Greystone Golf and Country Club opens new fitness center
Published 4:27 pm Monday, September 21, 2015
By EMILY SPARACINO / Staff Writer
HOOVER – Greystone Golf and Country Club’s new fitness facility is officially open for use.
The 4,000-square-foot Fitness and Wellness Center, located below the pro shop in the Founders Clubhouse, opened to members at 6 a.m. on Sept. 21, following a grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony on Sept. 18 that drew dozens of club members to the facility.
“I think a tremendous job has been done,” Greystone Golf and Country Club President Roy Sewell said before cutting the ribbon. “This was a mandate from the membership. Members said we needed a world-class fitness facility. I really believe that our builders, architects and fitness staff have delivered.”
The fitness center is part of an ongoing series of capital projects that include the Golf Operations Center, Founders Plaza and the Golf Performance Center, which all opened in March.
In an effort to boost membership retention and recruitment, the club’s board of directors surveyed members several years ago to determine what amenities they valued most and what changes they wanted to see at the club.
The surveys revealed golf, dining, fitness and social were among members’ top priorities, according to Brad Rosenwald, co-chairman of Greystone’s Building and Grounds Committee.
“We started coming up with a master plan in 2010,” Rosenwald said, noting the fitness center now occupies the former space of a golf cart barn in the basement of the Founders Clubhouse. “We thought, what a waste of space. The carts have some of the best views of the golf course. This became the obvious place to put the fitness center.”
David Porter was hired as general manager of the club several months ago, when construction was still happening.
“This was just raw space when I got here,” Porter said. “So, it was exciting for me to jump in. To me, this is a game-changer for us. It differentiates us from other clubs in the area. We can compete with the area fitness centers now, and it doesn’t change (members’) dues.”
The fitness center is available to all full and social members.
Rosenwald said the club hired architecture firm Goodwyn, Mills and Cawood Inc. to create different redesign options for the space.
In the meantime, the club’s board approved an addition to members’ monthly dues for capital projects to help fund the project.
“It took time to build momentum,” Rosenwald said. “Membership voted to do all this work. We’re excited.”
Club member Frank Paduch was the contractor for the project.
The new fitness center features roughly 2,800 square feet more than the original center, plus a variety of equipment (the majority of which is brand new), a 1,000-square-foot group fitness room, separate male and female treatment rooms, health products for sale and indoor and outdoor lounge areas.
More than 20 pieces of cardio equipment with strength training and free weight machines dot the center, including a Life Fitness Synrgy360 designed to help users with functional movement needed for sports like golf and tennis.
The group fitness room will accommodate about 40 classes to be offered each week and will be equipped with Fitness on Demand, a virtual fitness program with about 2,000 classes that can stream through a 55-inch television.
When a class isn’t using the room, groups or individuals can use the program on a first-come, first-served basis.
A spacious patio area overlooking the golf course could double as an area for pilates or other group activities, Rosenwald said.
The center also has an onsite childcare center and services adults can utilize while exercising or enjoying other activities at the club.
With all the bells and whistles comes round-the-clock access for members, seven days a week.
“The facility really came together,” fitness director Christy Thompson said. “It is beyond ‘wow’ for the members and the staff. It’s like moving into a new home. We can really accommodate everyone’s needs.”
The total cost of the fitness center project was roughly $900,000, Rosenwald said.
A restaurant, bar and upgraded kitchen are also in the works for the Founders basement and are scheduled to be finished by early March 2016, before Greystone hosts the Regions Tradition golf tournament.
“I think our timing is really good,” Rosenwald said. “People can see this is a growing and vibrant club that not only serves existing members, but is looking for new members. We’re trying to accommodate everybody.”