Traditionally, hospitality is the art of receiving and entertaining guests in our homes, clubs, and restaurants. The COVID-19 pandemic has flipped that traditional concept on its head, and challenged the world to experience hospitality, among many things, very differently.
Rather than centering around reception, hospitality in the current environment has taken on an outbound approach. Troon-affiliated facilities have quickly responded to the flip-flop by offering curbside and delivery services, market and grocery concepts, and at-home programming — demonstrating that hospitality is about more than gathering together in one place. It is a way to inspire connection between people and spark moments of joy and togetherness. The power of hospitality goes beyond four walls; it makes its way into our hearts, all while keeping health and safety at the forefront.
TALKING ROCK: Pantry, Pizza, and Painting
At Talking Rock in Prescott, Ariz., residents enjoy access to convenient dining, even during the COVID-19 pandemic, thanks to the Talking Rock food and beverage team, led by executive chef Richard Saldivar. The club’s new pantry service has kept members’ shelves stocked with staples, including more than 50 pantry items, meats, and vegetables. In addition, the pantry is open to Talking Rock staff members.
The club also offers fresh-made pizza pickup and delivery service. “Initially, the pizza concept was created as a simple stopgap to continue service to members, requiring only a few staff members at a time and allowing members to remain inside the community gates,” said Jay Frank, PGA, general manager of Talking Rock.
Take-and-bake and hot-and-ready pizzas are a popular daily offering for the more than 600 members. Over the weeks of stay-at-home orders, the club has evolved the offering, with pizzas now delivered on oven-safe baking trays and with a “from our kitchen to yours” note from the culinary staff with baking instructions.
“Members love it. I’ve had many positive remarks about the club and club experience over the last few weeks,” said Frank. “Our team has taken a challenging time and turned it into a positive.”
In addition to the pantry and pizza service, Chef Saldivar finds creative ways to keep members satisfied and engaged, including daily themed takeout, and pop-up experiences like tacos-on-the-fly in the club parking lot. Takeout cards are included with every order, and on them, a sunset painting of the property is printed, along with an inspirational quote. The painting was created by the club’s very own Jay Frank.
“Members and residents can stay here, remain safe, and still enjoy their club,” Frank commented about the many new initiatives the club is offering.
THE FOUNTAINGROVE CLUB: Sunday Supper Revival
The Sunday Supper around the dinner table is making a comeback during California’s shelter-in-place order, and The Fountaingrove Club is offering the perfect programming to host a leisurely Sunday (or any other day) activity with comfort food, cold local craft beer, and arts-and-crafts for the kids.
Through a step-by-step cooking video, print-ready recipe, and a how-to craft video, the staff at Fountaingrove have tailored the perfect afternoon for families: Executive Chef Patrick Tafoya’s homecooked spicy fried chicken with honey and apple cider glaze, paired with Woodfour Brewing Company’s New Ridge Lager, and (keeping with the theme) a make-your-own springtime chick painting.
And if that wasn’t enough, members have joined in the fun, offering up thei rown bit of entertainment. Fountaingrove members Joel and Susan Butler performed a saxophone duet, with the golf course as the backdrop on the club’s social media channels.
Chef Tafoya continues to share his culinary creations, all easy to make from a home kitchen, via video tutorials. A must try: strawberry “shortcut” cake with Lily, his at-home sous chef, sidekick, and daughter.
MANCHESTER COUNTRY CLUB: Celebrating Moms
For Mother’s Day, Manchester Country Club, a private member-owned club in Bedford, NH, ramped up its love for moms in the area.
“Mother’s Day Brunch is one of the club’s most beloved events,” said Brian Kelley, PGA, general manager. “Even without the event happening onsite this year, our team is dedicated to helping create a memorable day for our member families.”
Manchester’s executive chef, David Smith, and his culinary team are offering a full takeout menu for the holiday, including signature offerings of prepared New England lobster mac and cheese, chilled tenderloin with roasted pepper aioli, and oversized purple velvet cupcakes. For sipping, moms (and dads) can opt for the MOMosa bundle, a perfectly presented bottle of LaMarca Prosecco and Natalie’s Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice. As an alternative to prepared takeout, families can order a ‘Mother’s Day Grocery Bag,’ which includes everything needed to cook a filet mignon au poivre or salmon with lobster corn succotash meal at home. The items are available to order online and pickup curbside at the club.
SUNNYSIDE GOLF & COUNTRY CLUB: Farmers Market Fun
Every Thursday, cars line up around the perimeter of the parking lot at family focused Sunnyside Golf & Country Club in Waterloo, Iowa. A larger-than-life dinosaur and sidekick unicorn happily wave to the children in backseats as they hold up signs that say, “Stay in Car,” and “Pop Open Trunk” to direct the waiting cars on their next steps. Every Thursday, Sunnyside hosts a drive-through farmers market, featuring products from local vendors, including fresh produce, herbs, eggs, bread, flowers, and even essentials like toilet paper. The first hour-and-a-half of the market is reserved for members, and then guests and the general public are invited to shop. For many, the trip to the Sunnyside ‘Drive Through Market’ has become a favorite weekly family activity — a chance to take a drive, bring the kids, and support local businesses.
BROOKSTONE PARK: Recognizing Heroes
Brookstone Park, a nine-hole facility and event center in southern New Hampshire, is creatively thanking local heroes. In May, Brookstone will select two of those to win a complimentary 2020 membership, including unlimited golf, mini golf, target range access, and special event tickets. The initiative was created to honor essential workers in the local community and publicly thank them for their service. Entries have included local police, fire, first-responders, healthcare personnel, and workers supporting restaurants and groceries.
“Brookstone has always supported the local community, and we wanted to create something that reflects that. This initiative is our way of bringing goodwill to the people of our town and surrounding areas,” said Michelle Dougherty, general manager. “We’ve received more than 40 entries for the program. People are nominating their loved ones, and kids are sending in entries saying their parents have been working really hard, and being able to play golf this year would mean the world to them.”
Brookstone Park is taking a partnership approach to its weddings, too, allowing couples to reschedule their date without financial obligation. Some are even adding a ‘Plan B’ date so they can feel confident in booking their wedding with Brookstone.
“Flexibility is key. Couples know we are here for them,” commented Doherty. “We’re in this together, and we understand.”