Golf club demands £125,000 joining fee

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Wentworth hosted the 2015 PGA Championships

One of the UK’s most exclusive golf clubs is to start charging £125,000 to new joiners.

Wentworth, which was bought by the Beijing-based Reignwood Group in September 2014, has told existing members they must stump up £100,000.

Annual fees at the Surrey club are also to rise from £8,000 to £16,000. James Wyatt said he and other members faced having to pay “an enormous amount”.

The golf club said membership pricing “is a private Wentworth club matter”.

‘Completely shocked’

Mr Wyatt, who learned of the new fees at a meeting on Tuesday evening, told the BBC: “You’ll have to pay a debenture of £100,000 and if you want to join as a new member it’ll be £125,000.

“A debenture is essentially a loan note with no interest on it, but there was some doubt as to whether we’re looking at what we all think a debenture to be, or if it is really just a payment to the owners to fund their purchase and improvements in the club.

“On top of that you’ll have to pay annual subs of £16,000.

“People were completely shocked.”

He said the debenture scheme and increase in annual subscriptions would come in to force in April 2017.

A spokesman for the Virginia Water-based club said: “We will be discussing our new membership categories, including prices, directly with our members.”

He said the club would “invest heavily to significantly enhance and improve its three championship courses”.

Mr Wyatt added: “Money needs to be put into the club, and the money needs to come from somewhere.

“Last night we found out that the money is coming from members’ pockets.”

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