After word leaked that the New England Patriots’ quarterback and his supermodel wife had applied for membership to the 133-year-old institution in Brookline, Mass., speculation has run rampant over whether they will be approved, in light of the publicity that their belonging to the club could bring.
The Boston area is “about to find out” just how exclusive its most exclusive club, The Country Club in Brookline, Mass., might be, The Boston Globe reported, in light of the “word around the club’s meticulously manicured grounds” that Tom Brady, quarterback of the New England Patriots, and his supermodel spouse, Gisele Bundchen, have applied for membership to the 133-year-old institution.
Althought Brady and Bundchen own a mansion that “is just an errant tee shot away” from The Country Club, the Globe reported, “it’s not clear if the club famous for understatement and insularity will accept the glamorous power couple as members.”
The Country Club “prizes privacy and discretion above all else,” the Globe explained. “And Brady and Bundchen, trailed as they often are by paparazzi, and occasionally controversy, attract the sort of attention abhorred by the multimillionaires who belong to the primrose playground on Clyde Street in Chestnut Hill.”
Two members of the club, speaking on the condition of anonymity, confirmed to the Globe that the couple had applied for membership. A decision on the application is not imminent, the members noted.
The Globe’s report also included a statement from David Chag, The Country Club’s General Manager. “When it comes to issues related to members or membership, it’s our policy not to comment,” Chag said. “It’s a private club, and we don’t answer those kinds of questions.”
All applicants to The Country Club must be sponsored by two current club members, the Globe reported. Applicants must also provide the admissions committee with testimonials from seven other people with whom the applicant has a personal—not business—relationship. As part of the process, applicants also have to meet with the dozen or so members of the admissions committee at a cocktail reception held at the club. Applicants’ names are also circulated among all the members, but the admissions committee makes the final decisions.
The Globe’s report quoted “a prominent Boston businessperson who is amused by the club’s predicament” as saying, “I don’t know what they’ll do about Brady.” Many of the club’s membership believe “your name should appear in the newspaper just two times: When you’re born and when you die,” the businessperson said, which could work against applicants who promise to generate a media frenzy, especially in the wake of the controversy that currently surrounds Brady and his four-game suspension for “Deflategate.”
The club’s website says that it currently has 1,300 members, the Globe reported. “But good luck trying to get the list of names,” the newspaper added. “That’s privileged information safeguarded by the club like the United States protects its nuclear codes.
“As ever,” the Globe’s report added, “it seems the first rule of The Country Club is: Do not talk about The Country Club.”
“It’s really about who you are. Do you have good values?” one member told the Globe. “It’s that old New England mentality.”
Members interviewed by the Globe said that Brady and Bundchen are being “treated like any other applicants,” and insisted that their enormous wealth is “irrelevant” (Bundchen is worth $320 million, according to Forbes, and Brady is “not far behind,” the Globe noted).
Brady’s status as a local hero with four Super Bowl rings is also meaningless when it comes to admission, the Globe’s report said.
“Personally, I hope they get in,” a member who joined 20 years ago told the Globe. “I think if Tom and Gisele were at the club playing volleyball, a lot more people would be hanging around.”
Brady and Bundchen would seem to be “excellent candidates” for membership, the Globe’s report noted, because the couple has “two small children who would no doubt enjoy the club pool,” and Brady also has “serious game” on the golf course. Brady regularly plays in the Pebble Beach Pro-Am, the Globe noted, and this past March he impressed Keegan Bradley, the 2011 PGA champ, while playing at Baker’s Bay Golf & Ocean Club in the Bahamas.
“He’s really good like I couldn’t believe,” Bradley said afterward.
Some members also acknowledged that the club could “use some new blood,” the Globe reported saying that “the current demographic feels decidedly octogenarian.”
One longtime member, who insisted her name not be used, told the Globe that she hopes that Brady and Bundchen’s application isn’t spiked, while conceding that The Country Club “can be finicky about whom it admits.”
“We like it that way,” this member told the Globe . “We don’t want any thugs at the club.”
But Brady and Bundchen “seem nice,” she added. “I would support them, yes,” she said. “My husband isn’t around to gawk at Gisele, but if Tom Brady wants to come home with me, he can do that anytime.”
As one of five clubs to found the United States Golf Association, The Country Club hosted the U.S. Open in 1913, 1963, and 1988 and will likely host it again in 2022, the Globe noted. Ranked No. 19 on Golf Digest’s list of America’s 100 greatest golf courses, The Country Club hosted the Ryder Cup in 1999 and has been discussed as a venue for the 2024 Olympics, if the Games end up in Boston.
In addition to 27 holes of golf, the club boasts indoor and outdoor tennis courts, a curling rink, an Olympic-size swimming pool, skeet range, cross-country skiing trails, and a skating pond.
In addition to Brady and Bundchen, the Globe reported, homeowners in the “pricey neighborhood” adjacent to The Country Club’s property include real estate developer Jonathan Davis, New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, and Paul Fireman, founder of Reebok, who built a sprawling, 25,000-square-foot mansion adjacent to the club in the 1990s, “to much harrumphing by [club] members.”
Brady has received support from other Boston-area clubs that feel he has been wronged in “Deflategate”: http://clubandresortbusiness.com/2015/06/25/foxborough-mass-cc-shows-support-for-tom-brady-in-deflategate/