Everything You Need to Know About The Eighty Club
In January I officially launched my latest project which I’ve called The Eighty Club.
To be honest? The response I’ve received fully exceeded my expectations. In less than two months we’ve jumped up to nearly 100 members, we have two official events scheduled, with a handful more of EIGHTYx events organized by club members, and every single day on the site, we have guys geeking out over all things golf.
Since we launched, I’ve received tons of questions about the Club and what exactly it is.
And I get it, it’s kind of a unique concept. There really isn’t anything exactly like it out there, which is what makes it so cool in my mind.
So this post is simply my way of answering all of the questions that have come in over the last couple months.
In some ways it’s kind of an anti-sales page. I’ve found that the people this is right for tend to immediately get it. So if after reading and the concept still resonates with you – then I’d love to talk!
You ready for this? Awesome, let’s just dive right in then.
What exactly is The Eighty Club?
At it’s heart, The Eighty Club is an online forum of members from private clubs all over the world.
How cool would it be to know that no matter what major city in the US you go to, there’s a good chance you have an instant connection to someone who can make recommendations, join you for dinner or a beer, or help you setup golf at an interesting course?
That’s what The Eighty Club does.
But more importantly, when you’re not traveling the forums are extremely active with people geeking out about golf every single day.
Whether it’s discussing our favorite holes and courses, the latest happenings on the PGA tour, or creating monster guides to some of the best golf locations in the world, there is always someone to ask questions or engage in discussion about anything golf.
Why do you have to be a private member of a club?
My initial goal in starting the club was to help make access to some of the world’s best clubs a little bit easier.
But in order to do that, there has to be some vetting.
While 95% of golfers are great people, there are always those few people who aren’t the most respectful. By requiring people to be a member of a club it’s a good way of establishing a baseline way to vet people, while also making sure everyone is bringing something to the table and has something to offer.
We’ve already helped quite a few of our members play some courses they may not have been able to see otherwise – and that’s pretty cool.
Are you going to have anything for the public golfers?
My hope is that as we grow this community and network of private club members, that it also opens up more opportunities for non-members as well.
For instance if we have outings or events that aren’t filled up, there could be opportunities to open it up to the Breaking Eighty community to fill out the groups.
Or to host bigger tournaments at a cool private club that is open to the greater public.
By building the network first, there’s a lot of potential in the future.
I’m also working on a few other things for the site that will cater to non-members as well.
How much is it?
Right now it’s an annual fee of $250. If you get in at that price, that’s what it will be for life.
Later this spring we’ll be increasing the price to $500/year, and that’s where I expect it to stay for awhile.
What does that fee go to?
The fee is a way of limiting our growth, and ensuring that the people who do join are committed to being an active part of the community.
It also allows me to give the time and energy necessary to make introductions, organize events, and do all of the things that go into managing the club. And I’ll be honest, it definitely takes more time than I was anticipating.
I’ve seen some sketchy Instagram accounts claiming to be associated with Breaking Eighty and The Eighty Club – is that really you?
No, it isn’t. Apparently there is someone out there that I must have wronged in a separate life, because they have made it their goal to try hurt my reputation, as well as that of Breaking Eighty and The Eighty Club.
It’s frustrating, but hey, it’s the internet. Trolls FTW!
If you’re the person doing it, and you see this, just know, I’m sorry for whatever I did to make you so angry!
How do members interact?
Members interact via our online forum and through private messaging on the site.
What does the site look like?
I’ve tried a lot of different forum software. Most of it is clunky, cumbersome, and frankly not very much fun to use.
With The Eighty Club, our solution isn’t anything like that.
It’s easy to use, fully responsive for phones and tablets, and quite simply fun.
Here’s a screen shot:
How do you make sure the people at the most exclusive clubs aren’t bombarded with requests?
When you sign up you get access to our member directory which shows name, city, and club(s).
There are also two communication preferences:
- Direct: This means you’re open to anyone private messaging you and reaching out directly.
