Country club
A country club is a private club
A club is an association of two or more people united by a common interest or goal. A service club, for example, exists for voluntary or charitable activities; there are clubs devoted to hobbies and sports, social activities clubs, political and religious clubs, and so forth.- History...

, often with a closed membership, that typically offers a variety of recreational sports facilities and is located in city outskirts or rural areas. Activities may include, for example, any of golf
Golf is a precision club and ball sport, in which competing players use many types of clubs to hit balls into a series of holes on a golf course using the fewest number of strokes....

, tennis
Tennis is a sport usually played between two players or between two teams of two players each . Each player uses a racket that is strung to strike a hollow rubber ball covered with felt over a net into the opponent's court. Tennis is an Olympic sport and is played at all levels of society at all...

, swimming or polo
Polo is a team sport played on horseback in which the objective is to score goals against an opposing team. Sometimes called, "The Sport of Kings", it was highly popularized by the British. Players score by driving a small white plastic or wooden ball into the opposing team's goal using a...

. An athletic club is similar but is usually located within an urban
Urban area
An urban area is characterized by higher population density and vast human features in comparison to areas surrounding it. Urban areas may be cities, towns or conurbations, but the term is not commonly extended to rural settlements such as villages and hamlets.Urban areas are created and further...

 setting, which may exclude certain activities such as golf or polo. On the other hand, rock climbing practice or a martial art may be available. A country club will usually provide hospitality to members and guests such as a restaurant and bar, and may also provide suitable accommodations for host-catered events, such as weddings.

Golf club

A golf club is a private club organized to play golf
Golf is a precision club and ball sport, in which competing players use many types of clubs to hit balls into a series of holes on a golf course using the fewest number of strokes....

. A golf club usually has its own golf course
Golf course
A golf course comprises a series of holes, each consisting of a teeing ground, fairway, rough and other hazards, and a green with a flagstick and cup, all designed for the game of golf. A standard round of golf consists of playing 18 holes, thus most golf courses have this number of holes...

. The most exclusive golf clubs have extensive facilities, such as a restaurant, bar, and swimming pool for its members. Membership is usually by annual subscription. Sometimes the club expects its members to buy stock and has monthly food and beverage purchase minimums.

Tennis club

A tennis club is a private club organized to play tennis
Tennis is a sport usually played between two players or between two teams of two players each . Each player uses a racket that is strung to strike a hollow rubber ball covered with felt over a net into the opponent's court. Tennis is an Olympic sport and is played at all levels of society at all...

. Tennis instruction is normally included, along with tournaments, and the club has its own tennis court
Tennis court
A tennis court is where the game of tennis is played. It is a firm rectangular surface with a low net stretched across the center. The same surface can be used to play both doubles and singles.-Dimensions:...

s. Tennis clubs often have tennis pros who teach the members. Some tennis clubs have on-site tennis retail and repair facilities, where members can purchase balls, rackets, and clothes, and have rackets restrung.

United States

Country clubs can be exclusive organizations. In small towns, membership in the country club is often not as exclusive or expensive as in larger cities where there is competition for a limited number of memberships. In addition to the fees, some clubs have additional requirements to join. For example, membership can be limited to those who reside in a particular housing community. Historically, many country clubs refused to admit members of minority racial groups, such as Black people
Black people
The term black people is used in systems of racial classification for humans of a dark skinned phenotype, relative to other racial groups.Different societies apply different criteria regarding who is classified as "black", and often social variables such as class, socio-economic status also plays a...

, Asian Americans, and non-white Hispanic Americans
Hispanic and Latino Americans
Hispanic or Latino Americans are Americans with origins in the Hispanic countries of Latin America or in Spain, and in general all persons in the United States who self-identify as Hispanic or Latino.1990 Census of Population and Housing: A self-designated classification for people whose origins...

