white jaguars came to town." The Valley Club is old money.


 FLICKA agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-25 04:17 PM

I imagine perhaps the OP asked the question out of curiosity; the person doesn't need to be pounded for doing so; I guess being nasty inflates some peoples' egos. I find the information here about golf clubs and their membership fees interesting. In the 1950s I had friends whose parents were members of the Valley Club and went to debutant parties and lunches there. Beautiful place, I don't imagine there is another golf course in SB County as nice. Birnam Wood was built for the people who couldn't get into the Valley Club.


 COMMENT 367538P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-25 07:13 PM

How many Jews are homeowners in Hope Ranch in 2013?


 COMMENT 367539 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-25 07:17 PM

I believe the Montecito Country Club just recently started allowing denim in the restaurant. At least for lunch.


 COMMENT 367585P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-25 11:59 PM

OP here. I'm very appreciative of the feedback. I may have written my question unclearly but I wasn't actually expecting to join VC. I simply meant I wouldn't want to join figuratively speaking, were I to learn they had an implicit policy.

I was happy to learn that there apparently is no policy from a couple of comments. I'm satisfied with that and will take it at face value. I also know that VC invites members as opposed to accepting applications.

Again, I wasn't trying to stir the pot, just see if anyone in the edhat realm knew the skinny. I'm glad I asked.

Since it seems we have some non-golfers who are curious about golf or think it's snobby, please let me vouch for it for a moment. Golf is a fantastic game! It isn't just a rich man's sport. Those of us who love the game, can gave a great time playing at Muni or Twin Lakes, Ocean Meadows or Hidden Oaks, all which cost less than seeing a bad movie and have the added merits of letting one burn some calories, and spend time with one's friends/children/grandchildren. Golf in SB is particularly enjoyable in any season. I encourage anyone who is curious to give it a try one of these days. Our public courses are stellar.

As for the private courses. A private course is a luxury and the luxury is being able to venture out and play without booking a time, paying up front, and at the same time allows a player with kids to have all kids under 20 play "free" with him/her. There is an up front expense for sure. But for the price of a sportscar, one can instead join a club, meet a whole group of avid golfers, work on the game, teach it to one's kids and of course have plenty of friends as guests!

Just about every private club has an accommodating policy for younger folks in their 20s-40s to be junior to associate members. This allows them to afford a monthly dues rate without the buy in. I'm sure golf has benefits in business- it certainly has impressed me to see how kids who learn to golf are so much more at ease with adults- can look them in the eye and shake hands and communicate. Those traits, along with working on one's game are great for young people.


 COMMENT 367587P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-26 12:48 AM

Being an old timer I recall the day I saw a sign on the reception desk of the Biltmore which read no Jews. Hope Ranch also had it right in their deeds . Times have changed. The Elks Club in Goleta I believe still has a rule where any one member can Black Ball you and I believe that survived a court fight. My brother said that segregation in the Navy was accomplished only after Naval Rules indicated that all members must and had to become integrated. The few blacks that forced integration in the south are very disappointed that it did not have the results they had expected. I go back to the Navy forcing integration in order to make it happen. Also many government officials forced integration so they would not be embarrassed by belonging to an organization which practiced segregation. You can be a segregationist and not be phobic. I think we should continue to debate the subject to arrive at a fair workable policy. Many of Hope Ranches members are Jewish today. One of them complained about a cross appearing every Christmas so the Board added two more 2X4's and made it a cross of David. Now hopefully everyone is happy. I like the attitude of the originator of this discussion. Why belong to any organization that doesn't like you.


 COMMENT 367919P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-26 10:09 PM

240p- country club dues are tax deductable? seriously?? why? 1%


 COMMENT 368165P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-28 01:43 AM

919p- memberships not tax deductible for a couple of decades at least, but as with any entertainment from rock concerts to lunch, a round of golf most likely is deductible if the e terrain net is business related.

As for the 1% part, golf employs tons of middle and lower economic class folks and more notably golf raises more for charities thn the nfl, nba and MLB *combined* even though those other sports are far higher grossing.


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