- Via Intro: If someone wants to get in touch with you outside of the forums, they will email me directly, and I’ll reach out to see if an intro is appropriate.
This allows any member at any time to just let me know how open they are to introduction requests.
If I’m traveling and want to play somewhere new, what does that process look like?
Same as above. If you’re traveling and want to see if another member is interested in playing, then you can reach out to them directly if they’re status is “direct”.
If not, you can ask for an intro through me.
Alternatively, you can post in the forums about your trip and let other people extend the invites.
Can you send me a list of places you have members at?
No. If that’s your primary concern, you won’t be a good fit.
Do you have any official partnerships with golf brands or golf clubs?
Yes. We’re talking with a handful of different private clubs to help allow our members to play unaccompanied for a reasonable rate. We are also working on a few select partnerships with golf companies that fit our ethos to provide discounts for our members.
How are you different than The Outpost Club or The Eden Club?
There are a couple primary differences.
The biggest one is events. The Outpost Club hosts over 50 events a year at some spectacular places. I’ve never heard a bad word about them, and their members love the events.
While we’ll do a handful of outings a year, we certainly won’t be doing anything close to what they do.
Because of this, we’re primarily an online community, where either of those are more about the events and group outings.
There are fairly substantial fees to join either of those clubs. Our annual dues, are much less.
Both of those organizations are fantastic, and I’d encourage anyone to check them out. But The Eighty Club is a different thing entirely.
How Does it Work When I Host Another Member?
This is to be arranged between you and the guest. But generally the guest will pay all associated guest fees. And depending on your club policies this can be done at the course, or separately – but should always be discussed beforehand, to ensure there is no confusion.
What if someone comes to my club and is disrespectful?
This part of the reason we have the application process. Usually private club members have a general sense of etiquette and respect. But we have a one strike and you’re out policy. If another member has you out as a guest and you’re rude, disrespectful, or do anything that reflects poorly on the member – you’re out. Simple as that.
Do you have any international members? And will I get value out of it if I’m not in the US?
Yes, we currently have members in the US, Canada, Ireland, Scotland, England, Hong Kong, Australia, Colombia – as well as a handful of other countries where our members hold club memberships.
If you’re someone who really enjoys talking about golf in an online forum – then yes, you’ll get a ton of value.
If you travel regularly to the US, then you’ll likely get a lot of value.
But if you don’t travel and don’t like online forums – then this won’t be for you.
I don’t travel much, is this still a good fit for me?
Absolutely. The crux of our entire community is our online forum. We have a very active forum where we talk about all things golf. This becomes a place most members check in on multiple times a day, so even if you rarely travel, being able to have a place to geek out about golf with other passionate lovers of the game is a huge benefit.
Not to mention, many of our members do travel, so will be plenty of opportunities to connect in your home town.
You said you do a few events, what are they like?
Right now, we have two official events scheduled.
The first is in Portland, OR. We’re playing 4 courses over three days this May.
The second will be a three day event in Philadelphia in mid-August. Still working on the details, but they’ll have some competition for members, plenty of time for food and drinks, and no up charge – meaning members will pay actual costs, I’m not making a profit on these events.
Anything else I should know about the Club?
Here’s the bottom line. Our members are real people, who love to meet other likeminded people and geek out about golf every day. Generally the people involved are extremely proud of their home courses and home clubs and are excited to show them off.
This isn’t some corporate site like Boxgroove that is all about the access. I repeat, this is nothing like that.
At The Eighty Club, access is totally a secondary benefit. If I get the sense the only reason you want to be involved is to get on exclusive courses – you won’t be accepted.
This is for people who are excited to meet others, and excited to see the game of golf grow and evolve. We’re a tight knit community, and we only want people who will fit with that.
If that sounds like something you’re into. Then I’d love to talk to you more about it.
Any other questions? Leave a comment below, and I’ll update this post.