While a treadmill and a few free weights tucked away in a secluded room may have qualified as a gym in the past, those days are long gone.
We’ve written and spoken a lot about how country clubs have evolved in recent years. “This is not your father’s country club” is a popular refrain. Clubs have changed because society has changed.
Today’s clubs are all inclusive. Golf courses are still beautifully maintained, but it’s not just men walking the fairways. Women and children are the fastest-growing demographic of golfers.
Tennis courts are still utilized, but the pickleball craze has swept the country and clubs have taken notice. A rising tide lifts all ships and tennis, platform tennis, POP Tennis and squash have benefitted by the renaissance of racquet sports.
Club chefs are more important than ever (our annual Chef to Chef Conference celebrates these rock stars), but dining at the club has changed, as well. Sure, fine dining is still popular, but clubs have introduced more-casual eateries, which appeal to the family-friendly vibe that’s permeating the industry.
Speaking of family-friendly, the pool area has changed with the times, too. Lap lanes and diving wells remain to accommodate competitive swim teams, but resort-style pools have been added at many properties to provide a relaxing environment for kids and sun lovers. Check out our Top Ranked Aquatics and Pools entries in the May issue to see what’s happening from coast to coast.
We chronicled Top ranked Fitness & Wellness in our April issue and included a Design + Renovation feature in our January issue. The health and wellbeing of members is obviously a huge concern of clubs.
While a treadmill and a few free weights tucked away in a secluded room may have qualified as a gym in the past, those days are long gone. Facilities at many clubs now rival (or top) what you’d find in any Life Time or LA Fitness location.
The aforementioned equipment still exists, but is now joined by spinning bikes, Yoga classes and state-of-the-art fitness-tracking technology. Addison Reserve Country Club, for instance, boasts an aerobic studio, a TRX (Total Body Resistance Exercise) circuit studio, large cardio/free weight area, Peloton studio with eight cycles, Kinesis Wall room, three pilates studios and stretching area. More than 30 classes—including water aerobics, yoga and tai chi—are offered on a weekly basis.
As for “wellness” … members of the Delray Beach, Fla. club have ample ways to decompress and relax at the 6,032-sq.-ft. spa. Manicures, pedicures, facials, and massages are among the services available, along with boutique shopping, a salt therapy room, hair salon, and his and her serenity areas. There is also an outdoor whirlpool that “adds to the incredible list of services provided at the spa,” club officials say.
Design + Renovation
In a renovation article, Contributing Editor Pamela Brill featured what Phoenix (Ariz.) Country Club, The Olympic Club in San Francisco, Calif., and Firestone Country Club in Akron, Ohio have done to up their fitness games.
New equipment has not only benefitted members working with personal trainers at Phoenix Country Club, but has enabled the club to expand its group exercise programming.
“We can better serve our members, ranging from the general population to members with sports backgrounds,” Director of Sales & Marketing Shannon Landers told Brill.
The Olympic Club created two distinct fitness spaces—each tailored to different workout regimes. The newly renovated group fitness and yoga studios were reintroduced to members last May and have since become well-frequented.
Nick Lusson, Athletic Director at the club, said they had to address competing vibes between the adjacent room. “You want a spin studio to be loud and energetic, while you want the yoga studio to be a sanctuary,” Lusson told Brill. To manage these, the team devised several sound-mitigation strategies, including soundproofing in the walls, a waterfall in the yoga studio to create white noise, and sound panels on the spin studio ceiling. Two spaces … Many great experiences for members.