The Landings Club

The Landings Club 1

The Landings Club invests $25 million in capital improvements to

continue meeting the needs of its members now and into the future.

By Janice Hoppe-Spiers, Senior Editor at Knighthouse Media

The Landings Club is reestablishing its position as one of the most influential luxury golf clubs in the industry by investing in a multi-million-dollar capital improvement plan to upgrade its already unrivaled assembly of amenities. “We are renewing, reinventing and reinvigorating ourselves in a manner consistent with current members while looking to the future and how we develop assets, amenities, programs and delivery of service that does so in a manner where our members will say, ‘I can’t imagine life without this place,’” Executive Director Steven Freund says.

Located on Skidaway Island, which is about 12 miles from Savannah, Ga., The Landings Club offers members access to six championship golf courses, two marinas, 31 tennis courts, six restaurants, five swimming pools and an innovative fitness and wellness center. The 4,500-acre property’s resort-style amenities are all accessible by a 10-minute golf cart ride. “You have this secluded coastal community that you live and recreate in, but you also have access to this booming city [Savannah] with culture, history and a restaurant scene to get the best of both worlds,” Freund describes.

The Landings Club infoThe Landings Club celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2014 and began to take a hard look at its assets. The Marshwood Clubhouse, for example, was built in 1974 and was spectacular in its day, but times have changed in terms of member expectations. “As we looked at the clubhouse and renovation, we were challenged to step back and not only look at the clubhouse, but all of our club’s physical assets,” Freund remembers. “Here’s where we are today with a remarkable assembly of assets and amenities, but are they prepared to meet expectations of this baby boomer surge coming at us and generations beyond? I’ve worked here for eight-and-a-half years with visionary board members who view their responsibility and role as stewards and preservationists of this community and the club.”

As a result, The Landings Club’s $25 million capital improvement received 70 percent approval by members in spring 2017. The three-phase capital improvement plan was initially pitched as one bundled vote, which fell short of the needed votes at first. “Our board went on a diagnostic journey to learn what members liked and didn’t like about the proposed plan, redeveloped and unbundled it, and all three phases passed by a healthy margin,” Freund says. “As a result, we are going to get a better outcome and more robust amenities to better serve our members.”

The Center of it All

Rather than renovate the Marshwood Clubhouse, The Landings Club decided to start from scratch and expand the epicenter of its island community into a 23,500-square-foot full-service clubhouse complete with expansive golf and lagoon views. The club recently broke ground on its new clubhouse after hosting a “Wrecking Ball” in October where 600 members attended to bid farewell to the facility and reminisce over old times, Freund says.

The Marshwood Clubhouse is expected to be completed by Thanksgiving 2019. It will feature two branded restaurants: Arnie’s Tavern and Palmer’s Steakhouse. “We forged an agreement with the Arnold Palmer Group to use his name and likeness, and they gave us ideas on what Mr. Palmer would have liked and appreciated in a dining concept,” Freund says. “The reason we branded it around Mr. Palmer was because he was the architect of our first two golf courses and an important part of the club’s history.”

The Landings Club 2The Marshwood Clubhouse will also feature an expanded cabana bar, parking improvements and landscape enhancements, as well as a new pool complex that is detached from the clubhouse with a separate entry. The pool complex will include expanded deck space with sun and shade seating and zero-depth entry pool for easy access as well as an adjacent regulation croquet lawn.

Meeting Expectations

Franklin Creek is the center of court sports and family-oriented activity at The Landings Club. Its 29 courts and resort-style pool will be transformed into a true sports complex to meet the needs of members. “Like many other clubs, we have experienced an increased interest in pickleball,” Freund notes. “We had six courts, but we have about 400 members playing and our court inventory wasn’t adequate for the demand, so we will now have 11 courts. We also doubled our bocce courts from four to eight.”

The centerpiece of Franklin Creek will be The Deck, a new 4,500-square-foot casual dining facility that will offer come-as-you-are dining. “Panera is the best-known restaurant that represents the DNA of The Deck,” Freund explains. “We will have a triple-deck pizza oven, sandwiches, salads, smoothies and coffee. It’s a fast-casual restaurant that we envision to be the community gathering place and living room. Fast-casual is growing marketshare in the restaurant industry and it was forcing members to go off the island to get that service, so we wanted to add that to what we offer our members.”

The Landings Club’s Oakridge Wellness Center facilitates better health by making fitness more fun for its members. To continue achieving that mission, Oakridge will be expanded to exceed 50,000 square feet allowing for more cardio and strength training space, as well as functional training. Renovations will be made to the lobby, corridors, group exercise studios, locker rooms and other interior spaces. “Living at The Landings Club should be a reward for a life well lived to do the things you like to do with the people you love,” Freund says.

Franklin Creek and Oakridge are expected to be completed in January 2019.

As one of the East Coast’s largest private luxury golf clubs, The Landings Club plans to remain an industry leader by continuing to look to the future and ensuring it delivers upon member expectations. “We are always looking to the future and asking ourselves where we need to be in five, 10 or 20 years,” Freund says. “We start to speculate at 10 to 20 years, but there will continue to be an emphasis on health and wellness and new manifestations of golfs that we are spending a lot of time talking about.”

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