Anne Medvar is the Athletic Director at Plantation Golf & Country Club in Venice, Florida.
I mentioned in my previous Golf Fitness Monthly article last summer that we were eagerly anticipating the opening of our new fitness center. With Hurricane Ian delaying the process by completely destroying several of our buildings last fall, we finally opened our new fitness space this spring and are now gauging its effect on our programming efforts and participation among our 1,200 members.
Our previous setup was a 2,500 sq. ft. fitness center that was crammed with a lot of equipment that we’d accumulated over the years. It was getting outdated and obsolete. We also had a modular structure that housed our group classes that was greatly damage in the hurricane.
After 15 years as Athletic Director, I had been lobbying over the past few years for an upgrade and renovation, which finally came to fruition in the planning stage in 2022.
The new fitness center has a raised ceiling and new flooring, creating an aesthetically pleasing look to the space, and we took out three walls to create a more open area for our strength equipment.
We kept much of our existing equipment, but replaced the older machines with new TRUE fitness equipment – treadmills, bikes, oxygen ellipticals, a step master and a rowing machine. We also converted an old tennis pro shop to house our functional training equipment, like cable crossovers, a jungle gym, spinning bikes, boxing and more. The modular building was repaired after Ian and continues to host our group classes. We even have a coffer/smoothie bar near our swimming pool.
The upgrades and renovations have not only changed the appearance of the fitness center, but the overall vibe and attitude of the space. It’s a revitalization similar to that of a clubhouse or golf course renovation. It’s an exciting time for members, and for our fitness team.
Our fitness programming includes increased group training, some of which is geared specifically towards our golfers. Get Golf Fit was actually started last year before Ian hit, and was reinstated just last month. Meeting once per week for six weeks, these sessions help golfers with their stretching and conditioning for golf. This program has seen mostly women participants, but as we increase collaboration with our PGA Professionals, we think more men will buy in to the program as they better understand the potential benefits to their golf game.
We also engage golfers on the range, helping them stretch and prepare before various tournaments at our club. That’s always very popular, as most golfers neglect proper stretching techniques, which hinders their performance early in their rounds until they’re truly warmed up and limber.
We’ve done yoga for golf and yoga on the green in the past, and hope to gear more programming towards our golfing membership. The new fitness amenities will surely motivate members who might not have used them before to explore the benefits of getting into a personal program or group session.
With a physical therapist already on staff, we are considering creating a recuperation and recovery area with our new space that will serve the needs of members with injuries, helping them to play more often, longer into their lives and pain-free.