The Eden Club, the international private club and home of the Finest Golf Clubs of the World association, will open one hundred memberships on the first of September. The "Seven Membership" offers the same privileges as a normal affiliate—unlimited golf on the links courses at St. Andrews, lodging at the Eden Club's accommodations beside the Old Course Road Hole as well as use of the international secretariat service to arrange tee times at some of the world's most revered layouts. In addition, these new memberships (with a $49,000 initiation fee and annual dues of $4,200) include seven complimentary rounds and seven nights lodging every year at clubs such as the private Riviera Country Club in California and the Gary Player Country Club in South Africa. Call 011-44-207-855-5130 for more information.
In anticipation of the 2005 U.S. Amateur, Merion Golf Club has brought in architect Tom Fazio to renovate the Hugh Wilson-designed East course. With the tournament next August, Merion—already a five-time host—will have held the most U.S. Amateurs in the country. The idea behind this year's renovation was to restore the course to the original 1912 layout. Using the earliest photographs of the course available, Fazio, who also did the most recent overhaul of Augusta National and the lengthening of Winged Foot West, has focused on major bunker restoration and removal. New tee boxes on ten holes have added about 500 yards, bringing the total yardage to just under 7,000. Merion promises its efforts will allow next year's players to "compete on nearly the same course as the champions of old." . . . The annual American Film Institute Golf Classic will take place September 20 at Riviera Country Club in California. The star-studded tournament promises to impress the gallery with Clint Eastwood, Dennis Hopper, James Woods and Jack Nicholson, among others, scheduled to appear on the historic George C. Thomas layout. Foursomes are available for $15,000; contact Steve DiMarco at Golf on Earth Event Services at 818-594-7277.
The St. Regis Aspen hotel at the foot of Colorado's Aspen mountain has begun a reciprocal program with the private Club at Ironbridge, a forty-five-minute drive away. Guests of the hotel will be able to play the 7,224-yard Arthur Hills course, with its signature alpine holes that play up a mountainside, over nineteen bridges and through three tunnels. Members at Ironbridge will be offered reduced slopeside room rates year-round at the St. Regis. For more information, contact the St. Regis Aspen at 888-454-9005 or the Club at Ironbridge at 970-384-0630.
In 1962, the U.S. government built a clandestine 112,000-square-foot Cold War bunker for Congress—right under the Greenbrier Hotel's land in West Virginia. The bunker remained secret until the Washington Post exposed its existence in 1992. Now the Greenbrier Sporting Club, a luxury community with 500 homesites and its own Tom Fazio course—named The Snead, after Greenbrier's legendary club pro—has been built on ground the government had previously held off-limits. Members will have access to all of the resort's amenities, in addition to their own facilities and lodge. There is a one-time $110,000 equity fee, with homesites ranging from $400,000 to $2.2 million.
• The Kingsley Club (Mike DeVries, 2001), Kingsley/Traverse City, MI; 231-263-3000; $30,000 local initiation fee, $15,000 national; by invitation only.
• Dallas National Golf Club (Tom Fazio, 2002), Dallas; 214-331-4195; $175,000 local initiation fee, $100,000 national.