I’m sure you’ve experienced the warmth of a fireplace or the magical allure of a firepit at some point in your life. Such an notion used to be limited to the comforts of your own home, or a camping trip to the woods. Today we are finding fireplaces and firepits becoming part of club environments for all the reasons you’d expect. If you’re considering introducing a fire feature at your club, here are some points that can help sell the idea to your Board of Directors or to your membership.
In some cases, at golf clubs, views are in plenty, however they can sometimes be too vast or long range without a destination for the eye. A firepit can anchor or frame a view which can foster the human desire to go there. Then, at dusk or twilight, when they are lit, the flames will actually provide light which will also draw the attention to otherwise dark areas.
I’d be stating the obvious in saying the purpose of a firepit is to provide heat. Whether we are conscious to the tertiary benefits or not, when gathered around a fire, we experience so much more than a simple change in temperature. Firepits provide a warm and cozy atmosphere that we all can relate to. Being around a fire feature actually brings us comfort; and we seek comfort all year long. The enjoyment of Firepits is no longer limited to cool spring and summer evenings. If in a strategic location, they can provide heat and a dramatic ambience for gatherings during the cold weather months as well.
Have you ever caught yourself staring blankly into the dancing flames of a fire to a point you’re in a hypnotic state? Whether in a fireplace or a firepit, you can actually get entranced by the transformative dancing flames. The hypnotic choreography of a flame actually induce relaxation in our bodies. Studies have shown that watching a fire has a calming affect on our nervous system. As the fire bounces around, we somehow find a stillness and peace within ourselves. Believe it or not, spending time around a firepit can actually reduce your blood pressure.
Perhaps this is why when we see a fire we are actually drawn to it; it’s in our nature. When we see a fire, an overwhelming desire to sit down next to it comes over us. This makes the next point an obvious progression.
One of the many reasons why people join a club is to relax and be around friends with similar interests. Having a fire is the perfect element to provide such an experience. A fire provides a venue for members to come together to relax. In this relaxing environment, they open up to friendly conversations and shared memories. While promoting social gatherings, you will want to consider the location of your fire feature. Should it be in close proximity to food and beverage or will it be out on a lawn for that spectacular view and a bit of solitude. With beverage carts, mobile bars, and even food trucks, a social hub such as a fire feature can be almost anywhere and be attractive to members. We’ve seen them at swimming pool complexes as those are becoming more of a social venue, even when the pool is closed. Think about the space you have and the spaces where members currently gather. Would they enjoy a bit of warmth and relaxation from a fire?
Fire is dynamic. Fire moves. Fire is unpredictable. Fire is captivating. In its own subtle way, a fire can actually be a form of entertainment. Certainly not a concerned at your club, but watching a fire can prevent boredom. For some wood burning fire pits, the flames can be used to cook, or even roast food. Think of the kids and grandkids sharing in the making and enjoyment of an old fashioned smore. The fire eventually goes out, but the memories last a lifetime. Que music…..
With the advancement in technology and manufacturing, there are many options on the market for firepits. Ranging from a couple hundred dollars to several thousand dollars, you can find a solution to meet the expectations of your members within your budget. In planning for a fire feature, you can consider a site built firepit at grade surrounded by patios and lawns, outdoor fireplaces on terraces, or perhaps a fixed or mobile propane fueled fire table. Check out this resource to find out more information on what’s out there.
The first thing to consider is the fuel source; wood burning or propane gas fired. With natural wood burning firepits, you need to consider your immediate surroundings as floating embers can get away and go where they can create real trouble. Also, you need to check with your local municipality to see if having an open wood burning flame is legal in your area.
Propane is a safer option. These firepits are designed to be easy to light and maintain. These can be portable which allows you to set them up wherever the action is schedule to be at your club. A significant factor to propane fueled fire is that it doesn’t produce smoke as does wood burning fires.
The biggest challenge you and your staff have to manage is the “who” and “when” factor. Depending where your fire feature is located, responsibility should be assigned for who controls it, and parameters should be in place for when it will be in use. You may want to check your insurance policy as well.
For the reasons mentioned here, there is no doubt that your members will enjoy their time spent around a fireplace or a firepit. From the dollars spent by the club to add one of these amenities, returns will be realized in increased member satisfaction which leads not only to member retention but will make the club more attractive to new members.
Now that should make you feel warm and cozy.
December 24, 2020