Country Clubs are often thought of as a place where men go to play golf with their friends and business associates. But according to Kyla Basso, the V.P. of Membership Sales, Marketing & Club Operations at the newly renovated Edgewood Country Club, interest in golf has noticeably declined since what she refers to as the “Tiger Woods era.” In an effort to adapt, Edgewood now aims to offer families of all ages “a fabulous resort experience in Bergen County.”
An Innovative Renovation
Edgewood Country Club recently held a grand opening to showcase the resort’s new renovations. Now under new ownership, Edgewood is a non-equity membership club (a shift from past owners) in River Vale; according to General Manager Todd Zorn, the non-equity membership means that Edgewood can focus on providing experiences that benefit all members instead of prioritizing the needs of a selected board of club members. Of course, the numerous services and high tech amenities Edgewood now provides enhance the experience.
The main building boasts a ballroom, cocktail area, private wine room, state-of-the-art fitness center, kids entertainment section and more. The ballroom — which is 67’9″ x 67’9″ and further expandable through a retractable wall — can host up to 450 guests, and is the perfect venue for a formal event, wedding or business gala. The ballroom and cocktails/ceremony room — 47’2″ x 38′ and also expandable via a retractable wall — both feature a large (164″), retractable projection screen and built-in ceiling projector (which can be hidden in the ceiling when not in use) controlled by a wall-mounted tablet. This tablet can also be used to adjust the lighting (with a variety of color and strobe options) and curtains, among other things. The ballroom features a white marble tile dance floor which, as Basso points out, is something that brides will appreciate on their wedding day.
Private Dining and More
The private wine room can accommodate small groups of up to 18, and is ideal for an intimate dining experience. Members can rent space in the room’s wine fridge to store their favorite dinner wines for use as needed. There is also a Smart TV which supports video conferencing, making it a versatile space also usable for business purposes.
The new fitness center at Edgewood Country Club is much larger (the pre-renovation center was about 1/10 of the size) and includes more high tech equipment than before. The main workout area features all the equipment you would expect, while the separate “WellBeats On-Demand Training Program” area allows members to take fitness, yoga, spin and other courses via a digital instructor. There is even a massage room. Fun Fact: Even the water fountain at Edgewood is high tech. It not only accommodates a specific area to fill up a water bottle (no more tilting your bottle at an awkward angle just to fill it up 70% of the way), it also counts how many plastic bottles the fitness center has saved by refilling personal bottles instead.
Full Family Services and Amenities
Edgewood’s redesign puts family at the forefront of their focus. Nearly the entire property has WiFi (it doesn’t quite stretch all the way across the golf course) — hotspots are in every building — which is of utter importance to modern businessmen and women who never really “punch out” of work as well as families with tech savvy children. Aside from the golf course, the grounds are jean-friendly, and while Edgewood asks that members be courteous to those around them at all times, they permit cell phone use in all areas. Every service and amenity that the club provides also has a youth-friendly version, making Edgewood perfect for families of all ages and sizes.
The Olympic-sized swimming pool is actually the largest heated pool in the state, and has both a diving board and children’s shallow area in the corner. This allows kids to have their own space without actually needing their own space. There is also a separate pool for very young children with fencing. Aside from the lounge chairs, umbrellas, beach towels and pool locker rooms you might expect from a country club, Edgewood also lets members rent a cabana right by the pool. These shady cabanas include fans to circulate air in addition to a mini fridge (with drinks and snacks for both adults and kids) and a Smart TV with WiFi access to apps… just in case you have a rebellious tween who is too cool for the pool and would prefer to watch Netflix. Swim lessons are also available.
Hit the (Tennis) Courts
Just a short walk from the pool area, members can also make use of the club’s six tennis courts. Edgewood offers professional tennis lessons, but beyond that, incorporates a 4-level, color-coded Tennis Junior Teaching Program for young players. The Red level serves as an introduction to tennis, using a larger, red ball (to assist young children with hand-eye coordination), a lower net, a shorter court and a lighter racket. It is designed for children ages 4-7. The program then moves on to a Green, Orange and finally, Yellow (the color of regulation size tennis balls) level; gradually adopting traditional rules and equipment. The Yellow level is essentially standard tennis rules, while the initial stages are more suitable for younger players.
Golf isn’t Going Away
I pointed out at the beginning of this feature that golf has seen a steady decline in interest over the past few years. I’d forgive you for thinking that means the club de-emphasizes golf as a priority; however, the new ownership of Edgewood Country Club wants to make the resort a cutting-edge destination for serious golfers. Edgewood offers 3 different 9-hole courses, plus a practice facility with both a driving range and a short game area that includes two chipping greens and two greenside bunkers.
On top of that, they offer a number of technologies to enhance your golf game. Beyond expert-level tennis instruction, this technology includes the Kvest (a wearable device that offers 3D golf swing analysis and biofeedback tools), a Trackman (golf radar for swing and ball flight tracking & analysis), a Balance Plate (consisting of more than 2,000 high-resolution pressure sensors to provide detailed foot pressure data) and a Flight Scope (3D motion tracking device providing golf swing analysis by measuring 27 variables related to your ball, club or swing).
