Clubs are actively heeding the call of health-minded members with sleek new fitness centers that accommodate a full range of programming.
As members become more health-conscious and look for ways to incorporate fitness in their everyday lives, clubs are flexing their muscles and creating all-inclusive fitness centers. By providing an alternative to outside gym memberships, these facilities are designed to keep members on-site with designated spaces for individualized workouts, group classes and state-of-the-art equipment.
|Summing It Up
• Additional space allows clubs to expand fitness programming as needed, to incorporate personal trainers and group-exercise classes.
• Proper flooring and adequate lighting ensure a safe environment for working out.
• Providing access for portable audio devices lets gym-goers customize their fitness routines with their own musical preferences.
Room to Move
At the Rolling Green Country Club in Arlington Heights, Ill., a renovated, larger fitness center was long overdue. The original space, which dates back to 1989, was 1,400 sq. ft.—a size that General Manager Brian Silver says was considered “very large and ahead of its time back then.”
But now, Silver notes, “with the importance of fitness in people’s daily lives and [how it’s used] for better golf performance, it was a natural move to [expand and] make it the best facility we could.” Construction for the redesigned space, which now totals 4,000 sq. ft., commenced last September and was completed in January 2016.
Divided into four main areas, Rolling Green’s renovated facility now offers ample space for its members. A 900-sq. ft. group exercise studio is complete with a Wexer Virtual trainer, a virtual fitness system that allows on-site programming even when instructors aren’t available.
The free-weight area is outfitted with Life Fitness machinery and a Power Plate vibrating exercise platform, while the cardio area boasts 15 cardio machines. Rounding out the space is the personal training and plyometric area featuring Bosu balls, an Ultra Slide board, mats and other miscellaneous equipment.
“Part of the design was to incorporate lots of open space for members to move freely in and have the ability to create their own circuit space,” notes Silver.
To ensure safe footing, the fitness center contains specially ordered, one-inch-thick rubber gym flooring—a step up from the standard ¾-inch flooring—for better sound insulation and support. In the group exercise room, synthetic gym flooring with soft padding is designed to cushion joints during high-impact classes.
LED color-changing lights in the group exercise studio and above its entrance complement the energetic vibe. “We were the first to install 3M’s Dichroic color-changing film,” notes Silver. “We put it on the group exercise studio [see photo, above left], so you can’t see into the studio from the main part of the fitness center, but you can see the outside from the group exercise studio.
“This allows privacy for the class and a sense of openness when in the room, and you can see the entire center behind you,” Silver says.
A dedicated music program with over 80 channels was also added to the group exercise studio and the main fitness center, along with six flat-screen televisions.
The changes made to the fitness center have helped Rolling Green broaden its membership. “The fitness center gives us a place for group classes that we never had before,” notes Silver.
Feeding the Need
What was once a room designed for eating and socializing at Holston Hills Country Club in Knoxville, Tenn., has been revamped into a space meant to work up one’s appetite. This past spring, clubhouse renovations at the property transformed a dining room into a 1,260-sq. ft. fitness facility. The new space was unveiled to members in late July, with a special kickoff event featuring a free Zumba class, kids’ fitness class, orientation on the new equipment, raffle drawings and a healthy lunch.
“It was a very successful day, and the members all seemed very excited about the new amenities,” says Natalie Clemens, Corporate Director of Activities and Wellness for McConnell Golf, which acquired Holston Hills at the beginning of 2016.
Working with US Fitness to outfit the space, Holston Hills’ fitness center is laid out with cardio equipment lined up on one side of the room that looks out on the golf course. A variety of equipment, including Intenza treadmills and bikes, Octane Stride ellipticals and Torque strength equipment, are positioned in the middle of the room.
Free weights are next to the weight-training Smith machine, along with a storage tower that houses exercise mats, rollers, medicine balls, stability balls and resistance cables. Flooring is a fitness-style carpet, and all equipment will undergo routine maintenance checks to ensure safety.
This fall, the club plans to add a new key-fob system that will permit entry as early as 5 a.m. and as late as 10 p.m. “It will also allow members to use the gym on Mondays, when the rest of the club is closed,” notes Clemens. Members are invited to bring guests with them to work out at an additional cost of $5 per guest per visit.
The More, the Merrier
As fitness becomes a regular part of members’ daily routines, clubs are providing ample space to host group classes, personal trainers and special programming. “Group classes used to be conducted in the ballroom, often battling banquet schedules,” says Brian Silver, General Manager of Rolling Green Country Club in Arlington Heights, Ill. Thanks to the club’s newly enlarged space, personal training has grown and the introduction of Titleist Performance Institute golf-fitness programming for customized workouts has added a new fitness element.
