Golden Fork Awards 2022: Most Improved F&B Facility

Whether indoor or outdoor, casual or formal, this year’s best new, improved and reinvented Golden Fork winners offer something for everyone.

The pandemic hit golf F&B hard in 2020. But many found creative ways to operate in some, such as shifting dining outdoors and doing to-go orders, as we highlight in a new category this year. For business as usual, golfers and club members tend to prefer casual, comfortable restaurants and bars that offer changing seasonal menus. The indoor-outdoor spaces are a plus — even more so today.

Golf Inc.’s seventh annual Golden Fork Awards recognize 12 golf venues that have introduced new dining facilities or have improved existing spaces in the past year and a half. We also added a third category in recognition of the fact that several F&B facilities had to reinvent themselves during the pandemic.

Entries were judged on concept and planning, aesthetics and appearance, and financial impact. In addition to Golf Inc. editors, judges were John Buser, general manager of TPC Colorado and a first place Golden Fork winner in 2021; and David Mangan, general manager of Club Pelican Bay and a first place Golden Fork winner in 2019.

Here are the honorees for Most Improved F&B Facility in the 2022 Golden Fork competition.


Country Club of the Rockies

Most Improved F&B Facility FIRST PLACE

Country Club of the Rockies
Edwards, Colo.

Architect: Marsh and Associates

Interior Design: Marsh and Associates

Contractor: RA Nelson

Project completed: June 2021

Renovation of the dining spaces at Country Club of the Rockies expanded the adjacent terraces, blurring the boundaries between inside and out and creating a comfortable, casual atmosphere. This now allows for small and large events to celebrate special occasions of any kind.

The high, sloped ceilings and refurbished wooden beams, along with new floor-to-ceiling windows running the full width of the dining areas, pay tribute to the clubhouse’s original architectural style and embrace the scenic mountain setting.

The expanded kitchen features the freshest local ingredients available with a rotating menu that changes seasonally.

“The largest impact (of the renovation) was the cultural change that occurred,” said Bill Hughes, the club’s general manager. “I had members tell me that they met more members this past summer than in the 20 years they were members here.”

Since completion of the renovation, the club has seen huge success. The restaurant has been filled to capacity night after night. Wine sales have increased by 35%, and there were waiting lists for every event in 2021, including tournaments and wine dinners.

What the judges said:

“Deeply appealing, blending mountain property with warm finishes and natural light.”

Edina Country Club

Most Improved F&B Facility SECOND PLACE

Edina Country Club
Edina, Minn.

Architect: Shea

Interior Design: Shea

Contractor: Zeman Construction

Project completed: June 2021

Edina Country Club’s full reimagination of its F&B spaces was designed to appeal to all generations of members.

“The different dining spaces are all about flexibility,” said Cori Kuechenmeister, director of design and senior associate at Shea. “Not only in terms of occasion — date night, family lunches by the pool, formal dinners — but also in terms of seasonality.”

The main dining space now features a variety of seating areas, from a cozy fireplace lounge to an intimate dining room. A glazed-glass wine tasting room shows off the club’s lauded collection.

Before the project began, dining business at the club was relatively flat, with most traffic going to the downstairs pub. Since completion of the upstairs dining area in July, reservations there have been full. In the club’s most recent membership survey, overall satisfaction with the member dining venues jumped to 83%, up from 72.5% in a 2018 survey.

What the judges said:

“Refined finishes throughout with strong architectural lines.”


West Bay Club

Most Improved F&B Facility THIRD PLACE

West Bay Club
Estero, Fla.

Architect: Meyers & Associates

Interior Design: Clive Daniel Hospitality; Cindy Anderson, senior vice president of clubhouse design & development for Troon

Contractor: EnviroStruct

Project completed: January 2021

The Golf House renovation at West Bay Club included a complete remodel, an expanded dining terrace and a new bar with a wine wall housing more than 400 fine wines.

The design was inspired by the club’s natural surroundings and wildlife. New features include walls that open up to provide access to the outdoor terrace, creating additional seating space for large events.

The Signature Bar, with its wine wall, is a focal point that sets the stage for the club’s exclusive wine offerings for members. The first of four wine purchasing events generated more than $25,000, and wine sales were up 325% from the prior year.

What the judges said:

“Formal style, but delivered in welcoming clean lines, and an amazing wine cellar.”


The Club at Mediterra

Most Improved F&B Facility HONORABLE MENTION

The Club at Mediterra
Naples, Fla.

Architect: Peacock + Lewis

Interior Design: Peacock + Lewis

Contractor: DeAngelis Diamond

Project completed: October 2020

Recent renovations at The Club at Mediterra have contributed to an increase of 250 new members in the past year.

The latest renovations included updating the dining room, bar area and wine room. Previous renovations included improving the firepit, outdoor dining and bar areas to create an outdoor tavern environment. This doubled outdoor seating, created a variety of seating options, and enhanced the space with lighting, speakers, fans and ceiling mounted heaters so it became an extension of the indoor bar.

The expansion and renovation enlarged the ballroom to accommodate 50 more people and added the Sunroom and the Garden Room.


Mirabel Golf Club

Most Improved F&B Facility HONORABLE MENTION

Mirabel Golf Club
Scottsdale, Ariz.

Architect: PHX Architecture

Interior Design: Vallone Design

Contractor: A.R. Mays Construction

Project completed: April 2021

Mirabel members wanted more space to gather and socialize. The design firm positioned the new bar to take advantage of the club’s desert valley view. Patio space was expanded, and firepit dining tables were added.

Both the casual dining space and the formal dining space were updated, and an expanded kitchen allows for increased productivity, greater capacity and the ability to run multiple events at once.


Country Club of North Carolina

Most Improved F&B Facility HONORABLE MENTION

The Country Club of North Carolina
Pinehurst, N.C.

Architect: Chambers

Interior Design: Chambers

Project completed: Spring 2021

The Country Club of North Carolina was looking to refresh and reinvent its clubhouse to provide casual dining areas, a new bar and enhanced outdoor dining capabilities. The redesign reallocated space within the existing footprint of the building and added a second outdoor dining terrace.

The new bar area includes a central wine display and is flanked by the new terrace, which doubles available outdoor seating.

F&B sales increased 40% from 2019. (The dining spaces were closed for most of 2020 because of COVID 19).

What the judges said:

“Very natural, inviting hues; flows well room to room.”

Add new comment

If you enjoyed this article and would like to sign up for a FREE digital subscription, click here!