The Buck Club


#183

King Collins has done one 9 hole course and renovated 2 holes at another course.

More than Zach Blair and Sweetens is quality, but I wouldn’t bet Founding money on them.

Not like the only golf options out their for $50-100K are TBC


#184

Agree with what you said. But also, as far as how the business model will look, its probably not safe to assume that what works in Monterey Bay will work in rural Utah.


#185

I wouldn’t pay $250 to play the course with ZB. Sorry. Rack rate in SLC for 18 holes is what, $35? $40?


#186

Word. Because all of Utah is rural. Don’t @ me.


#187

completely agree


#188

Don’t be sorry. This is why the Pasa model is irrelevant. If I’m a member, and you want to play, join or GFY.


#189

Sheesh, you guys are cranky. I honestly don’t understand all the hate. Recreational cruelty says more about you guys than him, especially when your target is someone who simply has an idea, wants to build something creative, and made the mistake of saying this all out loud. He could have kept this all quiet while he tried to round up money and a plan - and, frankly, if ZB laid low from the start and just announced out of nowhere next year that he was doing a muni 9-holer with Andy and parlayed that into financing TBC and announced it three years later, no one would be saying anything. But he wanted to share it and get people psyched with merch and events, and now everyone gets to see the practical issues he’s facing in real time, and everyone has a brilliant opinion on the internet at every turn.

ZB ain’t Jesus and he ain’t the devil. He’s just trying to do something. The way he gets to the finish line on these ideas is tough. Thanks for pointing that out. Super productive. Trying to be a takesmith sometimes just comes off like bored, indiscriminate shouting from the kids’ table.


#190

OK, I’ll join! And here’s what happens…

May 2020
Welcome letter arrives:: “Dear Lazstradamus, Welcome to the Buck Club. We are excited to have you join our fraternity of golf lovers etc., etc…Your $100K founder’s membership gives you voting rights and dues are $700/month. Your locker number is 84, as requested. Your login password is RandyMoss!84. Again, as requested.

June 2020 (first visit)
Pro shop stoner: Can I help you?
Me: I’m Lazstradamus and I’ve come to play and check out the course.
Pro shop stoner: Ok.
Me: (realizing that the talent pool at TBC is the same as Deer Valley) Any caddies?
Pro shop stoner: Nope.
Me: So…I guess I’ll go play then!
[Looks out golf shop window. Sees 8 people on first fairway. Two guitars]
Me: Is the circus in town?
Pro shop stoner: Oh. That’s Iration filming a video for their new single “Backstop My Heart” (feat.Tron).
Me: Oh, word? I’ll just go around them.
[plays 17 great holes. Checks in at shop again.]
Me: DUDE! The course is so good. So, so good. Who built it?
Pro shop stoner: These guys from Kansas City who built a course in their backyard.
Me: Yeah. Makes sense to go cheap. All about the land. Can I go play again?
Pro shop stoner: Well, there’s a few foursomes of prospective members out there and one about to tee off. You can either go around them or wait 30 minutes."
Me: I see they have caddies! I’ll take one, please.
Pro shop stoner: Oh, caddies are just for prospectives.
Me: Come again, Smokie?

May 2021
A new letter arrives: "Dear Lazstradamus. We need $32,000 for operations since, well, we just need some money. But rest assured, we are attracting vibrant members with our new “no money down, no dues until your forty” program. We have also extended complimentary memberships to several influential golf-types who tweet about us a lot. Not sure if they’ll ever play or spend money but “impressions” should go bonkers. Lastly, if you have any friends with ski properties in Utah, we are launching a “Seasons and RZNs” program where anyone owning a ski home in Utah gets full voting rights membership for only $10,000."

July 2021
[calls golf shop]
Stoner Kid #2: Buck Club, Can I help you?
Me: Hi, this is Lazstradamus. Can you put me down for the member-guest, please?
Stoner kid#2: Actually, I just run carts and bag room. I’m just watching the phones while Uriah and Malachi are playing a few holes.