While Holston Hills Country Club in Knoxville, Tenn., is currently unable to handle group fitness, its gym can be used for small-group training. “Group-fitness classes are still something we are working on,” explains Natalie Clemens, Corporate Director of Activities and Wellness for McConnell Golf, which acquired Holston Hills this year. To pique members’ interest, free classes were held when the club opened its new fitness center this past summer, during which members were asked to complete surveys about their fitness needs.
With new dedicated space for its youngest clientele, Lake Nona Golf & Country Club in Orlando, Fla., can now accommodate what General Manager Ryan Spence calls its fastest-growing demographic. “With the addition of the Nona Crewhouse, we can provide members’ children with a fun, safe place of their own,” he says. The youth activity center features open play areas for separate age groups (see photo above) and state-of-the-art technology for all ages.
Plenty of space affords a full roster of programming at the PGA National Resort & Spa in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., which hosts approximately 75 group exercise classes on a weekly basis. “Because we essentially have five group exercise rooms, a spin studio and the main fitness center, we can hold multiple classes throughout the day, with enough room for 12 personal trainers to conduct sessions,” says Jason Henderson, Director of Sports & Racquet Club Operations. “We have something for everyone, whether you are just stepping into the gym for the first time or [you are] a seasoned professional.”
Also on the agenda are occasional “Lunch and Learn” sessions, which will include a healthy meal and information on cooking, recipes and nutrition.
“We will be providing a healthier menu once the new executive chef gets on board at Holston Hills,” Clemens adds. Sessions will be held either in the club’s ballroom or lounge area, providing easy access to the fitness center for a post-meal workout.
Primed for Pros
Home to a number of professional athletes in the Orlando, Fla., area, Lake Nona Golf & Country Club has become a destination for fitness. In 2011, the club underwent an expansion to accommodate members interested in personal training and body-weight resistance training. Last year, the fitness center was further renovated with another purpose in mind.
“In response to the increased popularity of spinning, the club decided to create an additional space that included a spinning studio, dedicated group exercise room, and a permanent youth activities center,” says General Manager Ryan Spence. With this additional 1,000 sq. ft., the fitness center now totals 6,000 sq. ft.
Upon entering the facility, members are greeted by images of professional athletes that Spence describes as “moments of celebration, to inspire and motivate all who enter towards achieving their goals and greatness.” Once inside, members have full access to a wide range of equipment from Technogym, including cardio, free weights and spinning. Performance-grade rubber and wood flooring designed for athletic use ensures a safe workout, as does a combination of LED lighting and natural light.
“As safety is always a top priority, we have roaming trainers at the facility six days a week, to train members and guests on the equipment,” adds Spence.
To keep gym-goers entertained while exercising, the fitness center is equipped with a Klipsch audio system with iPod connectivity and SiriusXM radio. “Both the group exercise room and spinning studio are sound-proof, so an independent music selection can be operated separately from the general fitness area,” says Spence.
Following their workouts, members may also take advantage of newly renovated locker rooms, showers, saunas and massage rooms, and re-hydrate and re-energize with drinks and snacks. A new pool bar, which opened earlier this year, provides additional refreshment for those looking for casual al fresco dining. The complete picture at Lake Nona fulfills the club’s mission to “continually offer world-class amenities and set a new standard for better living in central Florida,” adds Spence.
Fitness for All
When the PGA National Resort & Spa in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., unveiled its new Sports & Racquet Club last September, it quickly proved its worth as a premiere fitness venue for all members.
“Our goal was to design and develop a comprehensive sports academy for young and old alike, while keeping the facility cool and contemporary,” explains Frank Calaguire, Managing Principal of SCS Advisors, which owns the property.
By transforming the 33,000-sq. ft. Sports & Racquet Club into what is called “an active wellness environment,” members are able to take part in tennis, swimming and fitness within a comprehensive, easily accessible facility. A newly covered walkway leads to entry doors with a view to the courtyard pool, and the pool area features full-height glass for natural light.
Running along the pool is the main fitness gallery, which ends at the fitness reception desk, and an elevator and sculptural staircase lead to the upstairs exercise suites. A new, semi-private Pilates studio was also added as part of the revamped fitness offerings.
A rear gallery takes gym-goers to secondary studios, including a spin studio, racquetball courts and functional training rooms. Upstairs, five second-floor group exercise studios are outfitted with sports flooring and upgraded audio-visual equipment.
The main flooring in the space is woven vinyl, which was selected for its ease of maintenance. Impact-tolerant rubber flooring lines the free-weight area. LED lighting is complemented by natural lighting, and each studio has its own portable phone jack for plug-and-play music. “It allows our instructors ease of use and if a member wants to play their own music, they can,” says Jason Henderson, Director of Sports & Racquet Club Operations.
The expanded Sports & Racquet Club has become a welcome addition to the property. “The new complex allowed us to add a sports membership that attracts a younger audience, improves member engagement and increases member satisfaction,” says Managing Director Greg Saunders. “The members love it, and the resort guests are elated to enjoy the amazing amenity during their stay.”