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Home Current Affairs Rye Golf Club Adds $300 Food Bill for 2012

Rye Golf Club Adds $300 Food Bill for 2012

We hope you like the food at Whitby Castle.

That's because if you are a Rye Golf Club member, $300 of the food is going to be shoved down your proverbial throat. And that's the way many residents feel about the new annual $300 Whitby restaurant food & beverage spending minimum that is being added to every Rye Golf Club membership in 2012. The fee was detailed in a letter sent to members.


(PHOTO: Hope you are hungry.)

For the "Resident – Family Pool" 2012 fee of $1,450, the food bill represents an additional 20% "tax" or increase.

In addition, all renewal applications are due by March 1st to receive the renewal discount rate. In prior years applications were due in May. The pool facility does not open until Memorial Day.

Are you a member of the Rye Golf Club? What do you think of these 2012 fees? Leave a comment below.

2012 Fee Schedule:

MEMBERSHIP Renewal by March 1st After March 1st
Resident – Comprehensive  $      4,500  $   5,175
Resident – Individual Daily Golf  $      3,100  $   3,565
Resident – Individual Weekday Golf  $      1,900  $   2,185
Resident – Family Pool  $      1,450  $   1,668
Resident – Individual Pool  $          750  $      863
House  $          250  
Add On Membership    
Child Care Provider  $          425  
Early Morning Lap Swim  $          108  
Golf  $          155  
Pool  $            20  
Junior  $          600  
Golf 1/2 cart / senior $20/$15  
Golf junior weekday guest / weekend & holiday $25/30  
Golf weekday guest / weekend & holiday $75/95  
Golf locker $150  
Pools weekday guest / weekend & holiday $8/12  
Pool locker $35  


  1. Yes, I saw this hidden fee increase in the renewal notice. I believe that the increase is “only” $100 for pool-only members.

    What’s wrong with this increase? It received ZERO publicity unlike the overall fee increases. Clearly, this charge is being added to help recover the cost for a facility that’s supposed to hit break even without city subsidies. But why should the golf and pool members pay for this? Have they even been asked if they want Whitby Castle? Would be interesting to see if a majority are in favor of the Castle or the fees. Maybe the existing Board members got a bit beyond themselves?

  2. As a comprehensive family member, I welcome the $300 Whitby minimum. It will help stimulate the social aspect of the club while showcasing the great service and food the Whitby now offers.

  3. I think its about time they finally implemented a minimum. We as Rye Golf Members have a wonderful facility in the golf course, pool, and yes Whitby Castle. It helps everyone’s property values. Letting the castle fail would be a long term hit on everyone. Whitby has great food at a reasonable price with a great staff. There is absolutely no reason why the members shouldn’t support this. $300 over a full season is $25 a month. I applaud the management and board for making this decision that will help the club over the long run.

  4. I think it was sneaky of Rye Golf to include a mandatory Castle fee and not tell people. Personally, I am against it. If I want to eat at Whitby, I will do so. I don’t want to “have to” pay $300 to eat there as I have found the food mediocre, at best. This is a public pool, not a private club and I can’t stand when Rye Golf tries to act like a private club!

  5. Rye Golf and Pool are private…hence the membership due’s listed above. People tend to think of our club as public and that is false. The Public can not access the golf or pool. It might not be a private membership owned club like many of the Country Clubs in the area. However, its certainly a private facility for members only.

    It is up to the membership to support the club. If that means having a meal at Whitby rather then another local restaurant 1 or 2 times a year that’s not a lot to ask. In my humble opinion.

  6. Evans, the fundamental mistake you make is asserting that the Rye Golf and Pool clubs are private. They are not in the sense of Apawamis, AYC, etc. They are owned by the city, “membership” is open to all willing to pay the annual fee – although a reduction is given to residents. Also, there is no sinking fund to which a member contributes, no initiation fee, etc.

    So as public resources, they should be expected to be managed differently than a private club. That includes full disclosure before “finalized” of changes in rates and surcharges. During the City’s budget process, the City made clear that they wanted the golf / pool club to raise its revenue. Given that Whitby Castle was supposed to be self sustaining, it’s not at all clear that imposing a minimum annual “spend” per “member” was appropriate. It certainly wasn’t discussed in public. Of course, each of us has a choice to make – suck it up, renew or stay away for a year to give the “club” a message. Not sure what I’m going to do yet.

  7. Robert,
    You make some great points and I agree Rye is not a “Private Club” like Apo or AYC. I make that point in my last post. However, my point is, people are making the “fundamental mistake” that Rye golf is a public facility. That is also incorrect. Rye is a member only club owned by the City of Rye. The facilities are meant to cater to the members not the general public. We have a board that we as members elect to speak for us. As members we have the right to attend these meetings and make our voices heard. It would be counterproductive to discuss every decision regarding the Golf Club in public when we have a system set up.

    Back to the point on Whitby Castle- this is an historic building that enhances the imagine and enjoyment of our club. We also need to keep the $300/$100 fee into perspective. It’s not like Rye Golf is asking the members to shell out $300 with nothing in return. Members will get food/beverage in return. The Club is simply asking the membership to recognize that we all have a responsibility to support the club we CHOOSE to join. As members having the Whitby Castle as part of our facilities allows us to have a wonderful experience and events catered towards members.

    For those members that feel this is too much to ask, as you said, the power of choice is there. Playland has a great “Public Pool” and Westchester County as some great public golf facilities. I believe both those places offer a great experience with no food minimums.

