country club

How I Learned To Lighten Up & Join The Club

Jan. 17 2022, Published 5:31 p.m. ET

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"I am never, not ever, living in a country club."

I put on my best "seriously, I'm not joking" face as I tried to convey to my husband that his bucket list dream was never going to be our reality. At least, not if I had anything to do with it.

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I'm an East Coaster, a city girl who left the depths of winter in Manhattan for what was supposed to be a temporary sojourn in the Southern California sunshine. When I met my husband, a Palm Springs local, it became permanent. Our first home together felt like the perfect "his & hers" compromise: a townhouse walking distance to downtown and driving distance to his favorite golf course.

When the pandemic hit, though, everything changed. Date nights downtown were a thing of the past, and golf was one of the few activities keeping him sane. With real estate prices skyrocketing, we started talking about selling our PS pad and finding a new place closer to the green. Just, it couldn't be in a country club.

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Claustrophobic. Provincial. Cheesy. I could go on all day about the reasons why I wouldn't live inside the gates. I didn't even golf! Yet, as time was running out to find a new place, I begrudgingly agreed to do a summer rental at a nearby club. Before long, I was hooked.

Less than a month into our rental we signed to buy a home down the street, and I went all in on living the club life: ladies' clubs and his and hers carts included. Why the quick-change? My amazed (and grateful!) husband asks me every day, still barely able to believe it. Here's why I finally decided to join the club.

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1. Country clubs offer convenience.

My husband and I may be the only ones on our street who aren't retired. And when we're both exhausted at the end of a long day or find ourselves starving at 3 pm after working through lunch, there's nothing better than hopping into the cart and rolling over to my favorite restaurant at the clubhouse, where all the food just happens to be free. (At least, it feels that way when it goes on the monthly tab!)

2. They don't just take care of the fairways.

Moving to the country club meant deleting phone numbers for my landscaper, pool guy, window cleaner, house painter, and more. So many of the little annoyances of home ownership are taken care of when you live within the club. For us, that even includes 24/7 security patrols and cable!

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3. People are nice - but not too nice.

While I had nightmares of some Stepford wife dystopia descending on my home, we've been left pretty much to our own devices. Everything about the club allows for you to participate as much - or as little - as you want to. People are generally very nice, since playing golf, tennis, and pickleball all day instead of working tends to do that to you.

4. I have the best backyard ever.

These days, I get to watch the sunset over the San Gorgonio mountains as palm trees sway nearby and water bubbles gently on the lake where a family of ducks call home. It's utterly ridiculous and gorgeous, and it's never going to be disrupted by someone else building a house in my sight lines.

5. Golf is actually a great sport.

Despite my initial resistance, I'm loving golf and the lifestyle it entails. Golf is all about fitness, nature, and a slower pace than I'm used to cultivating. More and more, that feels like a good thing.

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