5 Ways Country Clubs Can Give Their Patio a Makeover

When you cater to a rarefied clientele — and you also want to compete for a fair share of event and wedding bookings — it doesn’t pay for your grounds to look unkempt or outdated. Small investments, like investing in a new patio area or hardscape design, can pay handsome dividends for country clubs. In the Carolinas, Unit Paving has leveraged our years of experience to add a modern, yet classic, touch to many area country clubs.

Maintain Historical and Architectural Consistency

Especially in older country clubs, the clubhouse is more than a building. It’s the center of gravity, acting as the anchor for the club’s full range of activities. Clubhouses usually come with a story and a sense of history, and the country club’s hardscaping design should both reflect and reinforce that historicity. Permeable pavers are a smart choice in this instance, since they can be designed to harmonize with a number of architectural styles.

As a codicil to the above, we also suggest harmonizing the landscaping with the heritage of the club, or its founding members. An English garden, for instance, could be an appropriate homage to a country club with continental roots. If, on the other hand, your club’s lineage consists of or caters to hunters or travelers, a more rustic touch or an Asian flourish might be called for. Furthermore, there are many ways — especially the creative use of local hardscape materials and fauna — to put a local twist on an international look.

Soften Your Geometry

Straight lines and sharp corners can seem severe and uninviting, especially if used to excess. Embrace curvature! One advantage of permeable interlocking concrete pavers is that they’re easy to adapt to any number of shapes; furthermore, they can be easier to adapt to irregular topography than asphalt, and less complex in some respects than concrete used under the same circumstances.

Remix Your Hardscaping and Softscaping

One thing we’ve learned over time: there’s both an art, and a science, to balancing your softscaping (the growing, organic matter that makes up your landscaping) and your hardscaping (pavers, retaining walls, and other inorganic features). The lush greenery of many country clubs is a source of beauty and point of pride, but a carefully-planned hardscape can extend an area that is both useful and durable, while also being lower maintenance than a green surface. An added perk: hardscaping is sustainable, and can help with water management and drainage; as such, it deserves a closer look if you’re coping with these issues.

Don’t Forget Bluescaping

While green spaces and hardscaping matter to any country club, there’s another component that can pull together outdoor spaces: water features. Ponds and fountains help to deal with summer heat, but they also create oases of tranquility in nearly any environment.

“Interiorize” Your Exterior

Borrowing a page from the interior design handbook can transform outdoor spaces. Rather than thinking of your patio area as a unified whole, mentally (and architecturally) compartmentalize. Use a creative mix of hardscaping and landscaped features to create thematically diverse areas that can provide opportunities that match your members’ desire for congregation, solitude, or a space in which to cut loose.

The country club is, in some ways, a uniquely American phenomenon. And while many have deep roots in history, the challenge facing clubs’ ownership and boards of directors is twofold: honoring that past, while adapting to changing times and tastes. Contact Unit Paving to draw on our quarter century of hardscaping design and commercial paving experience and make over your country club hardscaping.