The country clubs of yesteryear were, for the most part, very starchy places. Reams of written rules and regulations, plus dozens of secretive, unwritten policies. Dark, wood-paneled rooms and hallways with dim, recessed lighting. Staid members having hushed conversations over double martinis. Visitors might rightly feel that if anyone so much as chuckled they would be quickly escorted from the premises.
That was then. The Northgate Country Club model is now. In the ever-evolving private club scene, the old school, stodgy approach is becoming as outdated as persimmon-wood drivers.
The leaders at Northgate, located in north Houston, know the long-term success of their club rests on their ability to build strong member relationships. The best way to do that, they reasoned, was to make sure everyone – and that means everyone – was having fun.
With wide-ranging amenities and an attentive staff, Northgate is a welcoming place where the convivial membership can let the good times roll. In addition to the state-of-the-art fitness center, tennis facility and swimming complex, the club has introduced many innovative events designed to engage all age groups. Some of those include Theme Bingo Nights, Friday Night Live, Murder Mystery Dinner Theater, Fried Chicken Family Buffet and Kids Night that features fun activities ranging from Mad Scientist Night to visits from Olaf, Orbit and the Houston Astros.
As the club’s most popular feature, it was especially important that players had a good time on the golf course, too.
“Having fun playing golf is a key component of getting members and guests to keep coming back,” said Jeremy Ice, Head Golf Professional at Northgate Country Club. “People play sports or do hobbies because it gives them something fun to do. If it is not fun for someone, they will not play.”
Opened in 1984, the 18-hole course at Northgate was designed by Bruce Devlin and Robert von Hagge. Visually stunning and immaculately conditioned, the beautiful layout delights and challenges players of all ages and skill levels. The club has a very active Men’s, Women’s and Senior Golf Association that conducts competitive tournaments throughout the year. For those not wanting to grind over three-footers, Ice pointed out that as well as everyday recreational golf, there are plenty of social golfing events with relaxing formats like Family Fun Golf, Twilight Golf and Couples Golf.
The club’s “Fast Five” loop is another popular addition that keeps golfers coming back for more. The Fast Five is a short course with multiple sets of tees and both standard and oversized, 8-inch cups on the greens. It’s perfect for beginners, juniors or those who are pressed for time but still want to get in a few holes.
“We created the Fast Five course so everyone has a place where they can feel comfortable and have a good time, particularly those who are just learning the game or those who right now might find the big course too intimidating,” Ice said.
Northgate loves to share in the good times, too. The club has been one of the biggest supporters of the TGA’s Fun Golf Initiative, and has hosted several Play Day and Women’s One-Day Series events in the past few years.
“We really enjoy hosting these events,” said Ice. “Getting TGA Members and their friends out to Northgate gives people a chance to enjoy our course while playing in a fun format.”
If you’ve never signed up for a Play Day at Northgate, or are eager to get back for another one, we’ve got good news. The club will host an upcoming TGA Play Day on July 20.
The event is open to all TGA Members and their friends. Tee times start at 1:30 p.m. and the format is individual stroke play with Gross and Net divisions. Entering the competition is optional, for those that would just rather play and not worry about their score. The cost is $70 for TGA Members ($80 for non-members) and includes green fee, cart fee, range balls, food and tee gift.
For more information about the TGA Play Day at Northgate on July 20, click here.