For young golfers, Edgewood is part of the PGA Junior Golf League. The league is for girls and boys ages 13 and younger who want to both learn and excel at golf under the tutelage of PGA and LPGA professionals. Participants compete against other local clubs, with the winning club being entered into a national championship against other regions. Outside of the PGA Junior Golf League, Edgewood offers private lessons and after-school clinics separated by age and ability.
Golf Pros Shop Here
This is in addition to the new Golf Pro Shop, which provides seasonal golf attire from all the biggest brands. Golfers can also visit the shop to demo clubs and equipment, order custom products or have their current gear repaired. Fun Fact: The two-floor Pro Shop was renovated from a building that used to be a farmhouse where bales of hay were stored. To maintain a bit of the building’s history, the original first-floor ceiling is still in tact. It turns out that hay is surprisingly heavy, so the thick ceiling is made of about two feet of solid concrete; this makes it a rather sturdy shelter, in case of emergency.
Another family-centric aspect of Edgewood Country Club is their Child Care Services (Basso makes a point to not call it “Babysitting” because, as she puts it, the kids aren’t very fond of that term). During events and gatherings, the club is currently testing out a new service that allows kids to venture off with supervising staff members. Designed for those instances when your kids would rather be at home playing games than at a formal dinner event, members can opt to let their children have fun without disrupting the ongoing festivities. Which leads to another family-minded service, the “Fun Fort.”
Who Doesn’t Love A Fun Fort?
The “Fun Fort” at Edgewood Country Club is an entertainment center for kids. It has a snack area and an assortment of games to play. (Both board games and video games are available. On the video game front, I’m told the younger club members chose Xbox and PlayStation consoles over Nintendo systems.) The room, floor and furniture can all withstand the demanding needs of energetic children. (i.e. the kids can beat up the couch, bean bag chairs, and even roll around on the soft floor without causing too much damage to themselves or the club.)
Premier Social and Formal Events
With all this new tech and space, of course Edgewood Country Club is a go-to venue for events. The club itself hosts a number of social events and dinners, typically centered around various holidays. Just in time for the club’s opening, they hosted a special Mother’s Day event in the ballroom. The event also included child-appropriate family attractions such as face-painting, balloons and a “mad scientist” to entertain kids. Other holiday events are also in the works, including a 4th of July celebration complete with a fireworks show.
Most recently, Edgewood hosted Aaron Krickstein — former #6 tennis player in the world — for a special tennis event. The afternoon included an instructional clinic for members who registered; followed by an exhibition match between Krickstein and the club’s own tennis instructor, Anton Bobytskyi. Kids got to participate in the event as the ball boys & girls during the exhibition.
During the summer, Edgewood Country Club offers a 3-week sports camp. In keeping with the theme of putting family first, Edgewood designed the camp to accommodate families with busy schedules. The first week of camp takes place just after most Bergen County schools break for summer; but before most other camps begin. Then, the final two weeks of camp take place right after most traditional camps end, but before school begins. Basso explains this decision came from an understanding that every family has commitments outside of the club; and Edgewood doesn’t want to interfere with their ability to attend other summer programs.
Becoming a Member
Edgewood Country Club offers five different memberships, each giving members varying degrees of access. The House Membership offers “unlimited use of the club’s social facilities and card rooms, limited to two (2) rounds of weekday golf per month with the payment of appropriate greens fee.” There are also three types of golf memberships, which you can read more about on the membership page. For any family considering a membership at Edgewood, however, the Resort Membership is the star of the show.
With the Resort Membership, families get unlimited use of the swimming pool and tennis courts; as well as access to children’s activities, the fitness center, child care services, social events and dining options. This membership includes children through the age of 21, who reside in the same residence.
Erica Mosery, one of Edgewood’s newest members, says the Resort Membership was perfect for her family. “Being new to the area and being new parents, Edgewood’s Resort Membership was a great opportunity to be able to meet other families without paying the high price of a golf membership which we wouldn’t have the time to enjoy. Not to mention- the new facilities are stunning!” she said.
Jin S. Yhu, another of Edgewood’s new members, mentioned that “My wife and I chose Edgewood’s Resort Membership because it allows our busy family to personalize our membership experience to what’s important to us right now. We have the opportunity to swim, play tennis, exercise in the fitness center and mingle with other families; in a beautiful resort setting,” he said. “Each time we’re at the club feels like a vacation away from the hustle and bustle of living in North Jersey.”
Your Ticket In
Kyla Basso personally interviews all potential members, so those who want to join should contact her for more info. She can be reached at 201-666-1200 ext. 273 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. For any family in Bergen County looking for a country club that offers a lavish resort experience coupled with high tech amenities, Edgewood Country Club is now open.