, as well as members with specific faiths, such as Jewish or Catholic
The word catholic comes from the Greek phrase , meaning "on the whole," "according to the whole" or "in general", and is a combination of the Greek words meaning "about" and meaning "whole"...

 individuals. In many jurisdictions, such discriminatory requirements are now prohibited, but in others, such policies are still legal or are subject to specific circumstances. In some cases, lawsuits have forced clubs to drop discriminatory policies.
In one example, in 1990 professional golfer Tom Watson
Tom Watson (golfer)
Thomas Sturges Watson is an American professional golfer who has played on the PGA Tour and now mostly on the Champions Tour....

 resigned from the Kansas City Country Club
Kansas City Country Club
The Kansas City Country Club, founded in 1896, is a country club in Mission Hills, Kansas, USA, an affluent suburb of Kansas City, Missouri. It is the club for which the Country Club District and the Country Club Plaza of Kansas City are named...

 in Mission Hills
Mission Hills, Kansas
Mission Hills is a city in Johnson County, Kansas, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 3,498. The city is a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri, which is adjacent to the east, across the aptly named State Line Road. Mission Hills was originally developed by noted Kansas...

, Kansas
Kansas is a US state located in the Midwestern United States. It is named after the Kansas River which flows through it, which in turn was named after the Kansa Native American tribe, which inhabited the area. The tribe's name is often said to mean "people of the wind" or "people of the south...

, in protest after local businessman and civic leader Henry Bloch
Henry W. Bloch
Henry Wollman Bloch is the co-founder and the chairman emeritus of H&R Block.Henry and his brother, Richard Bloch, founded H&R Block in 1955 in Kansas City, Missouri.-Personal life:Bloch was born in Kansas City...

 was denied membership. Watson believed the club denied Bloch because he was Jewish. Although Watson is not Jewish, his then-wife and children are. After Watson's nationally-publicized protest, Bloch was offered a membership, which he accepted. Watson rejoined the club in 1995. Since that time The Kansas City Country Club has accepted several minority and Jewish members. The Augusta National Golf Club
Augusta National Golf Club
Augusta National Golf Club, located in Augusta, Georgia, is a famous men's golf club. Founded by Bobby Jones and Clifford Roberts and designed by Alister MacKenzie on the site of a former indigo plantation, the club opened for play in January 1933. Since 1934, it has played host to the annual...

, where the Masters Tournament is played, is one of the best-known clubs that does not admit women. In September 2008 Katon Dawson
Katon Dawson
Katon Edwards Dawson is an American politician from the state of South Carolina, former chairman of the South Carolina Republican Party and was a 2009 candidate for chairman of the Republican National Committee.-Early life:...

 left Forest Lake Club after a twelve year membership because it still has a whites-only restriction. In addition, country club membership tends to be self-selective and people often choose to join clubs where they can associate with people from similar socio-economic and cultural backgrounds.

United Kingdom

In the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

, most exclusive country clubs are simply golf clubs, and play a smaller role in their communities than American country clubs; gentlemen's clubs in Britain—many of which admit women while remaining socially exclusive—fill many roles of the United States' country clubs. The issue of male-only clubs does, however, sometimes arouse controversy.


Country clubs exist in multiple forms, including athletic-based clubs and golf clubs. Notable examples are the Breakfast Point Country Club in Sydney
Sydney is the most populous city in Australia and the state capital of New South Wales. Sydney is located on Australia's south-east coast of the Tasman Sea. As of June 2010, the greater metropolitan area had an approximate population of 4.6 million people...

, Castle Hill Country Club, The Gold Coast Polo & Country Club and the Sanctuary Cove's Country Club.


In Japan, almost all golf clubs are called 'Country Clubs' by their owners. See Japan Golf Tour
Japan Golf Tour
The Japan Golf Tour is a prominent golf tour. It was founded in 1973 and as of 2006 it offers the third highest annual prize fund out of the regular men's professional tours after the PGA Tour and the European Tour. However since the early 1990s, the growth in prize money has not kept pace with...



In Pakistan most of the country clubs are called just 'clubs'. Pakistan has state owned as well as private clubs. The country club tradition is deeply entrenched owing to the British Raj and dozens of clubs exist throughout the country.

See the article "Social clubs in Pakistan
Social clubs in Pakistan
There are many social and country clubs throughout modern Pakistan, a legacy of the British Raj. Many of the historically established clubs within Pakistan were founded in the British era, and a few more recent creations have stuck to the traditions associated with the traditional clubs.There are...


See also

  • Gentlemen's club
    Gentlemen's club
    A gentlemen's club is a members-only private club of a type originally set up by and for British upper class men in the eighteenth century, and popularised by English upper-middle class men and women in the late nineteenth century. Today, some are more open about the gender and social status of...

     - a similarly exclusive club (often known as a city club), although usually without the concentration on outdoor activities
  • List of American gentlemen's clubs
  • Membership discrimination in California social clubs
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