Locker rooms are being upgraded to take on this year’s sudden influx in golf traffic with more room for showers, saunas and other features.
Much like that fresh-from-the-shower feeling, clubhouse locker rooms are rejuvenated not only by structural makeovers, but by the steady stream of members and guests who have been using clubs as one of the few places to which they’ve been able to get away this year. And as pandemic-weary players resume their golf games and look for ways to socialize safely, locker rooms and adjoining amenities are offering a welcome reprieve from the confines of home.
From spacious showers to reopened amenities like shoeshine and card-room facilities, these locker rooms demonstrate how clubs can operate effectively with the right safety practices in place.
At Wollaston Golf Club in Milton, Mass., members were due for a change in the locker-room facilities. Following the completion of a 2015 survey and subsequent queries by the club’s planning committee, management learned of the desire for improved accommodations for golf and fitness users.
“We received overwhelming feedback on the need to address the size and location of the women’s locker room, improve the men’s locker room and the need for a year-round golf fitness facility,” says Clubhouse Manager Nikki Gulla. “On a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the most important, the men’s locker room upgrade was rated 4.3 and the women’s locker room upgrade was rated 3.7.”
As a result of a multiphase construction plan, a 5,000-sq.-ft. men’s locker room inside a golf-centric facility opened its doors in March 2019, while a new women’s locker room housed within the existing clubhouse was completed six months later. These respective spaces boast a more streamlined design, with 504 half-lockers in the men’s locker room (vs. 372 full and 90 half-lockers previously) and 138 half-lockers in the women’s (vs. 40 full and 92 half previously).
“The new half-lockers are wider and deeper than the old ones, making the transition to all half-lockers easier,” Gulla notes.
Designed in a transitional style, each locker room is distinguished by aesthetics that maximize its respective location. The men’s locker room, on the top floor of the golf building, has a vaulted wood-plank ceiling that, according to Gulla, “promotes a sense of grandeur and open space.” Painted in shades of warm gray, neutral tones are balanced out by steel and burgundy plaid carpeting, burgundy benches and wood-stained lockers.
A central wet area contains a vanity with four sinks, four urinals, three full-stall toilets, six showers and a steam room. A small lounge area and outdoor deck overlooking the golf course provides space to relax and unwind, while a shoeshine and locker room attendant area completes the layout.
Because the women’s locker room is located in the clubhouse basement, a softer color palette balances out the darkness. Warm grays are softened by tints of white and cream, a light-gray locker stain and muted seafoam accents. In sharp contrast, towel storage and a breakfast console are outfitted in a dark wood stain.
In addition to the lockers themselves, the women’s locker room includes a wet area with four showers, full-stall changing spaces, four full-stall toilets and four sinks. A ladies’ lounge with television, soft seating, a card table and space for continental breakfast round out the services for women. (Because the men’s locker room is not housed in the clubhouse where the fitness center is located, a small men’s-only room featuring eight day lockers, a shower and toilet was added to the design.)
“The locker room serves as a welcome home base for members before and after their rounds,” says Gulla. “New membership candidates continue to be impressed and excited by the new space and can see its full potential.”
Showers of Happiness
In response to increased demand in its active golfing community, Streamsong Black, one of three courses at the resort in Bowling Green, Fla., recently underwent a clubhouse-wide renovation that included an expanded locker room. The renovated space, which was unveiled to members in the fall of 2020, resulted not only in a larger footprint, but a facility first. “Prior to the locker room renovation, the Streamsong Black locker rooms had no showers and were much smaller in size,” says Director of Golf Scott Wilson.
With an additional 4,000 sq. ft. in the clubhouse, the locker rooms were allotted ample space for both male and female golfers. The men’s locker room contains four showers, while the women’s locker room has two showers, along with the addition of oversized vanities. The men’s locker room includes 18 full and 18 half-lockers, and the women’s locker room holds seven full and six half-lockers. To emphasize the resort’s brand, each locker is engraved with the Streamsong logo.
