Golf clubs across the country are embroiled in numerous lawsuits over unpaid membership fee refunds. Typically, 100 percent of a member’s initial deposit will be completely refunded after they resign their membership and/or after a certain agreed-upon period of time, such as 30 years. These deposits can range from tens of thousands to even hundreds of thousands of dollars. Some golf clubs allow for a portion of the refund to be paid early if a member leaves before the 30-year term is up. Clubs may refund an old member as a new member joins or may require five new members to pay out one refund. If members pass away before the refunds are paid, the estates are rarely aware of the outstanding refunds.
Gary Graifman of Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman, P.C and attorney Robert Dowd, Jr. of the Law Offices of Robert S. Dowd, Jr., LLC were counsel for the plaintiffs in multiple million-dollar class action lawsuits over unpaid golf club membership fee refunds. We recovered $2 million for former members of the New Jersey National Golf Club in Basking Ridge who were denied refunds of the hefty up-front fees that they were required to pay when they initially joined.
We also recently settled a $1.5 million class action lawsuit with Hawk Pointe Golf Club in Washington Township, New Jersey, providing refunds to members who paid as much as $30,000 to join the club, but could not get refunds after resignation. KGG Law and Dowd Law continue to investigate consumer fraud claims over unrefunded golf club initiation fees. Reach out to us today for a free consultation to discuss your case.
Golf Club Members Turn to Legal Action to Get Their Money
Many golf club members call their former clubs to no avail. They’re given a string of promises that never materialize or are misinformed about the agreement they signed. Some clubs have changed their policies to keep more assets in their coffers during the financial hard times of the global pandemic. Hiring an experienced lawyer is sometimes the only way to protect your rights and get the money you are owed.
- Following the results of several audits, the People of the State of California filed a federal lawsuit against ClubCorp Holdings Inc., alleging that the clubs failed to return more than $10 million to more than 9,000 members and former members in the state. A similar class action was filed in Texas, where over $53 million is allegedly owed.
- Golfers with memberships to the Ritz-Carlton Golf Course owned by Trump National Golf Club were paid $5.44 million after failing to pay refundable deposits ranging from $35,000 to $210,000.
Were You Denied a Golf Club Refund?
If your golf club membership deposit or initiation capital was not refunded in accordance with contractual verbiage, you might be eligible for legal compensation. We are reviewing civil cases involving:
- Golf clubs that fail to refund initiation fees or membership deposits
- Golf clubs that downplayed incoming memberships to dodge their legal obligation to repay initiation or deposits to former members
- Golf clubs that changed membership joining fees to avoid paying refunds to resigned members
- Golf clubs that intentionally misrepresented the status of pending refunds
Contractual Review Is Necessary to Determine Legal Rights
Every golf club membership agreement is different. Most, if not all, are legally binding contracts. Therefore, it’s necessary to have a lawyer read and interpret the document to determine the next steps if you believe there is a dispute. Many golf clubs give themselves a unilateral right to change terms as they see fit. Even where annual membership fees are nonrefundable, many membership agreements stipulate that the initiation fee or membership deposit are refundable upon death, resignation, or a predefined term (such as 30 years).
Wondering Where Your Golf Club Membership Refund Is?
Gary Graifman of KGG Law and Robert Dowd of Dowd Law have extensive experience winning these golf club membership refund lawsuits and getting members the substantial refunds they were contractually promised. Contact us to schedule a free consultation to find out if you have a valid claim. We can help you explore all of your legal options and take the next steps to resolve this dispute in a timely manner.