At one point planned as a home
for Arthur Miller and Marilyn Monroe,
the King Kamehameha Clubhouse
now hosts golfers in Maui.
Like the elegant
resorts they are designed to complement, golf clubhouses
increasingly are upgrading their meeting facilities to attract
groups, albeit on a slightly smaller scale. Here’s a look at some
new and renovated facilities, whose revamped living rooms, dining
rooms and lounge areas offer a cozy on-site alternative to ballroom
King Kamehameha Golf Club
The distinctive King Kamehameha
Clubhouse has its genesis in a design created in 1949 by celebrated
American architect Frank Lloyd Wright, who envisioned a
7,000-square-foot luxury home to be built in Fort Worth, Texas. The
plans were reworked in 1957 with an eye to occupancy by Pulitzer
Prize-winning playwright Arthur Miller and his new wife, actress
Marilyn Monroe, but that arrangement never materialized, and upon
Wright’s death in 1959, the project went into limbo.
Finally, in 1988, the plans were
purchased from the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, and a larger
version -- about 10 times the size of the original -- materialized
as the 74,000-square-foot clubhouse a few years later. Yet due to
an economic downturn, the resort closed in 1999 and remained shut
for nearly six years.
Today’s owners purchased the property
in 2004 and began an 18-month renovation of the course’s wildly
overgrown acreage. By May 2006, the clubhouse banquet facilities,
including a central ballroom seating 325, a more intimate space for
100 and a boardroom for 30, were completely refurbished.
The facility showcases a handsome
collection of local art, including a 6-by-4-foot feather cape
crafted by Jo-Anne Kahanamoku-Sterling, Hawaii’s top featherwork
artist, and 11 kapas, or blankets, fashioned from beaten
mulberry bark. The building itself evokes its close brush with
celebrity greatness by its nickname -- the Marilyn House.
Carmel Valley Ranch
The 400 acres of the 144-suite Carmel
Valley Ranch, home to an 18-hole, Pete Dye-designed golf course,
are in the midst of a major redesign. The resort’s clubhouse,
including its restaurant, is one of the first upgrades of the
project to surface.
“The old building had great bone
structure,” explains a spokesperson for the resort. “Designer Ina
Johnson followed the original footprint by keeping the design
natural and organic.” The use of face-cut woods, leather upholstery
and a warm color palette is meant to mimic materials and textures
found in nature, while plasma screen TVs and custom-designed
Italian furniture give the space a modern spin.
The clubhouse restaurant, lobby and bar
area (now with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the fairways)
all have enjoyed a makeover.
The final stages of the resortwide
revamp, which should finish by year’s end, will touch all guest
suites, meeting space and exteriors.
Kiawah Island Golf Resort
Kiawah’s Ocean Course clubhouse, open
to the public since last August, does not bear the name of the
resort’s 225-room main structure, The Sanctuary. Yet, given the
clubhouse’s quaint, simplistic design (e.g., a low, shingled roof;
a wide, wraparound porch), the appellation would be fitting. The
new $20 million property, set upon a 10-mile-long low-country
island, resembles a coastal cottage and features panoramic views of
the Atlantic. On-site are a fine-dining restaurant, 3,000 square
feet of flexible meeting space and an outdoor veranda.
Kiawah Island Golf Resort offers 18,000
square feet of function space, including the freestanding East
Beach Conference Center, the Governor’s Hall, (which holds 800) and
five divisible meeting rooms. Also on property are the Turtle and
Osprey Point clubhouses, with their own meeting facilities. A spa,
five championship golf courses, nine restaurants and two tennis
complexes are present on the island, with downtown Charleston just
21 miles away.
The Grand Golf Club
Grand Del Mar
San Diego, Calif.
At the Grand Del Mar resort, the Tom
Fazio-designed fairways of the Grand Golf Club wind through 4,100
acres of Los Peasquitos Canyon Preserve and are crowned by an
expansive 50,000-square-foot clubhouse. The Spanish Revival design
was inspired by resort architect Addison Mizner, best known for
pioneering the 1920s transformation of Boca Raton, Fla., into a
Mediterranean-style resort community. Both the 18-hole course and
the clubhouse debuted in September 2006, followed by the 249-room
resort, which opened this past October.
Event space at the clubhouse includes a
10-person boardroom and a private dining area within Addison, a
fine-dining restaurant. This 2,400-square-foot space can host
groups of up to 48, while a chef’s table seats 12. Larger groups
can enjoy the main resort’s offerings, including a