Golf and nudist clubs face drop in members

SPRINGFIELD, Ore. -- What do a nudist club and country club have in common?

A decline in membership.

However two clubs in the Springfield area are determined to attract new members in the face of a national decline.

Jeff Gaskill with the Springfield Golf Club says there were 385 members when he started working here about 10 years ago.

Now they're a club of 200 members.

"I compare it to an Elks lodge, something that used to be more popular," Gaskill says. "Nationwide, there have been course closures. Staying alive is kind of an accomplishment by itself."

The club made changes after the economy tanked, he says, getting rid of their member fees and switching from "country club" to simply a "golf club."

Willamettans Family Nudist Resort, a non-traditional club just down the street in Marcola, is also struggling to keep members. John Minman is the Willlamettans president and past president of the American Association for Nude Recreation.

The ANNR represents about 400 nudist clubs and resorts across the nation.

"Around the last 18-20 years, ANNR has dropped from about 50,000 members to about 33,000 today," Minman says.

Nudist Richard Stockett says the interest is there.

In the summer months, he says, people come from all over the nation to visit Willamettans Resort.

"If young people, young muscle, young enthusiasm doesn't join, the amount of heaving lifting is going to have to fall on people like myself," nudist Richard Stockett says.

The resort has taken part in setting new Guiness World Records for skinny dipping three times.

While some people are less willing to make a commitment, Stockett said he's committed to securing more members.