The Clubhouse of Today
photo by marc rains
TOM HOCH By
is your clubhouse really serving your needs?
Golf, like many other industries, has been hit hard by the slumping economy. Only 46 new golf courses opened in the U.S. in 2010, the fewest in
25 years. The U.S. has just more than 4,000 member-owned clubs, nearly 1,000 less than in 1990.
As public courses battle for market share, and private
clubs scramble to attract new members and retain existing ones, the search is on for ways to restore golf’s place
as one of the country’s favorite recreational activities.
This search has led many courses, public and private
alike, to turn to interior clubhouse renovations. Compared
to full-scale golf course remodeling, clubhouse work
can be quick, economical and painless when it comes to
presenting—and passing—the project through membership boards and ownership.
For renovations to truly breathe new life into a club,
they must be calculated and address the lifestyle of
today’s member. Americans' lifestyles are changing, and
it is vital clubs respond accordingly.
These lifestyle changes are centered on what has become the Four Fs—fitness, family, female and fun. While
making clubs more female-centric is often accomplished
through programming, the other three "Fs"—fitness, family and fun—can be addressed through interior design.
Being fit no longer just means walking the golf course instead of riding. Many people are changing every aspect of
their lives, from exercise to diet, in an attempt to achieve
their fitness goals. Successful clubs will transform facilities
to not only accommodate, but encourage, staying active.
Many clubs are eliminating the cost of a separate gym
membership with the installation of premier workout
centers. Last year, my company renovated the fitness
center at Tulsa Country Club in Tulsa, Oklahoma. It
now offers state-of-the-art cardio equipment and a free
weights section. The fitness center has become so popu-
lar that Tulsa Country Club has its own fitness trainer
offering private and group fitness instruction.
Tom Hoch is the President of Tom Hoch, a leading design-build firm based in Oklahoma City, OK. tomhoch.com
eDitor's note: Many Troon Golf-managed courses have
taken note of the trends Mr. Hoch describes. Members of
BallenIsles Country Club in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., for example, find both fitness and fun at the club’s new $26 million
Sports Complex, which includes a 5,500-square-foot fitness
facility. And the recently renovated IW Club at Indian Wells
Golf Resort in the California desert focuses on family fun with
a lighted, natural grass putting course. Along with several
upscale amenities and dining venues, the clubhouse also offers
casual areas with multiple flat screen televisions and panoramic dining terraces.