Assessments are a fact of life for many private-club members, but a new one coming to those who belong to famed Oakland Hills Country Club in Bloomfield Hills, Mich., might stick in the collective craw. The iconic Detroit-area club is about to break ground on the replacement for its clubhouse—which burned down in a spectacular fire almost two years ago. The membership had already approved a plan to borrow $40 million (on top of the $48 million insurance settlement), which zapped each member for $18,500 across two annual payments and $165 more per month, according to a report in The Detroit News.
However, now the club says unforeseen site work, “unanticipated costs” and furniture and fixture expenses mean the final bill will be about $104 million. Monthly dues could end up being $230 more per month instead of the $165 more originally anticipated. Granted, the scale of the new facility is spectacular: 110,000 square feet of elite splendor featuring a double-decker men’s locker room, workout facility and event space.
Still, $104 million is a big number. The Baltimore Orioles built Oriole Park at Camden Yards for $110 million in 1992, and Augusta National built its stadium-like media center for a reported $60 million in 2017. Tom Fazio took a piece of barren Las Vegas desert and turned it into a taste of North Carolina for $60 million in 1989. Mike Keiser could have built nine copies of his Cabot Links course along the Nova Scotia coastline with that kind of budget and wouldn’t even need to spend Canadian dollars.
The good news is that Oakland Hills is on the schedule for eight more USGA championships (and their attendant merchandise extravaganzas), starting with next year’s U.S. Junior Amateur and including the 2034 and 2051 U.S. Open and 2031 and 2042 U.S. Women’s Open. The bad news? The members might still be paying off the building on strokes.
This article was originally published on golfdigest.com