A New Era for Haile Plantation Golf & Country Club
Millions of viewers watch The Masters tournament every April, held at the epitome of American country clubs, Augusta National. Just to get a peek of the grounds on TV feels like a privilege, but Haile Plantation Golf and Country Club is trying to buck the antiquated views of what country club life was. Instead the club is is undergoing an extensive clubhouse reinvention this summer that will bring stylish new décor along with new dining, social and family features that fit the lifestyle of today’s private club members.
“With this reinvention, it will feel like we’re opening a new club,” said Jay Pittman, the club’s general manager. “These renovations are going to add more value to membership and give members so many more reasons to visit the club.”
Haile Plantation Golf and Country Club isn’t just a stand alone club amidst a sea of houses in a gated community. It’s one of the centerpieces of a vibrant community of leisure and commerce, and because of its unique position within the greater Haile community, the new vibe of the club will match the experiences members might get elsewhere in Haile, and Gainesville for that matter.
“We want to blow away our members – to have it become a place where they want to bring their friends to gather for dinner, celebrate milestones or just watch the big game,” said Evan Walker, membership director. “The club has been around for over 20 years, and this brings it more into the modern where we will offer a robust calendar of events and build on our traditions to solidify the club as the place to be in the community.”
The reinvention, which will begin in May and extend through the Summer, won’t involve one golf hole or one tennis court. It will start where modernity is needed most, in the dining room. To better satisfy the younger members, whose generation has seen trends in dining turn to shifting menus, cool atmospheres, and fun experiences, the club is expanding with a brand new “44 South” grill and bar featuring TVs throughout, a Napa Technology WineStation™ wine dispenser, a temperaturecontrolled Wine Wall, local craft beers and even a signature club cocktail.
When many clubs around the country close after dinner service, Haile will be boasting a new late-night menu so members don’t have to leave to extend their evening after a meal. They can walk out to the new “44 South” Patio with lounge seating, an expansive fire pit for the chillier Gainesville nights, and special tableside service or they can relax in the new Cabana as well. Even if you decide to bring the kids for a late afternoon instead of a late night, they’ll be able to order artisan s’mores on the patio too.
As far as the menu is concerned, Walker says, some favorites will stay, but as with the rest of the reinvention principles, the idea is to make it better, fresher and more suited to modern tastes.
“We’re even improving the layout of the kitchen. We rotate our menu seasonally now, but we’re going to be more agile with what we can do in the kitchen,” he said. “We are going to breathe some life into the menu and add some innovative, new items.”
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