Sleek but comfortable locker rooms provide members with space to relax and unwind in an eye-catching setting.
Whoever thought locker rooms had to be drab and utilitarian has never stepped inside a private club’s facilities. Once thought to be a simple pit stop for a quick shower between a round of golf and cocktails, men’s and women’s locker rooms are now being redesigned as an extension of a club’s overall brand, giving them the necessary attention that’s long overdue.
|Summing It Up
• Integrating original designs with new amenities allows clubs to maintain their historic roots, while keeping up with the times.
• Carrying over color schemes and décor choices from the clubhouse into the locker rooms creates a cohesive, consistent look.
• Additional locker room amenities can be extended into adjoining spaces, to add value to member experiences.
A Marriage of Old and New
At the Country Club of Detroit (CCD) in Grosse Pointe Farms, Mich., new locker rooms were part of a long-range improvement plan that began in the spring of 2014 and is expected to be completed in early 2017. Following a complete gutting of the men’s and women’s locker rooms in the clubhouse, members now have access to these enhanced facilities, along with a family changing area and a small locker area for bowling ball and shoe storage (a six-lane bowling alley was added to the bottom level).
The first leg of the project, which revamped the women’s quarters, now features 122 lockers, with an additional 80 lockers due to roll out next spring. The revamped space “reflects the 1927 Tudor clubhouse [design],” says General Manager Craig Cutler. Wood, iron, handmade tile and clear-story windows complete the historic look, which is balanced out by modern-day amenities, such as vanity tables and lighted mirrors. To highlight the CCD brand, custom tilework showcases the clubhouse’s original, locally sourced Pewabic Pottery design.
In the pool locker area, which was renovated in the spring of 2015, each locker room has been outfitted with between 24 and 36 large day lockers. These facilities were updated with “lots of millwork and trim detail, to feel more luxurious,” Cutler says. “We also added air-conditioning and redundant fan systems, to keep humidity down and maintain comfort.” Special extras include designated vanity areas and hooks for hanging dresses, jackets and backpacks, which become particularly useful for swim meets.
Last spring, the renovation of CCD’s men’s locker room involved a whopping 475 lockers. “We renovated around the original metal lockers and added some one-third lockers for fitness,” Cutler explains.
As with the women’s locker room, the look was restored to invoke the club’s original 1927 style with chrome fixtures, a marble basket-weave floor, and subway tile. A steam room was also added in place of the dry sauna, along with custom shower curtains and shaving mirrors.
“The high level of finish in all areas sends a quality message to all members and guests of the club,” Cutler notes. “Nothing has been taken for granted.”
Brand (and Member) Recognition
Remodeling must take into consideration all aspects of clubhouse design, including some of the more overlooked areas. For SunRidge Canyon Golf Club in Fountain Hills, Ariz., this included a carefully redesigned locker-room area.
“Most times, the restroom or locker-room areas are a reflection of the environment,” says Kristen Starr, Director of Operations. “If they are not up to date, well-maintained or clean, that can send a negative feeling to your guests.”
Having experienced significant growth over the last three years, SunRidge Canyon decided to update its 20-year-old locker rooms with 50 new lockers for men and 14 new lockers for women. The renovation was scheduled during the club’s annual summer closure in August and was completed in September.
The design was modeled after the overall décor of the club’s Wicked Six Bar & Grill, named for the golf course’s challenging final six holes.
“We wanted to keep with the rustic elegance that the restaurant and golf shop boasts, and went with neutral tones to keep the warm feeling that follows the facility,” explains Starr.
Downsizing for the Better
As the saying goes, sometimes less is more—and such is the case with the locker rooms at Piper’s Landing Yacht & Country Club. The Palm City, Fla., club is currently undergoing a major renovation that should be completed by early 2017. While the footprint of the clubhouse is expected to expand, the number of lockers will decrease dramatically: from 75 half-lockers to 20 total.
“All of our members are residents of the gated community in which the club is located,” explains General Manager and Chief Operating Officer Brian Reich. “People prefer to go home and change, rather than use the locker room.”
By freeing up this space, members can now access adjoining card/multipurpose rooms through separate entrances for each gender. A new family restroom just off the locker-room area is also being mapped out.
“There’s a lot of excitement and anticipation right now,” says Reich of the new space, which should be completed by the end of December.
Plank-style tile matches the Bar & Grill’s hardwood floors, while speckled granite countertops provide polish and stainless-steel fixtures mirror the features in the restaurant’s open show kitchen. Stainless plumbing and pipes achieve further consistency, complemented by copper-coated sconces (updating a previous finish that had been outdated).
Original partitions were powder-coated with a dark brown suede, to maintain the clubhouse color scheme. In addition, leather couches and rustic hacienda tables resemble some of the other leather pieces featured in the restaurant.
Such attention to detail has not gone unnoticed, as member feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. “This remodel may be the best one we have done,” says Starr. “Restrooms sometimes get forgotten. But if you want people to feel your brand and see the continuity of the facility, it must carry through everywhere.”
Worth the Wait
For The Golf Club at Little Turtle in Westerville, Ohio, it seems only fitting that its recent renovation yielded slow, but steady, progress. Under the direction of new ownership, the club broke ground last October for a $2 million clubhouse renovation that included brand-new locker rooms and gathering spots for each gender.
“Our 42-year-old clubhouse hadn’t been touched in five years,” says Matt Lawrence, Director of Sales and Marketing. “It was time for a change.”
While the number of lockers in the men’s and women’s rooms remains the same (125 for men and 78 for women), both facilities were completely transformed. Dark wood lockers run the length of the rooms, with gray upholstered benches for nearby seating. In the bathroom areas, marble countertops and wooden cabinetry create a clean, fresh look. Muted gray walls and silver mirrors blend well with textured carpeting in neutral tones.
In sharp contrast to the contemporary design of the locker and bathroom areas, separate rooms reserved exclusively for each gender were also created. Just off the men’s locker room is a stag room, outfitted with a pool table, leather furniture and a small bar. A high-definition golf simulator in an adjoining room gives men an opportunity to perfect their swings when they’re not on the course.
Right outside the women’s locker room is a sitting room, adorned with floral upholstered chairs, a couch plumped with textured throw pillows, and a tabletop and TV. Decorative statues, floral-pattern photos and a three-foot-high flower pot add a playful tone to what Lawrence describes as a more “design-oriented room.”
Of course, no renovation comes without its share of challenges. “We initially planned to do the construction in different phases, but once we got into the guts of this building, we had to do the construction all at once,” explains Lawrence.
As a result, members were without showers or locker room access for the entire summer. “But what we gave them turned out to be a fantastic renovation in less than one year,” Lawrence adds.