Best of Golf: The Men’s Locker Room at Forest Creek Golf Club
The apex of golf course architecture is attained when a strategic course is built on land well suited for golf and the design reflects its natural surrounds. In that way the overall property is augmented with holes that blend with nature. The same standard applies to other structures built upon the property. An example of a man-made artifice that embodies the essence of a property is the men’s locker room at Forest Creek Golf Club in Pinehurst, North Carolina. As noted in the GolfClubAtlas.com profile of Forest Creek’s South Course, Charles Louis Meyer …
… purchased a Manor House in 1942 on 500 acres three miles from the village of Pinehurst. A guesthouse, small log cabin, and an eight stall barn were the only other structures on the rolling, forested property. Horse riding, fox hunting and golf served as primary pastimes. Back then, quail hunting was a pastime in central North Carolina. Over time and by regularly purchasing land, Meyer impressively amassed a near 3,000 acre estate.
The property eventually fell debt free to his grandson’s Terry and Louis Brown and their cousin Heidi Hall-Jones in 1990, who opted to build a high-end private club for the better player. Play commenced from a trailer until a charming 4,000 square foot clubhouse was completed on a hill overlooking a lake that separates the ninth and eighteen holes. As the club prospered, a second Tom Fazio course was added and the space requirements out-stripped the original building.
What to do? In 2002, the club turned to the architectural firm of Chapman Coyle & Chapman to design a standalone men’s locker room. Shrewdly, the architects responded with a rectangular structure that resembled a horse stable and perfectly captured the rustic theme of the property.
There are no close, cramped quarters with malodorous golfers milling about; the layout emphatically avoids such un-pleasantry. All crucial amenities are provided within this haven including the highest form of civilization – the 9 inch round shower head! In keeping with a countrified mentality, you have what you need and the room to work in without extraneous clutter.
There you have it. Private clubs don’t flourish if golfers arrive, play golf and hurry off. Clubs need for the membership to enjoy being on the grounds. The locker room at Forest Creek provides one such example. From Locker Room Manager Lou Walker’s warm greeting to a cleansing ale in a low slung leather chair, the golfer has many reasons to strike a happy mood, amicably chatting with his fellow practitioners. Camaraderie abounds.
In the end, golf is all about decompression and the locker room at Forest Creek wonderfully aids that pursuit.