Susan: I wish we could afford a place in the Hamptons. Everybody
whos anybody has one.
Hobie: Yeah, but if youre somebody whos nobody, its no fun to be
around anybody whos everybody.
- "Melinda and Melinda"
Though he predates the 1% debate and Chuck Bass, Woody Allen had some serious insights into the world of Manhattan's elite... and non-elite. While nowadays almost any mid-level trader or PR twentysomething has a share house in the Hamptons during the summer months, it's only a certain kind of family that owns out east. And within that already ultra exclusive club, there are only a certain echelon that belong to the private beach clubs stretching along the white sand beaches on the Eastern edges of this long island.
Fortunately for me, I managed to meet a few of these fancy folks and through their generosity I gained access to the notoriously snooty and closed access golf compound and private family club in East Hampton. The Maidstone is one of the oldest golf clubs in the east and boasts an 18-hole course. Since I'm more beach bum than caddy shacker, I indulged in the water sports and beach cafe on my visit. The cold bar offers made-to-order salads freshly chopped before your eyes. The grill had some tantalizing sandwiches and burgers, but again being a private club you can only dine here with a member so leave the cash at home. The private beach is perfectly serene, complete with chairs and umbrellas ready for a day of lounging while the massive pool seemed more family friendly with children splashing away. Be sure to order up a signature Maidstone cocktail (basically a rich man's Long Island Iced Tea) and check out the upper deck views of the Atlantic and surrounding beach.
The clubhouse itself is nice, classy and pure Hamptons style. We didn't really meet anyone new, and the only diversity you'll find is in the kitchen. It's clear that families have been coming out here for generations and they are wary of strange faces. It was fun to live like the 1% for a day, but in the end I think I prefer a sandy day brown-bagging it in the Rockaways. For those looking for a more exclusive experience, and some of the world best golf spots, then perhaps you can wiggle your way in here.