By: Rob Harris
I’m not sure whether California’s San Joaquin Country Club has a membership waiting list. If so, one lucky person presumably was offered membership due to the recent departure of Tim Orman, who left after 12 years of membership with the club.
Not that Mr. Orman’s departure was routine, or voluntary.
Mr. Orman’s membership was severed by the club, based on events arising out of his 8-handicap wife’s desire to play golf early on Saturday mornings. Until recently, the club banned women from tee times earlier than 10:00 a.m. Last August, the club tweaked the policy, changing it from “MEN ONLY PLAY” on Saturdays before 10 a.m. to “MEMBERS ONLY PLAY.”
For the Orman’s, this was a distinction without a difference, as the club’s membership rests with only one family member, in this case Mr. Orman. The only viable options for the Ormans would be to designate Ms. Orman the member (in which case the couple could not play together; nor could Ms. Orman play with female friends whose husbands were the designated members) or for her to buy her own membership, which would have required an initiation fee and duplicative dues.
The club took umbrage at what they perceived to be the Ormans’ publicizing of the club’s policy. Hence, the club terminated their membership.