Clubs are placing a renewed emphasis on member fitness. Unmanned, uninspired workout spaces are being replaced with expansive fitness centers and a dedicated health-and-wellness staff.
Fitness comes in many forms. Not everyone can be built like Tiger Woods back in the late ‘90s and, quite frankly, I’m sure there are things about his past exercise regime that he’d likely change if given the opportunity. Perhaps training with the Navy Seals wasn’t the ideal way to ready his body for the rigors of professional golf?
Personally, I know I feel better when exercising regularly, and I can point to improved play on the golf course and tennis courts when in a workout routine.
In our June issue, we examined what Woodfield Country Club in Boca Raton, Fla., was doing to engage its male membership [“Yo, Bro”]. The “Yoga for Bros” initiative has been so successful that members request extra sessions when they can’t make the scheduled class. The trick for Woodfield was to make it as comfortable and welcoming as possible. Men can wear whatever they want, and there’s no mandate for peace-and-quiet and forced “namaste.”
But it’s not all programming. Club properties are investing millions of dollars to bring state-of-the-art fitness facilities to their memberships, too. Blackhawk Country Club in Danville, Calif. opened a new Fitness and Wellness Center in 2018, transitioning from a small, unstaffed, self-service fitness center at its Falls Clubhouse to a new $5.3 million, 9,400-sq. ft. center that features cardio equipment lining an array of windows overlooking the East Bay hills. Blackhawk’s new facility also boasts a 1,200-sq. ft. group exercise studio, alongside an adjacent 1,200-sq. ft. outdoor workout area, three wellness rooms, and men’s and women’s locker rooms.
Across the country, when The Fountaingrove Club in Santa Rosa, Calif. lost its clubhouse due to the Tubbs Fire in 2017, the Athletic Center became the haven for members. As detailed in the July 2019 issue, Fountaingrove now offers an array of fitness opportunities, including yoga, martial arts, aquatics, personal training, spin and strength training.
These are just some of many examples of how clubs are putting an added emphasis on fitness and finding unique ways to make sure their members use their facilties, vs. having a separate health club membership or working out at home or the office. Healthy, happy members tend to remain members—and for a longer time (ideally). And having them see their club as the go-to place for staying fit also pays off in how they use it for dining and other social and recreational purposes.
Clearly, fitness is no longer an afterthought in the club and resort industries—and in many cases, it has become a major focal point of the property, as a reflection of how many traditional golf or country clubs are broadening what they offer, to make sure they can appeal to a broader range of potential members.
What is your club doing to address this renewed interest and demand?