  8. Regarding the ‘private’ vs ‘public’ debate on Rye Golf Club, I think I can settle it. A few years back when I inquired with the USGA about competing in the US Amateur Public Links Championship, I was turned down because Rye Golf is a private club under USGA standards. As you may know, the USGA, in conjunction with The R&A in St. Andrews, Scotland, writes, interprets and maintains the Rules of Golf to guard the tradition and integrity of the game.

    I ran for Board, although unsuccessful, to help guide and influence the decisions of the Club. I would encourage anyone with passion for the Club to run.

    Evans, I know you are active at Rye Golf and represent the Club very well by competing in WGA tournaments. You carry a 3.6 handicap, won the Club Championship, and play in all the Member Events. Perhaps you and Mr. Zahm could take your debate to the golf course and play a friendly round – of course using full handicaps which are kept at the Club. Loser can use their annual minimum to buy dinner and drinks for the winner at the Whitby!

  9. A public pool that is affordable to all community members is something that is sorely missing in Rye. Perhaps we need to rethink the mission of the Rye Golf Club’s pool. Other communities in the area provide more affordable pool options through their recreation departments. In Scarsdale, for example, a family pool permit costs $418. In Harrison, a family permit is $200. If you compare their facilities to ours, I’m not sure you can justify the $1,200 to $1,400 difference in cost.

  10. @D – wouldn’t be much of a match. I’ve never golfed. And I think the right place to take the debate is to the city council as well as the club trustees. Couldn’t make it to the council meeting tonight, but they provide the overall oversight for all city assets including the golf course and the pool.

  11. Since the Golf Club Commission makes the decisions for the club…where can we find the minutes for the meetings that this was discussed. The minutes have not been made public on the Rye City website since 2009!! If we need to have a minimum at the club why can’t it be used at any part of the club…for example the snack bar, guest fees, pro shop, castle, swim lessons??? Why does it need to be at the Castle only??? Why can’t it be used for anything at the Castle even special events??? Why does a single person who has a limited income have the same amount to spend as a family of 5 or a comprehensive member??? And why do the pool members have to pay their fee in March when the pool doesn’t open till May?? I have been a member of Rye Golf for 43 years and it seems like every year that goes by it seems things change for the worse..the membership is never thought of first..always the management..then the members!!I guess we all need to go to the City Council Meeting to see if some things can be answered!!

  12. The point I am trying to make with my previous posts is that members who take advantage of all Rye Golf Club has to offer have no issue with a minimum. As a comprehensive family member for 7 years, the club has consistently improved each and every year. Keep in mind, as an Enterprise Fund, Rye Golf is not subsidized by our tax dollars. Other town pools are subsidized with tax dollars. A lot of effort has gone into making the Whitby a great experience for the members. Now is the time to enjoy it while supporting it.

  13. Rye Golf Club is a special place with extraordinary facilities. For members utilizing the course and the pool, most of us look for ways to enhance the experience. Whitby Castle is an iconic centerpiece of the Club and has been underutilized for too long. A food minimum is a great idea. Its standard among other clubs, a reason to enhance member experience, by bringing members to a central social gathering. $300 a year effectively works out to $50 a month over a 6 month season. This is not a tax, this is an incentive to enjoy the excellent food and spectacular view of the course and The Sound. I applaud the decision.

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  15. Time for a first hand report on the food at Whitby Castle – now that I’ve been forced – against my will, by a committee that does most of it’s work behind closed doors – to spend several hundred dollars there if my kids want to swim at the city pool.

    We – along with several other families – ate at “The Club” tonight. Short summary – food continues to be awful. The wait staff is friendly and seeks to please. But I’ve had better Tomato Mozzarella salad and better calamari at almost any Italian restaurant I’ve ever visited. And the tomatoes sure looked and tasted like the greenhouse variety – in June. 5 us at the Buffet plus one round of soft drinks – $118. This is most definitely a thumbs down and not something I will willingly use again.

    Just goes to show that the City and the Golf Club have no business retaining Whitby Castle. Such a great location and great looking facility, but it has the feel of the catering hall it really is. Sell the thing. Subcontract it out. Find someone to take it on who has succeeded in the restaurant business. But get it off the taxpayers nickel.

  16. Although coming very late in this discussion, I support the minimum for purely the social aspect; it was memorable to dine with friends that normally would not cconsider the Castle. I also support the City Council in eventually recovering a Rye “gem” and especially Councilman Sack, who I voted for despite being a substitute Democratic Leader in the City of Rye. I applaud Councilman Sack’s efforts in RGC affairs, and venture to guess if the City has more elected, or appointed officials of Sack’s caliber, we would all be better off.
    Turning for a moment to the public/private status of RGC, well it is neither. A public facility is subsidized by tax payer dollars, which RGC is not. A private “facility” has an Admissions Committee and an initiation fee, which is not the case here. Considering these facts, perhaps a term to use is a “quasi private club” not strictly falling into either category. Despite what might seem as a “glowing report” on the state of affairs at RGC, what I do not support is the administration at RGC. In a discussion with other members in the past 2 years the administration has been described as a “neo-nazi regime.” I have thought about that description for some time now, and I am at a loss to disagree. Bottom line? My family will continue to support RGC (its Diving Team is No. 1 in Division I for 3 years running), but I would encourage the City Council to clean house from the GM to the entire administration, bring in a reputable club management company, and start all over again. A few club chairs from eBay slotted into the underutlized spaces at the Castle combined with a roving waiter/waitress who get to retain their tips would be appreciated.
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