Former President Obama accepts invitation to join D.C.-area country club

October 10, 2017

Former President Barack Obama has accepted an invitation to join Columbia Country Club in Chevy Chase, Maryland.

According to the Washington Examiner, Columbia’s board informed its members of the decision in a letter on Oct. 5.

“Following careful deliberation, the Board of Governors voted to extend an invitation for Honorary Membership to former President of the United States Barack Obama,” an excerpt read. “We have received official word from Mr. Obama of his acceptance of our invitation.”

The golf club is six miles north of the Obamas’ house in Washington’s Kalorama neighborhood.

Columbia is the second D.C.-area club Obama has joined since leaving office; in May, Obama reportedly became a member at Robert Trent Jones Golf Club in Gainesville, Va.

Before he had even left office, D.C. locals began to speculate where Obama would join, and controversy followed. Some members of Woodmont, a predominantly Jewish country club in Rockville, Md., objected to inviting Obama to join due to his actions with regard to Israel. Although The Washington Post reported that Woodmont ultimately did extend the offer to the former president, it’s not clear if he accepted.

Obama has played at Columbia several times in the past; ESPN’s Tony Kornheiser and Mike Wilbon are both members and friendly with the former president.

Golf was a favorite pastime of Obama’s while he was in office; according to CBS’s Mark Knoller, he played more than 300 rounds, many of them in area clubs such as Army Navy, TPC Potomac, and Renditions.

New members at Columbia must pay an initiation fee of $80,000 and $6,300 in annual dues, according to an ad placed by the club. As an Honorary Member, it’s likely that Obama’s initiation fee would be waived.

“The Board looks forward to the addition of Mr. Obama and his family to our wonderful and very special membership,” their letter to members concludes, “and encourage everyone to provide them with our traditional and time-honored ‘Warm Columbia Welcome.'”

Obama was seen at a different golf course on Saturday: Golf Club de Bella Vista, where he played with Argentinian president Mauricio Macri after delivering a speech at the Green Environment Summit.