The La Cañada Flintridge Country Club on Friday will tee off a new attempt to draw members into golfing with the official ribbon-cutting on a new practice facility.
Combining a fully-enclosed five-station tee area and practice green, the facility is unique in Los Angeles, with a price tag of more than $400,000 according to club General Manager Rick Adams.
Adams, who came to La Cañada after working as head golf pro at The Crosby in Rancho Santa Fe, said that the practice facility is a smart investment at a time when golf’s popularity among young people is waning, especially compared to rapidly growing extreme sports.
“It’s a great investment for the club,” said Adams. “We need to grow the game like we never have before.”
Anthony Jordan, membership director at the local country club, said that La Cañada Flintridge’s character as a family-centric neighborhood and the club’s family-friendly emphasis contributed to this desire to make golf more accessible through the practice facility.
“We wanted to make sure we had a facility which would not only take care of the needs of our members in instructional capacities, but also to be able to introduce new local families to the sport of golf,” Jordan said.
LCF Country Club is a private club, so these new local families will have to be guests of existing members, but Jordan said he believes the facilities might encourage potential members to explore joining.
“It does give people who are interested in country club membership an entre and a fairly smooth path of entry to being able to learn the game of golf at a reasonable pace,” Jordan said.
A full family golf membership at the country club involves a $4,000 initiation fee, with a commitment for a minimum of five years of membership at $485 a month.
Adams said that the enclosed tee area, at 60 yards long, offers an opportunity for golfers to work on their full swings, while the practice green, with its bunker, gives aspiring golfers a chance to work on their short game and other skills.
Jordan also emphasized the accessibility of the range to beginning golfers as an essential component.
“If you’ve got a 300-yard driving range, that’s somewhat daunting to the prospect of someone who’s only able to hit the ball 40 or 50 yards for the first several times they’re out there,” said Jordan.
Bryan Williams, LCF Country Club’s chef, was out working on his drives the other day, and said that the facility was a welcome addition to the club.
“For a once-a-week golfer like me, in comparison to what we had in the past, this is great,” Williams said.