Thunderbird Country Club Rancho Mirage CA | Membership Cost, Amenities, History, What To Know When Visiting

Disclaimer: is an independent resource and is not associated with any of the clubs on this website. Club initiation and membership cost information are estimates only and should not be relied upon for making club membership decisions.

thunderbird country club logo

Welcome to Thunderbird Country Club, an oasis of luxury and leisure nestled in the heart of Rancho Mirage, California. With its rich history, stunning desert landscapes, and world-class amenities, Thunderbird Country Club offers an unparalleled experience for those seeking a refined and vibrant lifestyle. Whether you’re drawn to championship golf courses, elegant dining options, or simply the allure of relaxation in a picturesque setting, Thunderbird Country Club invites you to indulge in the epitome of desert living. Join us in exploring a harmonious blend of tradition and modernity, where every moment is infused with the essence of exclusivity and sophistication.

Get Our Palm Springs Country Club Guide
Sign up below to get our FREE 140 page guide breaking down every single Palm Springs country club, including estimated membership costs, admission process, and more!
Thank you for subscribing!

Thunderbird Country Club History and Founding

Thunderbird Country Club holds a storied history that dates back to the mid-20th century. Founded in 1951, Thunderbird Country Club was established as a premier destination for golf and leisure in the heart of Rancho Mirage, California. Its creation was driven by a group of visionary individuals who sought to create a haven of luxury and recreation amidst the stunning desert landscape.

The club’s name, “Thunderbird,” pays homage to the legendary Native American symbol of power and strength, reflecting the grandeur and significance of the location. Over the years, Thunderbird Country Club became synonymous with exclusivity, attracting notable figures from various fields, including entertainment, business, and politics.

One of the defining features of Thunderbird Country Club is its championship golf courses. The club boasts meticulously designed courses that challenge and delight golfers of all skill levels. These courses have hosted prestigious golf tournaments and events, adding to the club’s reputation as a hub for elite golfing experiences. The original architect of Thunderbird Country Club is Lawrence Hughes. He was a golf course architect who designed over 100 courses in his career, including Thunderbird, which opened in 1951.

Throughout its history, Thunderbird Country Club has undergone expansions and renovations, continuously elevating its offerings to meet the evolving preferences of its esteemed members and guests. The club’s commitment to providing unparalleled amenities, elegant dining options, and a vibrant social scene has solidified its status as a coveted destination for those seeking an upscale desert lifestyle.

As Thunderbird Country Club looks toward the future, it remains dedicated to preserving its legacy while embracing modernity. Its rich history and commitment to excellence continue to shape the experiences of those who have the privilege of being part of this iconic establishment.

Famous Golf Tournament held at Thunderbird Country Club

One of the most famous golf tournaments held at Thunderbird Country Club is the “Bob Hope Classic,” which later became known as the “Humana Challenge” and then the “CareerBuilder Challenge.” This PGA Tour event was held at Thunderbird Country Club and other nearby courses in the Coachella Valley, including La Quinta Country Club and PGA West.

The tournament’s association with Thunderbird Country Club dates back to its early years. It was a staple on the PGA Tour schedule and gained significant popularity due to its unique format and the participation of renowned professional golfers as well as celebrity amateurs. The tournament was often referred to as the “clambake” due to its relaxed and festive atmosphere.

The Bob Hope Classic, later renamed and rebranded, was known for its charity efforts, featuring a Pro-Am format where professional golfers played alongside celebrity amateurs and even amateur players who qualified. The event raised funds for various charitable causes and featured a mix of serious golf competitions and lighthearted entertainment.

Over the years, the tournament underwent several name changes and sponsorships, but its connection to Thunderbird Country Club remained a defining aspect. While the tournament’s official name and location may have changed, its legacy as a prominent and highly anticipated event in the world of professional golf and celebrity culture endures.

Please note that my information is accurate up until September 2021, and there may have been developments or changes since that time.

Thunderbird Country Club Membership Costs and Dues

The estimated and rumored membership costs and dues for Thunderbird Country Club are as follows:

thunderbird country club
  • Estimated:
    • Initiation fee: $50,000
    • Annual dues: $10,000
  • Rumored:
    • Initiation fee: $100,000
    • Annual dues: $20,000

It is important to note that these are just estimates and rumors, and the actual costs may vary. Membership at Thunderbird Country Club is by invitation only, so you will need to be sponsored by a current member in order to apply.

Here is a breakdown of the estimated costs:

  • Initiation fee: This is a one-time fee that is paid when you join the club. It is used to cover the cost of the club’s amenities, such as the golf course, tennis courts, and clubhouse.
  • Annual dues: This is a recurring fee that is paid each year to maintain your membership. It covers the cost of ongoing expenses, such as staff salaries, maintenance, and utilities.

In addition to the initiation fee and annual dues, there are also other costs associated with membership at Thunderbird Country Club. These include:

  • Food and beverage: The club has a restaurant and bar, and there are additional charges for food and drinks.
  • Golf cart rentals: If you want to rent a golf cart, there is an additional fee.
  • Other fees: There may be other fees associated with membership, such as a greens fee for playing golf.

Overall, the cost of membership at Thunderbird Country Club is significant. However, the club offers a variety of amenities and benefits that make it a desirable destination for many people.

Thunderbird Country Club Amenities

Thunderbird Country Club offers a range of luxurious amenities designed to provide its members with a comprehensive and upscale lifestyle experience.

