Richmond Country Club’s Renovations Key to Its Future Success
- Category: Inside Golf
- Published: 2016-01-08
Imagine this scene: Kids running from playing tennis to the pool while their parents finish their round of golf before the entire family eats dinner on an outdoor patio.
No, that’s not a typical summer vacation, that’s what happens every day at the Richmond Country Club as it continually re-invents and transforms itself into one of the most inclusive golf and athletic clubs in the Lower Mainland.
No longer can clubs be the exclusive enclave of only the rich and famous, and at Richmond CC, the proof is in the $5.5 million in recent renovations to make its facilities even more family friendly.
Image Caption : Richmond CC President Dana Prince is Proud of the $5.5 Million in Renovations Made to the Club to Give Its Members Even More Value for Its Membership Dues. (Photo/Alfie Lau)
The majority of that $3 million went to capital improvements to the clubhouse and athletic facilities. The new clubhouse features new kitchen facilities, two new restaurants, a new outdoor patio and dining facility, an enlarged and newly equipped fitness and yoga studio, new adult and children's lounges, and upgraded amenities.
The rest, more than $2 million, went to improving irrigation and drainage on the golf course and putting a state-of-the-art tennis bubble over four outdoor tennis courts to give Richmond CC 8 year-round tennis courts.
“We started looking at our future in 2008, during what was possibly the worst time, when we were in a prolonged recession,” said Richmond CC President Dana Prince. “We were facing a declining and aging membership, we were facing infrastructure that needed replacement and upgrading. We realized we needed to be a family club, a place where families could spend time together.”
And that’s what spurred the club to undergo its renovations, targeted at bringing even more value to its members. The club is unique in that in the Lower Mainland, it is the only club to offer golf, tennis, aquatics, athletics and social programming for families and members of all ages.
By putting up the tennis bubble and doubling its capacity for year-round use, Richmond CC is trying to give its junior tennis players more opportunities to play. “When you have only four covered courts, the juniors are the ones who didn’t get enough (court) time,” said Prince. “Now with eight covered courts, with brand new surfaces, they can play any time they want to.”
And it’s not just tennis that benefits from these covered courts. “Many of our golfers started as tennis members,” said Prince. “A healthy tennis program leads to a healthy golf program.”
And that healthy golf program begins with the 6,800 yard par-72, A.V. Macan designed golf course that features bedeviling turtleback greens, tree-lined fairways and well-positioned bunkers. “We have invested $1.5 million into our irrigation system,” said Prince, who added that with water usage becoming an increasing concern, conserving and using water wisely on the golf course is a major initiative moving forward.
The club has hosted major events such as the Canadian Junior Boy's Championship, the BC Men's Amateur Championships and the CN Canadian Women's Pacific Championship.
But at the core of growing the game of golf is investing in junior golf and that means there are more than 60 junior members learning the game under the leadership of Head Professional Mark Strong and his team of PGA of Canada professionals. Not only do the juniors have their own short-game area, where they can work on chipping and putting, they have pretty liberal access to the course.
While Richmond CC has one of the best Men’s Night programs in the Lower Mainland, it is also offering women more fun playing opportunities. Tuesday evening is Ladies Night and not only are members and guests encouraged to come out, it’s not just about the golf, it’s about a great night out.
“Whether the women play 18 or just 9 and then enjoy a glass of wine with their friends, Tuesday nights are for the women to have a lot of fun,” said Prince. “We also have Saturday afternoons, where tee times are open to women golfers and we have many interclubs, where our female members get to play other female members from (adjacent) clubs.”
After a grueling day of golf or tennis, it’s time to relax and the first place has to be Richmond CC’s heated outdoor 24 by 58 foot pool, which is located in a beautiful park-like setting. Open from May to September, the pool’s amenities include private and group AquaQuest swimming lessons, adult AquaFit classes and themed programs and special events to make each swimming season a memorable one.
A conveniently located cabana offers poolside dining for the entire family. Children are more than welcome in the pool and they also can play a game of table tennis, tetherball, basketball or volleyball.
From the pool, members can go to the recently renovated and expanded fitness centre, which now includes a yoga studio and new state of the art training equipment, including stationary bikes, treadmills, elliptical trainers and stair climbers as well as a full range of strength training equipment for complete circuit training. “We have doubled the size of our gym and fitness facilities,” said Prince.
Last, but not least, good food is integral to any club’s success. Richmond CC offers indoor and outdoor dining to meet all of its members’ needs. A newly renovated kitchen and dining facilities, a new Bar & Grill and a new Deli/Bistro, and a patio bar are all part of what distinguishes Richmond CC’s hospitality service.
Macan’s Bar + Grill has an innovative design, modern contemporary look and feel where great food, personal service and a lively atmosphere come together to create a unique club experience. Macan’s also features a private dining room with access to the new roof top patio.
Aces is Richmond CC’s upscale, casual dining restaurant, which offers a dine-in and take-out service. Its friendly ambiance, relaxing atmosphere and fresh casual food offerings make it a popular place for families and members of all ages.
Put it all together and you have one of the best clubs in the Lower Mainland.
For more information, go to www.richmondcc.ca.
Richmond Country Club
(Photo/Richmond Country Club)