Old Oakland Tees Up Its New Clubhouse
One year ago—June 27, to be exact—Lyle Palmer, general manager and head golf pro at the Old Oakland Golf Club, received one of those dreaded 3 a.m. calls: the clubhouse was on fire, with one-third of the building engulfed in flames.
Four hours later, thanks to the local fire department and a sprinkler system, the fire had been extinguished. The cause of the blaze: discarded smoking material, likely a cigar or cigarette, in an outdoor trash bin.
Fast forward to today, and things are looking up for the 50-year-old private golf club, which is owned by Dawson Development Company. Palmer and the property owners worked with a group of architects and designers to create a new, contemporary clubhouse.
All told, construction and renovation cost more than $1 million, Palmer said. The fire was so extensive that furnishings, TVs and even silverware had to be replaced. Although the club’s golf carts were not destroyed, they had to be cleaned and scrubbed because of smoke damage. Part of the roof was missing, so snow delayed construction this winter.
Becky Augustin, a member of Old Oakland Golf Club and an independent design consultant, offered her services to help reinvigorate a clubhouse that was outdated and in desperate need of a facelift.
“Old Oakland, to my husband and me, has always been a fixture in our lives,” she said. “So when this came up, I said, ’I’ll be happy to volunteer for this.’”
She said the original building previously “looked old and tired.” First thing on the agenda was making the ceilings flat and introducing bulkheads for lighting and accent. The team updated colors to a neutral palette with variations of a warm gray. The flooring consists of attractive carpeting and tile. Furniture is more contemporary, with dining room chairs and tables resembling light laminate with a subtle pattern.
The club’s dining room has a “sophisticated look,” Augustin said, with two large chandeliers hanging from the ceiling, creating a warm, natural atmosphere. The patio—always a popular summer hangout spot—has a “brick paver” texture so patrons will not slip. The pro shop, dining room and other parts of the clubhouse have floor-to-ceiling windows with clear views of the course. Another upgrade is an open kitchen.
The social area includes a 26-foot curved wooden bar, complemented by slate tile on the back wall, new TVs, lighted shelving and hanging pendant lighting. “The bar is the ‘wow’ factor—everyone will be shocked,” Augustin said.
The new building, with its redesign and updated look, is the silver lining following last year’s fire, according to Augustin. “The fire was horrible, but it drew the club close together, and the owners have been really receptive to having this do-over and doing it right,” she said. “This will be like having a brand new building.”