The importance of fitness at private clubs

At the Desert Mountain Club in Scottsdale, Ariz., members will soon be able to get training tips from three-time Ironman World Champion Mirinda Carfrae.

That’s like getting golfing advice from Jordan Spieth.

Wait a sec … Triathlons? At a club that features six — count ‘em, six — Jack Nicklaus golf courses? Well, the club found the sport is popular with people of significant influence, such as CEOs and other business types. The Financial Times even calls it “the new golf.” So, that fitness trend is being incorporated into Desert Mountain.

Is this the new hot thing? Muscling up fitness? Some golf clubs are increasing their offerings, hiring personal trainers and ramping up ancillary components, such as wellness services and spa treatments.

“For a lot of our members, working out is a daily part of their lives,” said Robert Jones, Desert Mountain COO and general manager. “Fitness and working out and spa time: That’s in their wheelhouse.”

Desert Mountain is the perfect place for adding a triathlon feature, he noted. The competition consists of three events: swimming, biking and running. At Desert Mountain, there’s a 15-mile trail system at an elevation of 3,000 feet, and there’s a lake on the grounds.

When Carfrae comes onboard, she will host biking, running and training events for interested members. She’ll give dieting tips, too.

A club member who a triathlon enthusiast suggested the idea. Jones had doubts until he learned how popular the sport was with many people, particularly those in their late 40s to early 60s.

“It centers around their goal of staying in very good health,” he said.

The club is bullish on other fitness offerings too. It’s expanding its Sonoran Spa & Fitness Center, adding more than 17,000 square feet. When polled, 60 percent of members considered it the club’s top capital improvement project.

The club is hardly neglecting golf, Jones noted. Rounds are going up.

“Golf is our No. 1 amenity,” he said.

However, Jones said, a more balanced amenity package is what members desire.

It’s working. The club has attracted 570 new members since 2011.

Today, many golf clubs have quite the fitness choices. Check out Orchid Island Golf and Beach Club in Vero Beach, Fla. It offers Aquatics, Athletic Stretch, Barre, Chi Gong, Cardio Circuit, Core Fusion/Yogalates, H.E.A.T. (High Energy Athletic Training), Indoor Cycling, M.E.L.T. (Myofascial Energetic Length Technique), Pilates Mat, Pilates Plus, Power Pump, Stability & Mobility, Strength Training, Yoga and Zumba.

Read the rest of the story here in the free Jan/Feb digital issue of Golf Inc. Magazine.


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