Due to the changing demands of golfers, many changing rooms with small, uniform lockers could use an overhaul. And this should be a great opportunity to make significant improvements, according to three experts in the field.
Golf club managers considering a much-needed dressing room renovation are faced with the same age-old question. Where do we start?
Many wonder how to transform their changing rooms from a relic of the past into a modern, functional space that appeals to members and visitors alike, without incurring additional maintenance and cleaning costs.
And the most annoying question of all – how do we fund this without causing an uproar among members?
The answer is to seek expert advice from the UK’s leading companies specializing in golf club dressing room renovation.
Everyone has a wealth of experience to give comprehensive advice and plan a design solution that best masters the trickiest situations.
John Gibbs, chairman of Ridgeway Furniture, says clubs considering new lockers need to consider a number of things from the start.
“Golf bags are larger today than in the past, so the bag lockers have to be larger accordingly.
“That doesn’t mean that retrofitting is necessarily at the expense of the number of lockers available.
“Nowadays it is better to offer a combination of larger overhead bins and overhead bins that are better suited to members who prefer to keep their clubs in their car or at home. The travel bag size is a great option for anyone looking for storage space for toiletries, a spare sweater, balls, t-shirts and accessories, and a place to put items in the square.
“Even visitors only need a locker in a travel bag, so the clubs have to take this into account.
“All of this makes up for the space required by the new, larger, full size lockers as less is needed. It is a question of supply and demand that clubs could identify through a survey.
“Another factor to consider is the visitor’s changing room. Much is like the Calcutta black hole. Visitors are your members for the day and often pay a good amount to play and in return deserve to be properly looked after.
“They often tend to use the showers, as they invariably use the bar and catering facilities to end the day with a meal.
“We recommend placing the visitor area near the showers, as they are more likely to be used by them than by members. We also recommend that people do not have to go through the toilet area to reach the showers, so this may need to be factored into the overall planning of the project. “
Renovation costs are a major obstacle for many clubs, and modern, high-quality furniture and fittings come at a price.
John believes many clubs are reluctant to introduce new changing facilities as they fear member backlash over rental fees.
“There are so many clubs that charge extremely low prices, say £ 15 a year for their existing lockers, and are nervous about raising rental prices.
“But on this basis you cannot retrofit a changing room to meet the high demands of today’s golfers. Instead, you need to consider value for money. £ 1 or £ 1.50 a week and more is no longer too much for a modern locker. Many clubs consider an annual rent of £ 75 to £ 100 to be correct.
“We encourage clubs to direct their suggestion to members, show them a modern design and explain that they have a choice of locker sizes.
“The rental should initially be offered to people with lockers according to the“ first come, first served ”principle and secured by a deposit.
“This means that the club knows how many to order, and it also means that members who do not want a locker are not overwhelmed by the cost of a service they do not use.
“Clubs will be surprised to find out in the survey that the needs of today’s members are very different from what they were 25 years ago and that they may therefore need fewer lockers than they expected.”
Since its inception, Ridgeway has manufactured tens of thousands of lockers that have been installed in some of the most prestigious golf clubs in the world.
The company has seen sales jump in recent years, investing more than £ 500,000 in a new factory that will increase its capacity by over 50 percent. With an area of more than 18,000 square meters, the company is now the largest dedicated manufacturer of wooden lockers in Great Britain.
The company continues to serve the golf industry and has an impressive portfolio of satisfied customers in clubs across the UK.
Fitlockers General Manager David Fitchett supports the view that clubs should seek expert advice when redesigning their changing rooms.
As a provider of high-quality lockers for the golf and leisure industry, he says: “Managers have to be open-minded and seek expert opinions in the early planning phase.
“There are many considerations to consider and not one size fits all, so clubs have to weigh their own specific circumstances.
“For example, the ceiling height determines whether or not double rows of lockers can be installed.
“The days of standardized lockers that are just big enough to fit in older and smaller golf bags are long gone.
“A combination of the new, larger golf bag cabinets and smaller ones for storing valuables and clothing is often the best solution.
“The location of the locker room is a factor – if yours is upstairs, fewer members are likely to want to camp clubs there.
“Also think about how many visitors you host in general. All they need is a smaller travel bag for their belongings and probably a rail to hang their jackets while they’re in the field before returning for a shower and dinner. “
David has been running Fitlockers based in Hertfordshire for 18 years, supplying and installing bespoke wooden lockers and changing furniture to numerous member clubs across the UK, including prestigious venues such as Royal Lytham & St Annes and Muirfield.
Locker and storage specialist Crown Sports Lockers, who has been in the industry for 30 years, says locker size is of the essence for both clubs and golfers.
“Lockers installed a few years ago are becoming unusable as the sheer size and volume of golf equipment continues to grow,” said Director Spencer Grimwood.
“Some clubs that we refresh or upgrade are equipped with 300 mm wide lockers that are barely wide enough to hold a modern golf bag.”
As a Made in Britain, FSC certified manufacturer, Crown can closely control the quality of the wood used and the capacity of the clubhouse furniture it supplies. “We only specify high-quality European wood,” says Spencer, “and adapt the changing rooms and other storage requirements to the location, the traffic flow and whether it is dry or wet areas.”
As the expectations of members and golfers rise, clubs are changing their preferences for providing memorable facilities, adds Spencer: “For example, the traditional raised central wall locker doors that were popular until recently have been replaced by trendier Shaker doors with solid wood frames – certainly a more stylish one and a cheaper solution. “
Quality counts too, and Crown’s specialized team of carpenters ensures that lockers that leave the factory are manufactured to the finest tolerances and can be assembled on site by their nationwide assembly team.
The clubs’ expanded horizons when it comes to upgrading or freshening up changing rooms goes well with Crown’s wide range of laminates and veneers available in its dedicated eco-factory – in textures and shades to match any decor to ensure that they realize their vision.