2020 Clubhouse of the Year Winners III: Clubhouse Renovation

Editor's note: this is the final story of a three part series. The winners for new public clunhouse and new private clubhouse were announced seperately.

Judges gave Pelican Sound Golf & River Club in Estero, Fla., the highest score in the Renovation category. The win was well received by the team at Wegman Design Group, which brought the club’s ideas to life. 

“This project is so deserving of this honor, as each of the team — from club manager, committee and professional team — worked diligently to create a gorgeous space that all can enjoy and be proud to share,” said Loren Wegman, the design director.  

Wegman said the firm’s work wouldn’t have been as big a success without the club’s vision. 

“This club is very in tune with the membership and from the onset decided to think bigger than the immediate needs,” Wegman said. “Their fresh perspective on dining service and socialization was ingenious.”

Here’s a look at the clubhouse renovation 2020 Clubhouse of the Year winners:

1. Pelican Sound Golf & River Club in Estero, Fla.

After 20 years, the clubhouse at Pelican Sound Golf & River Club had met the end of its usefulness. Not only had the furnishings and decor become dated but also the floor plan and food service facilities were no longer meeting the expectations of club members. 

With three main goals — increasing flexibility in dining capacity, providing better flow throughout the building and creating an upscale Florida aesthetic — the interior design team held a series of sessions with committee members to understand the community’s culture and the members’ lifestyle values that could be translated into the design. 

“This project succeeds by its careful removal of the pretentious gestures and vocabulary of the original building. The final result is a winner by its use of simple and straightforward forms, spaces and colors,” judge Kevin Lichten wrote. “The renovated building is now handsome and well suited to its setting, comfortable and confident without resorting to grandeur. By being quiet, this project rises to the top of all renovation entrants.” 

Judge Ron Cutlip added: “Big change in the architecture from an outdated style to sleek contemporary clubhouse. Great integration on the indoor and outdoor spaces.” 

2. Shadow Wood Country Club in Estero, Fla.

The vision for the Shadow Wood Country Club’s clubhouse renovation was to provide members with a casual, outdoor environment that would increase the amount of a la carte dining space. 

Plans included the addition of a second kitchen so the existing kitchen could focus on fine dining and large events. As a result, Shadow Wood can now accommodate casual dining and event dining simultaneously.

“This is truly the transformation of the ugly duckling into the swan,” judge Kevin Lichten wrote. “While responding to contemporary lifestyles and a desire for open, airy spaces, the design succeeds without relying on the typical scale-less and overwhelming tricks of huge glass portals to the exterior. The repeated use of towers for atria anchors and organizes the otherwise sprawling existing building.”

3. The Club at Mediterra in Naples, Fla.

This club wanted to greatly expand the usable outdoor space overlooking the 18th holes of its two golf courses. Also, there was a need for expanded entertainment space, including the addition of a ballroom. 

The atrium — an outdoor casual dining room with a permanent roof — was doubled in size and enhanced with lighting, speakers, fans and ceiling-mounted heaters. It serves as an extension of the indoor bar. 

“In addition to the application of a more timeless design that has a greater focus on the user experience, the plan changes take advantage of the extraordinary indoor/outdoor view, dining and lounging opportunities that have not previously been fully utilized,” judge Jon Bernhard wrote.

Honorable Mention:

Oakley Country Club in Watertown, Mass.

There is considerable history at Oakley Country Club. After all, the Boston-area club dates back to 1895. Through the generations, the clubhouse has grown along with the club, but the last renovation was several years ago. Members wanted a clubhouse that built on its classic heritage yet embodied a fresh look and feel. 

The clubhouse now has an upscale, relaxed vibe with contemporary furnishings to appeal to a younger member demographic. Meanwhile, the 19th hole, which was determined to be an integral element of the club’s culture, has been reconfigured to maximize course views. 

Honorable Mention: 

Bear’s Paw Country Club in Naples, Fla.

Members of Bear’s Paws Country Club participated in surveys and focus groups to determine the changes the clubhouses needed. They agreed it needed more space for activities such as meetings, card games and social events. They also wanted an improved kitchen for both informal and outdoor dining. 

Since they demolished the old clubhouse, the new building was able to take advantage of modern technology in construction, lighting, energy and water conservation. 

Here, the offspring corrects the sins of the forefathers. This ugly duckling has been transformed by clear and consistent gestures and detailing,” judge Kevin Lichten wrote. “The big, messy plan has been tamed, and new spaces are simple and elegant.”

Related stories

Clubhouse of the Year Winners: New Public Clubhouse

Clubhouse of the Year Winners II: New Private Clubhouse

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