Clubs are rethinking their approach to locker-room design, with equal parts emphasis on function, style and creating open and welcoming gathering spots.
Note to members and guests: This isn’t your father’s locker room any more. Standard spots designated for a hot shower after a round of golf, or a quick change of clothes before cocktails, have given way to a new wave of redesigned facilities. Now featuring amenities that speak to the changing face of club culture, locker rooms are extending their purpose beyond basic needs, and becoming attractive social havens and favored hangouts of their own.
At The Reserve Club in Indian Wells, Calif., one might say that a clubhouse renovation, complete with refreshed locker rooms, was in the cards—or, more accurately, the card rooms.
As detailed in C+RB’s February 2019 cover story (“The Reserve Club Puts New Muscle On Its Bones”), for the club’s 20th anniversary as the new year began it rolled out a redesigned layout that eliminated underutilized lockers and added member-gathering spots in its classic clubhouse. “In a golf community, where people are minutes away and have their own homes, there’s very little need for lockers,” explains General Manager/CEO Mike Kelly.
Previously housing 240 half-size lockers, 100 lockers in the men’s locker room were removed to make space for a card room and expand an existing media/entertainment center. For the women’s room, which originally contained 168 half-size units, 68 lockers were taken out for a card room. “Reducing these unused lockers provided more functional space for social and gathering areas,” Kelly notes.
To create added ambiance, both spaces were designed to mimic a residential feel. “The concept was to create an extension of home at the club, bringing into play the outdoors and views of the surrounding mountain ranges and Club Village,” says Kelly. “ We wanted to repurpose areas that were originally well-intended, but functionally underutilized.”
The men’s locker room interior-design palette includes warm browns, beige, orange and copper (see photo above), while the women’s space is awash in shades of sea green, sand and mauve (see photo, pgs. 22-23). Artwork on the walls, selected by the club’s interior design committee, is complemented by new window treatments that accentuate the natural lighting.
Enabling female members to linger longer, a newly added wine bar just off the women’s locker room provides foodservice upon request. This area is also stocked with complimentary snacks of fresh fruit and cookies. Outfitted with comfortable chairs and sofas, this space leads directly to an outdoor patio, along with a tranquility garden that Kelly credits with “bringing the outside in and the inside out.”
Back inside the clubhouse, interior lighting is controlled by smartphone, as are music and HVAC capabilities. And because The Reserve is a gated community, security is monitored 24/7 and the locker rooms are staffed from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.
With such a well-thought-out design, membership has expressed rave reviews that have extended outside the four walls, Kelly reports. “Not only are the members thrilled, but word has spread, and design committees and general managers from other clubs are coming to see what has been created here,” he enthuses.
Maintaining a Reputation
At the Golden Horseshoe Golf Club in Williamsburg, Va., creating a memorable experience of the same caliber as other guest facilities prompted a renovation of the existing locker rooms. Given that the golf course and portions of the clubhouse were already closed for renovation, management deemed this to be an ideal time for a locker-room overhaul.
“The newly renovated locker rooms offer our resort guests and Golden Horseshoe members a pleasant experience to match the golf shop, courses and other Colonial Williamsburg facilities,” says General Manager Marc Guiseppi. The revamped locker rooms opened to members in July 2017.
While the total number of lockers has remained the same (84 in the men’s room and 40 in the women’s), their layout has been updated for a more streamlined design. In the women’s locker room, lockers that were previously centered in the middle of the space are now wall-mounted. “This has not only made the room more aesthetically pleasing, but has made the lockers more user-friendly,” Giuseppi explains.
Both locker rooms’ construction went from a cinderblock design to painted sheetrock. Guiseppi credits this choice for providing greater flexibility and a canvas for wall-mounted televisions and wall art depicting the club’s golf-course architects.
Awash in earth tones, the neutral backdrop meshes well with the wood-panel locker faces and is enhanced by pops of color in each locker room. Modern can-lighting in the ceiling is enhanced by a smattering of table lamps, with the addition of a chandelier in the women’s locker room.
Each gender benefits from individual amenities—a small card room converted from a storage area in the men’s room and a vanity area in the women’s room—and separate sitting areas are also available for both sexes. Members and guests have easy access to the Spa of Colonial Williamsburg located within 25 yards of the clubhouse, offering a sauna, salon, fitness center and swimming pools.
Such amenities have helped to generate overwhelmingly positive response from Golden Horseshoe’s membership. “We have received many wonderful comments—and have increased the number of locker rentals to 60 as a result of the enhanced experience,” says Guiseppi. As a result, the club currently is bringing in over $5,000 annually from these new lockers.
Meeting Membership Needs
A boost in membership recently prompted a clubhouse-wide remodel at Park Meadows Country Club, including brand-new locker rooms and lounge areas. The Park City, Utah, facility held a ribbon-cutting ceremony in December 2017 to showcase its revamped amenities, which were designed to better appeal to its growing clientele of younger families.
Embodying a style that General Manager Damon Rodgers describes as “mountain contemporary,” the locker rooms have been refreshed to correlate with the overall clubhouse design and to mirror recent developments in the local community. “The clean lines, lighter colors and up-to-date finishes are all following new construction designs throughout the Park City area,” Rodgers says.
In both the men’s and ladies’ locker rooms, the half- and quarter-size lockers command a strong presence with their dark wood facing, and blend in well with a nutty brown interior. (A total of 220 in the men’s and 143 in the ladies’ are an increase from the previous layout.) Patterned carpeting in a contemporary style adds character to the locker area, while hard flooring just outside the restrooms is practically outfitted with drainage. Gleaming fixtures and marble countertops in the vanity area add to the crisp, clean setting.
Separate lounge areas for men and women are decorated in a neutral color palette, with dark brown and grey in the men’s and cream, light pink and gold furnishings in the ladies’ lounge. In the latter area, comfortable seating with plump, decorative cushions offers a place to relax and unwind and, in the colder months, enjoy a fireside chat with friends. In the men’s lounge, members have the added option of grabbing at a seat at the bar and taking in the latest sporting event via one of two wall-mounted television screens.
Since this comprehensive clubhouse overhaul was completed, Park Meadows has been able to better serve its membership, both on the course and off. Rodgers credits the revitalized locker rooms and adjoining facilities for providing “a more spacious and updated area to utilize before and after club events and golf.”
Summing It Up
> A subtle color palette of neutral tones is ideal for locker rooms that call for understated style.
> Lounges located just off the locker-room area promote member interaction and provide another option for casual socializing.
> Freeing up unused lockers allows space to be repurposed for locker-room extras such as card rooms or vanity areas.