“Country club Republican” is not a new term to most Hillsdale students, yet many have not actually been to a country club. That is, until the Student Activity Board’s Collegiate Country Club event at Hayden Park last Saturday.
Though SAB originally planned to take students on a trip to Lake Michigan last Saturday, senior and SAB small team event leader Claire Lupini said after the coronavirus hit, SAB decided it would be wiser to stay on campus.
“We still wanted to give people an opportunity to go someplace different, though,” Lupini said. “Someone said ‘country club’ and it just worked out really well.”
The event, held in collaboration with Campus Rec on from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Hayden Park, consisted of yard game competitions, with T‑shirts as prizes, and a golf cart circling the park to transport people from event to event. Other students played sand volleyball, while a table laden with sparkling water and prepackaged snacks stood near the house.
It was sunny and a breezy 75 degrees at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday and small clusters of three and four people scattered throughout the yard to play spike ball, disc golf, and cornhole, while others competed for the longest drive on the driving range and a handful of girls joined sophomore Alex Mulet in an outdoor yoga session.
“I’ve never been to a country club, but I think this is how it would be,” senior Charity Tyne said after the yoga session finished. “I like that this is outside.”
Tyne said she had come out to Hayden to help Campus Rec set up the yard games, but decided to stay when she saw the yoga class beginning.
“The yoga was amazing. Ten out of ten would recommend,” Tyne said.
What is it about a country club that’s so appealing? Is there something intrinsically good, true, and beautiful in stacks of green-and-white striped pool towels and the quiet murmur of civilized recreational activity and membership fees? For attendees of Saturday’s event, it was simply a chill way to spend a beautiful September afternoon and maybe make a new friend or two.
Campus Rec chose to collaborate with SAB for a more laid-back event so new students could have a chance to get to know one another, according to Director of Intramural Sports Brett Anger, a senior.
“We thought it would be fun to have backyard games because at the beginning of the year, you’re getting to know people,” Anger said. “This is an event where you can talk to other people.”
It was SAB which brought the country club aesthetic, Anger said.
“Campus Rec usually does more competitive stuff, and then SAB knows how to make things look good,” Anger said. “They bring the country club vibe with the decorations. They even have a golf cart shuttling people around.”
The golf cart was a favorite — especially for sophomore Josh Rainer, who attended the event and participated in the cornhole tournament. When asked if the event felt like a country club, Rainer said “absolutely.”
“Whenever you have a beverage cart going around, it feels like a country club,” Rainer said.
Rainer’s friend, junior Shane Cenk, asked how many country clubs Rainer has been to, to which Rainer responded “a few.”
For senior Warren Bartlett, it was the sparkling water that sealed the deal.
“They’ve got La Croix,” Bartlett said. “So yes, it feels like a country club.”