Fay's plan for private clubs is great! (Or idiotic...)
In one of his first columns with Golf Digest, former USGA Executive Director David B. Fay proposed a radical idea: that U.S. private clubs adopt the practice of United Kingdom clubs in allowing outside play under certain circumstances. These "masterpieces," argued Fay, should not be totally inaccessible to non-members who appreciate great golf courses. How would we feel, for example, if during our travels to Scotland and England we were not able to play Muirfield or Sunningdale?
Just read the article in the most current issue about access to courses in the UK vs. the U.S. Mr. Fay is my hero! I've been wanting to write this article for a few years. I currently have played 8 of the top 10 courses in the UK because they are welcoming to players, whereas most of the top courses in the US are not. What a shame.
Thomas Bielanski, Oak Park, IL
Couldn't disagree any more with David Fay. The concept of "private club" means not open to the public and people pay for that. The concept of restricted or "limited unaffiliated visitor play" still doesn't allow for a decent percentage of people to have access; you're just opening up your private club to a select few, which doesn't accomplish what your column is supposedly about--sharing them to all.
Mike George, Texas
We'll side with David and Mr. Bielanski on this one. Our access to great courses in the UK is limited, for sure, but worth the effort for those who really want to experience these historic tracks. Does everyone get on? Of course not, but those who do somehow represent the rest of us, and their stories become part of our golfing experience, too. Have I told you about my trip to Ireland?