The Oldest Member is a fictional character from the short stories and novels of P. G. Wodehouse. He narrates the majority of Wodehouse's golf stories from the terrace of a golf club whose location is unclear, and he never has a proper name. We don't even know whether the Golf Club is located in England or in the United States. In The Clicking of Cuthbert, it appears to be in England. In The Heart of a Goof, it seems to be in the United States, but then, some characters will talk about pounds instead of dollars, and Marvis Bay is mentioned in one of the story. And we know that Marvis Bay is one of the favourite fictional English seaside resorts of Wodehouse.
While the club's members enjoy having drinks in the clubhouse after a brisk eighteen holes, they do so fully aware of the risk that the Oldest Member who, though he has long since given up golf, has seen all and knows all, might pick up on their conversation and begin to relate a story from his experience. Once he has started talking, he cannot be stopped. These stories are often told to another character, 'the young man' who for some reason seems eager to leave before the story has even started.
The Oldest Member narrates twenty-five short stories:
- Nine of the ten stories in The Clicking of Cuthbert:
- All nine stories in The Heart of a Goof:
- Five of the stories in Nothing Serious:
- A single story from A Few Quick Ones:
- A single story from Lord Emsworth and Others:
- Usborne, Richard (2003). Plum Sauce: A P. G. Wodehouse Companion. New York: The Overlook Press. p. 118. ISBN 1-58567-441-9.
- Radio 4 adaptation episode listing The Oldest Member on epguides.com