Mesa Country Club
It’s spring and to golfers that means (mostly) one thing…The Masters. Along with the Open Championship’s Claret Jug, The Masters’ green jacket is one of the most coveted prizes in golf. The tournament is truly one of the world’s great events. It has spectacular pageantry and tradition. The field is the best in the game, and the drama of the competition is nearly always edge-of-your-seat exciting.
But what makes The Masters so special for me is the opportunity to slip behind the gates of Augusta National for a week (if only on my television screen) and revel in the beauty of one of the most beautiful and distinctive private clubs in the United States. The history of Augusta is well known to golf enthusiasts. Founded by Bobby Jones and Clifford Roberts with the original course designed by the esteemed Alister MacKenzie, Augusta National has been a treasured location since opening in 1933. Like the Old Course in St Andrews or Cyprus Point in California, to simply walk the grounds just feels different. It is one of those rare, special places in golf where the veil between past and present seems particularly thin and the “ghosts” of history are so close you can almost touch them.
We don’t have too many places like that in Arizona. To be sure, we have some exceptional private clubs. Clubs like Desert Mountain, Silverleaf, Whisper Rock and Estancia that have garnered national acclaim and have attracted discerning golfers from across the country, even around the world. These private clubs are the cream of the crop and are as good or better than any modern private club you’ll find.
But from my perspective, there’s just something that’s especially compelling about a storied classic country club. Club’s like Phoenix Country Club, Arizona Country Club, Paradise Valley Country Club, or even my own Mesa Country Club are integral parts of the very fabric of their communities. Generations of members have grown up there, learned the game of golf and made lifelong friends. These are places where traditions have been formed organically over many years. They have their own unique cultures and distinctive personalities. And, they are truly special places for those who are fortunate enough to be members or invited guests.
Fortunately, these classic “city clubs” have been enjoying a renaissance of sorts in recent years. Families have come to recognize the importance of building the types of lasting relationships they encourage and the traditions and culture they provide add untold value to the lives of their members. I would encourage all of you to explore what these clubs offer when considering private club membership.
Chris Jones is the General Manager at Mesa Country Club. Opened in 1948, Mesa Country Club’s historic golf course was created by legendary designer William “Billy” Bell. The Member-owned club is located along the borders of Tempe and Scottsdale in northwest Mesa near the intersection of the 101 and 202 Loops. Learn more about Chris and Mesa Country Club at www.mesacountryclub.com.