Written by Pratt Farmer
Years in the making, phase one of the new amenity package at Watersound Club is scheduled to open in summer of 2022, adjacent to Camp Creek Golf Course. Members and guests are certain to be delighted with the new amenities, including two pools, a lazy river, waterslide and wellness center. Members will also be able to enjoy a new casual dining restaurant, a game room for the kids and massive amounts of green space surrounding the new amenities. Everyone knows that water is an essential part of leisure life, and there will be an abundance of water with the new amenities. No doubt the new 80,000-gallon, zero-entry pool and surrounding deck will become the place to be. With ample umbrellas, lounge chairs and tables, it offers the perfect spot to sunbathe, catch up with friends and family, read a book or maybe even take an afternoon nap. If you are looking for a little more activity, then the lazy river — which will flow endlessly, to the delight of young and old — will be high on your list, and the new 25-foot waterslide is certain to thrill.
One of the most talked about features is the new wellness center. An all-new staff dedicated to helping Members plan their exercise program will be a wonderful addition to member services and programming. Nowhere will that be more readily apparent than in the spin classes, according to Amy Robison, Watersound Club’s director of wellness and outdoor pursuits. “To get participants reaching new heights in their spin class, the instructor will nudge, cajole and invigorate everyone from an elevated stage area. That, combined with electrifying music and an incredible light program will most definitely have everyone energized,” Robison said. A number of fitness class offerings, such as Bootcamp, HIIT or TRX, are planned to accommodate just about any schedule. Regardless of where you might be in your fitness journey, these programs are tailored to meet your needs. Members will be able to take advantage of a personal trainer to map out a path to a healthier lifestyle. Trainers plan to offer one-on-one, couples and semi-private group sessions.
Many Members requested a lap pool, so one of the new amenities coming to the wellness center is a 19-meter pool that will be ideal for those serious about swimming. Did you know that the ancient Greeks and Romans built pools for athletic training in palaestras — ancient gymnasiums — for nautical games and military exercises? The pool just outside the wellness center won’t host any military exercises, but it will be perfect for swimming laps. No doubt that after an hour in spin class, a dip in the adult pool just outside the center will be a welcomed respite, and on chilly mornings the pool will be heated.
For kids ages 11 to 17, an approximately 2,500-squarefoot game room features television, gaming tables, comfortable seating and an outdoor space with a half basketball court, frisbee lawn and more. Adjacent to the children’s club is an incredible playground with age specific equipment for children ages 2-5 and 5-12. Disc swings, slides and a climbing apparatus will challenge and entertain children, while ample shade sails will help to cool things down on hot summer days.
With plans to open daily at 11 a.m., and with seating for up to 135 people, a new restaurant called Bark ‘N Brine will treat Members and their guests to an exquisite offering of both food and drink. Table service inside and out provides the option to take advantage of the comfort of air conditioning or enjoy the fresh air carried along on a breeze blowing between tall longleaf pines.
According to a recent news story, tennis had the highest rate of growth among traditional sports, picking up nearly 4 million new or returning players, after a decade of stagnant growth. Most attribute the pandemic for this rebounding interest in tennis. Because it is usually played outdoors and naturally allows for social distancing between players, the sport seems to check all the boxes. Likewise, pickleball is also quickly making gains in popularity. This sport combines elements of badminton, table tennis and traditional tennis; as it shares features with these other racket sports, such as, the dimensions and layout of a badminton court, and a net and rules somewhat similar to tennis. “We expect there to be additional demand for tennis instruction at the Club, so we have added another tennis pro,” says Barry Webb, Watersound Club director of tennis.
With all these new amenities scheduled to open for Members this summer, another addition is planned to open later this year. Camp Creek Inn is a boutique inn designed with a Creole-inspired atmosphere; upscale, yet approachable, in every detail. Its featured restaurant, ANR, references the Apalachicola Northern Railroad, a short-line railroad that operated in the Florida Panhandle beginning in the early 1900s. Old photographs and other memorabilia in the restaurant will help tell the story of this rail line that helped shape the history of Northwest Florida.
Members have looked forward to the opening of the pro shop housed in Camp Creek Inn. The shop will carry a variety of brands suited to the golfer shopping for new clubs, apparel or the perfect gift. To further capitalize on the natural beauty of the Club’s surroundings, a fire pit will serve as a centerpiece where Members and their guests can gather around a welcoming fire. To make certain that guest rooms at the Camp Creek Inn exceed expectations, the designers began with construction of a room completely decorated to exacting specifications. Camp Creek Inn is expected to open the summer of 2022, so Members can use the hotel as a convenient place for visiting guests to stay.
The extensive development of these Watersound Club amenities has been an enormous task with many teams working together to bring this dream to reality. Most importantly, however, is that these new amenities answer a call from our Members for a more vibrant community with a plethora of offerings. For those Members, there should be no doubt that the wait has been worth it.