Here are some of the amenities that Thunderbird Country Club has been known to provide:

  1. Championship Golf Courses: Thunderbird Country Club is renowned for its meticulously designed and well-maintained golf courses. Members have access to challenging fairways, manicured greens, and stunning desert landscapes that provide a world-class golfing experience.
  2. Practice Facilities: The country club typically offers practice areas, driving ranges, and putting greens where members can hone their golf skills and improve their game.
  3. Clubhouse: The clubhouse serves as a central gathering point and features elegant dining options, lounges, and social spaces where members can relax, dine, and socialize in a refined atmosphere.
  4. Tennis Facilities: Thunderbird Country Club may provide tennis courts and facilities for members who enjoy playing tennis at various skill levels.
  5. Fitness Center: Many country clubs offer fitness centers with state-of-the-art equipment and facilities to help members stay active and maintain their health.
  6. Swimming Pool: A swimming pool or pool may be available for members and their guests to enjoy, offering a refreshing place to relax and unwind.
  7. Spa Services: Some country clubs provide spa services or wellness offerings to promote relaxation and self-care.
  8. Social Events: Thunderbird Country Club often hosts a variety of social events, including parties, themed dinners, holiday celebrations, and more, fostering a sense of community among members.
  9. Private Events: The club may offer private event spaces for members to host special occasions such as weddings, receptions, and corporate gatherings.
  10. Children’s Activities: Family-friendly clubs often provide children’s programs, camps, and activities to cater to younger members.
  11. Gated Security: Many private clubs, including Thunderbird Country Club, typically offer gated entrances and security measures to ensure the privacy and safety of their members.
  12. Concierge Services: Members might have access to concierge services to assist with reservations, event planning, and other personalized services.

Please note that amenities and offerings can vary over time and may differ depending on the specific type of membership you choose.

Thunderbird Country Club Event Information and Dining Options

Thunderbird Country Club typically offers a variety of events and dining options to cater to its members’ social and culinary preferences.

Here is a general overview of what Thunderbird Country Club might offer in terms of events and dining:


  1. Social Gatherings: Thunderbird Country Club often hosts a range of social events, including themed parties, holiday celebrations, and member mixers. These events provide opportunities for members to connect, socialize, and enjoy a vibrant community atmosphere.
  2. Golf Tournaments: The club may organize various golf tournaments and events for members of all skill levels, providing friendly competition and a chance to showcase golfing prowess.
  3. Special Occasions: Thunderbird Country Club might offer event spaces and services for hosting private celebrations such as weddings, anniversaries, and corporate functions.
  4. Entertainment: Some events may feature live entertainment, music performances, or guest speakers to enhance the member experience.

Dining Options:

  1. Fine Dining: The club’s dining facilities often include upscale and formal dining rooms where members can enjoy gourmet cuisine in an elegant setting.
  2. Casual Dining: Thunderbird Country Club may offer more relaxed and casual dining options, such as a grill or bistro, for members seeking a more laid-back atmosphere.
  3. Outdoor Dining: If the club has outdoor spaces, members might have the opportunity to dine al fresco, taking in the picturesque surroundings.
  4. Bar and Lounge: A bar and lounge area could be available for members to unwind, enjoy drinks, and socialize.
  5. Special Menus: The club might offer special menus for holidays, themed events, or seasonal occasions, providing a diverse culinary experience.
  6. Private Dining: Members could have access to private dining rooms for hosting intimate gatherings or special occasions.
  7. Catering Services: Thunderbird Country Club may offer catering services for on-site and off-site events, allowing members to enjoy the club’s cuisine at various locations.

Thunderbird Country Club Dress Code and Guest Policy

Thunderbird Country Club, like many private country clubs, typically has a dress code and guest policy in place to ensure a certain level of decorum and atmosphere for its members and visitors.

Here is a general overview of what Thunderbird Country Club’s dress code and guest policy might entail:

Dress Code: Thunderbird Country Club’s dress code is designed to maintain a tasteful and respectful environment for all members and guests. Common elements of a dress code may include:

  • Collared shirts for men and appropriate tops for women
  • Slacks or golf shorts for men; skirts, slacks, or golf shorts for women
  • Golf or athletic shoes (soft spikes) on the golf course
  • No denim, cutoffs, or athletic wear on the golf course or in dining areas
  • Appropriate footwear and attire in dining and social areas
  • Casual attire is allowed in specified casual areas

It’s important to adhere to the dress code when visiting the club’s facilities to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable experience for everyone.

Guest Policy: Thunderbird Country Club likely has a guest policy in place to regulate the access and privileges extended to non-members. Some aspects of a guest policy might include:

  • Members generally have the ability to bring guests to the club.
  • Guests are often required to be accompanied by a member while using the club’s facilities.
  • Limits on the number of times a guest can visit in a given period.
  • Certain restrictions on the frequency or type of guests (e.g., immediate family members, out-of-town visitors).

Guests are expected to follow the club’s rules and policies while on the premises and should be aware of and respect the dress code and overall club etiquette.

Thunderbird Country Club stands as a distinguished haven of elegance and leisure in Rancho Mirage, California. With its rich history, impeccable amenities, and captivating desert backdrop, the club offers a coveted lifestyle that seamlessly blends tradition with modern luxury. From championship golf courses that challenge and delight enthusiasts to refined dining options that cater to diverse palates, Thunderbird Country Club’s commitment to excellence is evident in every detail.

As a sanctuary for community, recreation, and refined relaxation, Thunderbird Country Club invites you to embark on a journey where sophistication and camaraderie flourish, leaving an indelible mark on those fortunate enough to be part of its cherished legacy.

Disclaimer: is an independent resource and is not associated with any of the clubs on this website. Club initiation and membership cost information are estimates only and should not be relied upon for making club membership decisions.