It seems like it was just yesterday when it was considered cool to spend your Saturdays at the country club, wearing a visor and standing in a big field trying to hit golf balls.
These days, the country club has become the most obsolete of the notorious Five C’s.
Ask anybody under the age of 45 if they aspire to become a country club member and you’ll either get a blank stare or “pfft”.
Why the fall from grace of the once-beloved country club? Here are 3 key reasons:
1. The Same Amenities Are Now Available Everywhere (and For Much Cheaper Too)
Gone are the days when people actually went to country clubs to swim or golf.
These days, all condominiums are equipped with pools that look like theme parks. Why pay when you have it at home? Even some designer gyms like Fitness First come with swimming facilities now.
It’s just not worth the effort to drive to the secluded confines of your country club, located at the top of a steep hill in the middle of nowhere and surrounded by jungle so dense you can practically hear the echoes of Tarzan.
Even golfers prefer to drive up to Johor for a cheap ‘n’ good game nowadays. Clearly, newly imposed fees to enter Johor are a drop in ocean compared to the crazy amount you have to pay for a country club membership.
Add to the that the maintenance fees you have to pay on a monthly basis for most of the top country clubs, regardless of whether you use the facilities or not, and that just amounts to a whole lot of unnecessary payments.
2. There Are Too Many Alternatives
In the old days, there were fewer distractions—heck, most people didn’t even know what the Internet was, and spending the entire weekend at a country club seemed like a great boredom buster.
These days, if 90% of your time isn’t already sucked into the black hole that is the Internet, there are a zillion other ways to spend your time and money.
Whether it’s going for yoga retreats in impoverished Southeast Asian villages or rolling down hills encased in giant plastic balls, there are too many things to choose from.
So long as there’s a remote chance that someone might spend money on something, someone will be selling it, no matter how insane.
And given that there are so many different ways to part with your money, blowing a large chunk of it on a country club membership doesn’t seem so exciting.
3. They’re Not Cool Anymore
People used to wear family wealth like a badge of honour, and they liked to hang out with others of good breeding, much in the same way you might not want your purebred German shepherd hanging out at the SPCA.
But things have changed. Showing off your wealth is considered tacky now.
These days, the young billionaire prototype is a Mark Zuckerberg-ish, blend-into-the-background hoodie-wearing character.
Freedom and experiences now trump amassing status symbols. Millennials hanker after “work-life balance” and worry they’re not experiencing enough, envious of everyone else’s incredible experiences on Facebook and Instagram.
And the experience of standing on a country club golf course wearing a visor just doesn’t cut it anymore.
What do you think of country clubs? Let us know in the comments.