In the Absence of Ladies Tees
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     Nestled in a tree and hedgerow- surrounded property in the Coachella Valley, a secluded golf course was built. It's called The Plantation Golf Club. There's nothing unusual about a golf course in the Coachella Valley, as the last count came to right around 100. Some courses are public, which means anyone can play, and some are private, which usually carries with it the restriction that only initiation fee and dues paying members, and in some cases the family members, are welcome. At some private courses, guests can play if the member plays along with them.
      At most of these courses, the golfers can eat in a restaurant, play tennis, swim in a pool, or even buy golf apparel or golf clubs in a pro shop. And many of these golf facilities are surrounded by walls, and to get on the property you must pass through a guarded entryway. Many of these golf courses are surrounded by homes right on the fairways, and some of the courses provide limited golf course memberships for the home owners. Somewhere in the Valley, there's a golfing experience that will fit almost any need of an avid golfer. All in all, not a bad environment to retire in, or to purchase a home to rent or lease when the owners are away.
      Except for the golf, The Plantation Golf Club is unique. It is one of only a dozen or so private golf courses in the U.S. that is open to MEN ONLY. The sign on entering the property says "PRIVATE PROPERTY- MEMBERS AND APPROVED GUESTS ONLY. There's no gray area there! Not only that, there are no tennis courts, swimming pools, or restaurants available. No homes have been built on the property and none are planned. It is a place where the members go to play golf. The members come to the Club, play their 18 holes, then leave. Also, 17 of the 18 holes on the course are hidden from view of passing motorists because of the surrounding vegetation. I have talked to some who have played there, and they reported that even cell phones and brief cases are taboo. If members have business to attend to, they do it somewhere besides on the golf course. There are no little cell phone jingle bells ringing during your backswing from someone who wants to know what you want for supper. Many men golfers, right or wrong, drool at the very thought of being able to join such a club. And please, ladies, it isn't because they don't love you.
      It doesn't take much imagination to visualize the potential objections some individuals or groups will dream up over this "sexist" qualification to be able to play on the course, when not even wives of members are welcomed. And one of the stock answers to those who might begrudge a MEN ONLY facility is, "If you want a LADIES ONLY golf club, build it, and they will come, just like the men did.
      Well, maybe all good things sometimes do come to an end. Recently, it was announced that a developer was approved to build 125 homes in the $400,000 to $1,000,000 range on the perimeter of the Golf Club. So far, the management of the Club believes the thick buffer of trees around the course should be adequate to preserve the "unique environment", and should keep separate the homes and the golf course. I hope that is the case.
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