The best opportunity most golfers will have all year to get in the gates of a bucket-list private club is available now.
Every year, the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA) holds a massive online charity auction, Rounds 4 Research, to raise money for turfgrass research. If your home course's greens are rolling nicely right now, there's a good chance the development of that particular grass was supported by the GCSAA, and there's a near-100% chance that a GCSAA member is taking great care of it right now.
There are more than 1,400 items up for bid through Rounds 4 Research this year. The auction closes at 10:00 pm ET on Sunday, May 1.
I perused the list and wanted to highlight these particularly notable items:
Brae Burn Country Club - Purchase, N.Y.
Includes: Foursome with carts and lunch at this prestigious Westchester County club.
Current bid: $800
Bulls Bay Golf Club - Awendaw, S.C.
Includes: Golf for four, including carts, at this private, exceptional Mike Strantz design north of Charleston.
Current bid: $1,100
Kinloch Golf Club - Manakin-Sabot, Va.
Includes: Foursome with caddies (caddie fee not included) at this Lester George gem that will host the U.S. Mid-Amateur in 2024.
Current bid: $1,150
Lake Nona Golf & Country Club - Orlando, Fla.
Includes: A foursome with carts at this LPGA Tour host and home to several top professional golfers.
Current bid: $1,600
Nanea Golf Club - Kailua Kona, Hawaii
Includes: Golf for four at this seldom-played, super-private David McLay Kidd design owned by Charles Schwab.
Current bid: $3,000
Ohoopee Match Club - Cobbtown, Ga
Includes: A foursome to this small-membership, match-play-only Gil Hanse gem west of Savannah. Includes lunch as well as drinks and snacks at the halfway house.
Current bid: $8,020
Palmetto Golf Club - Aiken, S.C.
Includes: Golf for four, carts included, at this Alister MacKenzie design a half hour from Augusta National.
Current bid: $1,425
Paradise Valley Country Club - Paradise Valley, Ariz.
Includes: Golf for four sometime in September 2022 at this exclusive club in the central Phoenix/Scottsdale area, which has been renovated by Bill Coore & Ben Crenshaw.
Current bid: $330 (similar opportunities also available for May, June and August)
'4-Ball Guy Getaway' - Southwest Florida
Includes: 3-night stay for four golfers at The Resort at Longboat Key, unlimited golf at Longboat Key, a foursome at private Sara Bay Country Club, a foursome at Lakewood National Golf Club's Commander Course and a fivesome at a mystery private course in the area.
Current bid: $6,100
Year-long Dormie Club Network membership
Includes: Full member privileges for winning bidder, significant other and any children at home under 23 for 12 months at six member clubs: ArborLinks, Ballyhack Golf Club, Briggs Ranch Golf Club, Dormie Club, Hidden Creek Golf Club and Victoria National Golf Club.
Current bid: $10,000
Not all of these items are super-expensive rounds at private clubs. If you're looking to help out in a more budget-conscious way, there are dozens of public courses offering foursomes for approximately the market rate; the funds will just be going to this great cause.
To see the entire list of Rounds 4 Research auction items, click here.