GFAA Best Practice: Create a Welcoming Environment

Anne Patrick is the Fitness Center and Spa Director at Quail Valley Golf Club in Vero Beach, Florida.

Anne Patrick on the importance of creating a welcoming environment:

After almost two decades at Quail Valley, I have seen a metamorphosis in golf fitness at the private club level. Through increased education and awareness communicated across the industry, the fitness components of game improvement have spread, and are now addressed in more player development programs and conversations than ever before. With over 1,100 members and a lengthy waiting list for both golf and social memberships, catering to the members is our top priority, and we do this in a variety of ways. We enhanced the look of our fitness center with new flooring that was installed when we were closed for eight weeks due to the pandemic last spring. We then moved right into a full fitness facility renovation when we reopened in May, adding a full-service functional training area. The new space allowed us to add kettlebells, weighted balls, dumbbells, jump boxes, more TRX units and a land mine to facilitate the addition of new programming. To make room for the new functional training area, we moved, and increased the number of our stretching tables, to a newly-created stretching area upstairs that gives members more options and allows them to spread out even more than before. We revealed the renovated space last fall and combined our indoor member-engagement with outdoor workouts that provided comfort to members who were leery of being indoors in any kind of group setting. However, with COVID-19 vaccinations increasing, members are now getting acclimated to their new indoor fitness space.

Anne Patrick on the business impact of creating a welcoming environment:

We offer a variety of fitness classes, such as spinning, functional training, Pilates mat/core fusion and several types of barre and yoga classes. Members can also engage in private Pilates Reformer sessions to supplement their group classes or current fitness routine. Membership is generally split between those who prefer private sessions and those who choose group classes – we now have more flexibility in offering both. With increased space, new equipment and updated programming, we get the word out through our monthly newsletter, and members can consider the many options we offer. This can also be said of our golf and tennis professionals, who refer their clients to us to improve their strength, balance, flexibility, as well as their general health. Members are also referring each other to us for the very same reasons. In fact, as members gain more confidence and comfort in being indoors, we’ve seen participation numbers increase throughout the spring. They are increasingly aware of the opportunities and benefits available to them through our fitness center and spa.

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