Club Renovation Trends: Timuquana Country Club's New Pool and Dining




The latest in the growing trend of private club renovations, Timuquana Country Club celebrated the grand opening of their brand new pool and ultra-casual outdoor dining areas last month. The private golf and country club was founded in 1923 and is located along the St. Johns River in Jacksonville’s Ortega neighborhood.

As the project’s designer, ELM replaced the club’s aging 1960s-era pool with a more contemporary and functional design that better serves members of all ages. The new pool is dramatically oriented toward the river, and features a kid-friendly beach entry, interactive fountains, broad steps and benches for gathering and socializing, pool games, six lanes for competitive lap swimming, and space for aqua-aerobics and other fitness programming. In addition to the pool, improvements to the restrooms, additional landscaping and shade structures, and increased space for lounging and seating were also included in the project’s program.


The Grove, Timuquana Country Club’s new ultra-casual outdoor dining venue, features a riverside walk-up bar and full food and cocktail menu, over 60 seats for riverfront dining, and a fire pit surrounded by Adirondack chairs—all within steps of the St Johns River, with the stunning backdrop of downtown Jacksonville in the distance.



Across Jacksonville, the state of Florida and the country as a whole, aging clubs are launching renovations of varying scales as they seek to attract and retain new generations of membership.

This trend is largely driven by a change in priorities—today’s members and potential members are seeking features beyond golf and traditional formal fine dining. Clubs are adapting to provide value through a mix of amenities that support a healthy and dynamic lifestyle for the entire family—changes that reflect anticipated trends of tomorrow’s younger, more active club membership. It’s backed by research—according to the Club Management Association of America, millennials are twice as likely to seek child-centered club activities when compared to other generations.

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In response to these new priorities, pools are being reimagined to engage a multi-generational, family-centric membership population. Successful pools deliver a variety of distinct spaces, with shallow splash areas for children, lap lanes for fitness-minded swimmers, places for people to socialize and gather, and even separate pools and spaces for children and adults, catering to varying ages and activity levels. It’s important that these facilities respond to members’ increasingly health-focused lifestyles and provide state-of-the-art equipment, space for cardio, yoga or group classes, and spa-like amenities to accommodate all types of social and fitness programming.

Refreshing a club’s appearance and amenities not only makes membership more attractive to future generations, it allows for clubs to diversify revenue streams—for example, a newly-constructed pool can be equipped to host swim tournaments, while refreshed, updated interiors and event spaces allow the club to market itself as a top-of-the-line venue for weddings, golf tournaments, or other events.

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ELM is currently engaged in the renovation of two other clubs in northeast Florida—the Ocean Clubhouse at the Amelia Island Club in Nassau County, and St. Johns Golf and Country Club in St. Johns County.

On Amelia Island, the renovation of the 24-year-old, 17,500 sq. ft. clubhouse is centered around improvements to the clubhouse building itself— creating nearly 7,000 sq. ft. of interior space that includes a new multi-purpose room, expanded casual dining, a second-story balcony and overlook to the Atlantic Ocean, and enlarged poolside dining and bar area.

Renderings of the Amelia Island Ocean Club

Driven by a goal of becoming the “premier family-oriented club in the region,” according to the club’s general manager and chief operating officer, the renovation will also include an overall interior design update throughout the club’s entirety to better accommodate all generations of membership.

In addition to attracting new members, establishing a reputation as a top-notch event space remains paramount to many clubs as they plan for the future. At St. Johns Golf and Country Club, just north of St. Augustine, ELM is leading a renovation of the clubhouse and overseeing additions that include a reception hall, large event lawn, and indoor/outdoor social gathering areas in response to increased demand for weddings and special events. Upgrades to the 18-year-old semiprivate club are expected to be completed by year-end.

Renderings of St. Johns Golf and Country Club


During construction of the pool and outdoor spaces at Timuquana Country Club, a surge in membership applications showed that the renovations were well in line with the needs of potential members, particularly young families and millennials—the opening weekend of the pool and The Grove saw food and beverage sales exceed projected numbers by roughly 300%.

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In Ponte Vedra Beach, the ELM-renovated Sawgrass Beach Club at Sawgrass County Club saw membership filled just months after the renovation was completed in 2016. A new family pool with water features, increased shade structures, expanded capacity and improved landscaping was a major draw, as were major reconfigurations to the indoor and outdoor dining spaces and a new fitness center. Similar to Timuquana Country Club’s riverfront setting, many of the updated spaces were designed to take full advantage of the club’s oceanfront location.

Sawgrass Country Club’s Beach Club

With these elements in mind before and during the renovation process, clubs can continue to adapt and provide their membership with the resort-like amenities, programs and features that they desire—to  ensure that their club remains sustainable, relevant and engaging for years and generations to come.

Erin Weinberg