The overall style is “grounded in terrain [that] speaks to the unique characteristics of Streamsong’s landscape and climate,” Wilson describes. (The resort was previously a strip mine.) “The new locker rooms incorporate colors that are warm extensions of the land, such as yellows, browns and light grays.”
LED high-hats illuminate the space and underfoot, commercial carpeting outfits the locker room. Bamboo-style receptacles for used towels extend the neutral tone of the overall décor.
Thanks to the increased space in the locker rooms, guests are able to maintain social distancing with ease—a design perk that proved especially useful during the COVID-19 pandemic. “With the closure of [the resort’s other two courses for renovations] from April through September, there was an extremely high demand for Streamsong Black,” says Wilson.
Branded By the Bay
At Rehoboth Beach Country Club in Rehoboth Beach, Del., members are reaping the benefits of a club on the water year-round, thanks to a property-wide renovation project inspired by its coastal location. This past summer, the club unveiled brand-new men’s and women’s locker rooms as part of a larger renovation that included the clubhouse, pool and short-game greens.By adding 6,000 sq. ft. to the 42,000-sq.-ft. clubhouse, both locker rooms benefitted from revamped spaces. The women’s locker room absorbed a former enclosed porch, while the men’s locker room was repositioned by transforming a former dining room into a men’s grill room. A combination of full and half lockers were swapped out in favor of stacked lockers.
“These lockers are about three-quarters of the size of a full locker and enable us to accommodate more [of them],” says General Manager/COO Michael MacDonald. The men now have 292 lockers, up from 251, and the women 115, up from 72).
To add some panache to an otherwise sterile setting, an inviting color palette was in order. “The colors selected around the club are light and airy, with an ocean feel, as we are located on Rehoboth Bay, which leads to the Atlantic Ocean,” notes MacDonald.
In the women’s locker room, maple lockers in white dove blend well with creamy furnishings and soft blue/grey carpeting. In the men’s locker room, rich mahogany lockers in cherry mocha exude a more masculine tone and are complemented by plaid carpeting.
To create a seamless design between wet and dry areas, each locker-room area flows directly into separate amenities, including a women’s card room and a men’s grill. “The layout was to provide an inviting entrance and sitting area where the members can relax with their friends while having lunch, cocktails and enjoying a sporting event or playing cards,” MacDonald explains.
In the women’s lounge, a floral-print couch and soft chairs create a cozy nook for unwinding by the fireplace. The men’s grill room is outfitted in navy wallpaper, wood tables and green leather chairs. Both genders also benefit from individual saunas—a first for the locker rooms (and a member-driven suggestion).
Since the August opening of the renovated space, Rehoboth Beach members have embraced the revamped amenities. “In the past, member would simply drop off their shoes, play golf and have lunch,” says MacDonald. “Now it’s more a place they can be proud to show their friends.” As evidence of this enthusiasm, he points out that 80 new members have joined the club since April. “This renovation has rejuvenated our club,” he adds.
With an uptick in golf traffic following the return of members to the greens, locker rooms are getting a full workout. As more clubs resume full operations, these facilities are enhancing sanitization and cleaning processes to ensure maximum safety.
At Wollaston Golf Club, locker rooms are staffed by an attendant during all hours of operation who is responsible for sanitizing high-touch surfaces. Shared toiletries (with the exception of hand soap) have been removed, as have all towels (to temporarily discourage the use of showers and/or the steam room).
Sanitization is at the forefront of business practices at the Streamsong resort, especially since the onset of COVID-19. “Comprehensive cleaning protocols, combined with strictly monitored disinfectant procedures, are in place that have further elevated Streamsong’s cleanliness standards throughout the locker-room areas,” notes Director of Golf Scott Wilson.
Social-distancing signage provides a gentle reminder to members, particularly in common areas like the clubhouse and locker rooms. Hand-sanitizing stations are available in most public areas of the resort, while travel-sized samples are offered to all guests.
Summing It Up
> Determining the best use of space reserved for lockers may require rethinking size and style.
> Adjoining common space for locker rooms, such as lounges and card rooms, promotes socialization with proper distancing.