RSF Association approves sponsored membership program for tennis

RANCHO SANTA FE — A 5-1 vote pushed through an extension of a sponsored membership program at the Rancho Santa Fe Tennis Club. Director Mike Licosati opposed the decision during the Dec. 1 Rancho Santa Fe Association board of directors meeting.

This level of membership allows nonresidents of the Covenant an opportunity to be part of a “sponsored membership program” so they may play at the tennis club.

Dave Van Den Berg, who serves as the current RSF Tennis Club president, said how their sponsored memberships are an important part of the club’s operational plan. This membership in fact offers its Covenant members the opportunity to play with others at their same level.

Tennis was different than golf, Van Den Berg said, in that golf allowed people at various levels to play together whereas tennis was not the same.

Van Den Berg shared how a member of the tennis club can sponsor somebody from the “outside” to come in and play at the club. The RSF Board of Directors has already approved the allowance these memberships, not to exceed 25.

“They (sponsored members) contribute $65,000 to the bottom line and they also contribute about $20,000 to our charitable contributions,” he said.

Van Den Berg noted how sponsored members were not impacting court usage. The tennis club has the ability to have 300 memberships and it currently stands at 224.

Van Den Berg wanted the board to consider a change to this particular membership level — an extension.

“We’re charging twice the rate of our regular members who go there and we’re asking that, if in fact, this Board chooses at any time to get rid of this kind of membership (sponsored) that we can give those members at least a two-year time frame to look for other places to play in other clubs,” he said, adding how he thought how that was only fair.

For example, this extension offers sponsored memberships the opportunity to stay on for two additional years in the event the board decides not to renew this membership category at some point in time.

Van Den Berg pointed out the challenge in getting new memberships because they do compete with a lot of other tennis clubs in the area. He believed that this extension would help in their membership efforts.

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