August 2021
[calls shop again]
Uriah: Thanks for calling the Buck Club. Uriah speaking.
Me: Hey Uriah. I called about the member-guest invi—
Uriah: Sorry, it’s full.
Me: “Oh. I called last month when I think you were playing to sign up and…Well, you never called me back. I’m just closing the loop here.”
Uriah: It’s full. Sorry, Lazstradamus. But we do have a 4 club challenge to raise money for junior golf coming up in September.
Me: I only play in worthy fundraisers, Uriah. Pass. How can the member-guest be full? I’m one of only 100 founding members!?!
Uriah: Well, there’s only 72 teams. We have 100 founders, around 200 Seasons/RZNs members, another 200 “Friends of TBC” honorary members and another 100 Social Influence members.
Me: But I paid $100K!
Uriah: That doesn’t make you any more important than anyone else, sir.
Me: Yes, it does.
Uriah: …

June 2022
Fox News: BREAKING: The Koch brothers have bought 49% of The Buck Club in rural Utah. All memberships are void.

March 2023: a new letter arrives…
Dear Lazstradamus. Sorry your initial investment in the Buck Club did not work out. Please review the new rules and regs and bylaws. If you agree with this framework please sign the enclosed for and return with another check for $150,000. There will be only 200 members so please decide quickly. At the end of the year we will send you a bill for 1/200th of all annual operating expenses. Thanks, Charles Koch

Wednesday June 18, 2023
:headphones::microphone::headphones:
Welcome to another Shotgun Start. I’m Andy Porath and today’s guest is Zac Blair who is 51% owner of the suddenly thriving Buck Club. What’s the secret, Zac?

ZB: Width and angles, man. Width and angles.


#191

lol at you having 100k


#192

Geez. That’s a weird thing to say. Maybe I do have 100k…of something.


#193

I’m not sure exactly who all you are addressing here, but I’ll bite. I don’t see any hate above. TBC is an interesting topic that resonates with refugees, and its fun to discuss the process. If some of that comes off negative, then so be it, but addressing the challenges that ZB is facing isn’t cranky or hateful.


#194

You’re right, in general. Some of it is just recreational crankiness, though.


#195

Also biting (slow slow day at office)
@Brick, I’m enjoying seeing both sides of this topic exchange ideas. Is there some snark? Sure. Hate is a strong, strong word. I don’t think we’ll ever see hate on The Refuge. This isn’t reddit.

Now go get your shine box.


#196

I think it goes farther than snark. Most of it is just funny and completely misguided guesses or a misunderstanding of what is required to do a project of this scope. Or having an expectation that if he talks about it publicly, it HAS TO BE AVAILABLE TO EVERYONE OR FUCK YOU AND YOUR HATS/GEAR! Definitely some hate, some really good snark, and some chatter that is completely off base.

Having been to a few places that he’s trying to copy, and absolutely just being blown away by the quality of golf product, I hope he succeeds whether or not I join or even ever get a chance to play. It’s worth it to add those types of destinations to the world of golf.

He’s 28. He’s finding his way, chasing a dream. However he does it, I hope he wins.


#197

@GRWhitehead must be from Minnesota because the passive/aggressiveness is fogging up my screen.


#198

There was definitely a lot more of “recreational cruelty” in the Ringer thread than this one. Mostly just a lot of speculation and friendly banter here I thought.


#199

In the original discussion over whether TBC would be public or private, people got HOT. “Rich spoiled brat selling hats for some idea that’ll never become a reality.” “Nobody with money is going to take this dude seriously because he and his architecture team don’t have the pedigree. And nowwww he’s just abandoning this idea for a 9-hole muni that probably won’t happen either. Total joke. Also he’s bad at business because ‘sick’.”

Just pump the brakes with that stuff. I love talking about this idea, how it’s playing out, the practical issues, and creative solutions. But the discussion has wandered off into gleeful defeatism and lobbing potshots from the sidelines. It’s not enjoyable anymore, really. So I just wanted to join in and say so, adding my obviously brilliant and enjoyable anti-take internet take lol


#200

Personally, I enjoy it.


#201

yeah maybe I’m still TRIGGERED from that discussion. That was nuts lol


#202

lol - no, I’m not. Plus, I’m aggressive/aggressive.