The project that will add a fitness center and move bowling lanes to the bottom level of the clubhouse is designed to provide year-round amenities for the Michigan club’s 800-plus members. “We don’t close anymore,” said GM/COO Craig Cutler.
The country club where the late Arnold Palmer had what he called the “turning point” in his legendary golf career is now at a turning point of its own, Crain’s Detroit Business reported.
The Country Club of Detroit (CCD), on 212 acres in Grosse Pointe Farms, Mich., is scheduled soon to complete a $9 million renovation of its Tudor Revival-style clubhouse to add a fitness center and move bowling lanes to the bottom level of the building, Crain’s Detroit Business reported.
The construction efforts are designed to provide year-round amenities to CCD’s 800-plus members, who are paying about $100 per month extra in dues to pay for the construction, Crain’s Detroit Business reported.
“Country clubs generally concentrate on the 100 days of summer we have in Michigan, but you have to offer more,” Craig Cutler, CCD’s General Manager and COO, told Crain’s Detroit Business. “This helps us with a year-round operation. We don’t close anymore.”
The project will add a modern fitness center to the clubhouse’s ground level, to replace an emptied indoor swimming pool that had been closed since the early 1930s, Crain’s Detroit Business reported. Completion is expected in November.
A six-lane bowling alley, expected to be completed in October, is being added to the bottom level.
Work began on the two projects about a year ago, with Troy, Mich.-based G2 Consulting Group providing engineering services for the project, Crain’s Detroit Business reported. The club required that the footprint or historical architecture of its existing clubhouse—which is actually the fourth in CCD’s history—not be altered.
Excavation was done under the building, so the foundation could be lowered to make room for higher ceilings and larger interior spaces. To accomplish that without disturbing the footprint, the building was put on stilts, according to Mark Stapleton, G2’s Project Manager.
Concrete was then poured to encapsulate the stilts, which provided stability for the renovations without disruption to the structure; the new foundation walls will also serve as long-term support.
In all, the building moved just 1/32 of an inch during the entire process, Crain’s Detroit Business reported.
CCD’s casual dining area and kitchen were also renovated recently. Brian Beland, CMC, the club’s Executive Chef and Food & Beverage Manager, discussed CCD’s culinary program in a “Chef to Chef” interview article in the February 2016 issue of C&RB (http://clubandresortbusiness.com/2016/02/09/taking-the-broad-view/) Chef Beland will be a featured presenter at C&RB’s 2017 Chef to Chef Conference in Atlanta, March 3-6, 2017 (www.cheftochefconference.com).
CCD’s current initiation fee for golfing members is $35,000, and dues are $752 per month, Crain’s Detroit Business reported; the initiation fee for social members (non-golfing) is $5,000, and dues are $416 per month.
The club has a par-72, 18-hole course and a nine-hole course, plus casual and formal dining and other amenities.
Arnold Palmer took his first step toward golf greatness on the club’s 18-hole course with a 1954 U.S. Amateur victory, when he, as a 24-year-old paint salesman from Latrobe, Pa., triumphed over Bob Sweeney for the first significant victory in a career that included 62 PGA Tour tournament wins, including seven majors.
“That victory was the turning point in my life,” he was quoted as saying much later in his career. “It gave me confidence I could compete at the highest level of the game.”
Palmer returned to CCD for the Turning Point Invitational in 2004, which is now an annual event benefitting Cornerstone Schools. This year’s event raised $3.28 million for the five-school system, which has 2,800 students, Crain’s Detroit Business reported.
Palmer will always have a locker at CCD, next to one reserved for Jack Nicklaus, Crain’s Detroit Business reported.