Membership has its Benefits: Lehigh Valley Country Clubs

By Mary Beth Schwartz

Imagine emerald green golf courses, professional tennis courts, Olympic size swimming pools, and fine dining restaurants. Add health, fitness and spa programs. Top that with family activities such as camps, social events, junior programs and even arts and crafts. All of this and more is possible at the exclusive country clubs of the Lehigh Valley.

The membership at today’s private clubs is more diverse, with an emphasis on the entire family, including the spouse and children, not just golfers. Members seek full-service offerings for the cost of their membership, along with visionary leadership, strong management and a staff that is friendly and hospitable.

Macungie’s Brookside Country Club has found success in honoring traditions while implementing new trends for clubs, such as food and beverage programs and the latest in fitness – boot camps, yoga, strength training, massage, and Zumba. “Dating to 1929, Brookside Country Club features a list of amenities for the family as a whole, including an 18-hole golf course, six tennis courts, an Olympic-size pool, banquet facilities and three fine dining restaurants,” says General Manager Robert Anen, CCM.

According to Anen, Brookside Country Club’s championship golf course features steep plateau greens with challenging internal slopes, deep greenside bunkers and tight contoured fairways lined with strategically placed bunkers. The Swabia Creek, located on the course, provides a unique challenge for golfers. “The course is a little gem right here in Macungie,” Anen says.

Brookside Country Club keeps its members energized year-round with a full social calendar. “We want the club to be the members’ home away from home year-round,” Anen says. Until June 30, Brookside is having its Spring Incentive for new members. According to Anen, prospective members pay a lower  initiation fee, and have a discount up to 30 percent off of dues for the first year. A number of special events are scheduled especially for perspective members.

At Woodstone Country Club and Lodge in Danielsville, everything is brand new. “We are the most up-to-date facility in the area,” says General Manager/COO Robert P. Grow, Jr. Established in 2000, the private golf and social club is situated at the base of the Blue Mountains. Woodstone Country Club and Lodge prides itself on excellence.

Members have access to a championship 18-hole golf course with clubhouse, golf simulator, member lounge, tennis courts, gardens, patio deck and fine dining. The event area features a ballroom that can seat up to 400. There  is also a corporate seating area. Four-season events are scheduled regularly for families.

There are club amenities open to the public as well. The Lodge offers 19 overnight rooms. “People travel from all over to stay at the Lodge. It is a beautiful place to stay with your family. We are only four miles from the Blue Mountain Ski Area,” Grow says. The Oaks Restaurant & Bar offers fine dining options for the public. Monthly entertainment at The Oaks is open to everyone.

Woodstone Country Club and Lodge also is home to the largest amateur golf tournament on the East Coast – the 2012 Greater Woodstone Open. Scheduled for June 15-17, 2012, the prize is $27,000, plus a $10,000 donation to Good Shepherd Rehabilitation. Those interested in joining the tournament should visit to register.

According to Grow, Woodstone Country Club and Lodge’s current membership drive runs through June 1. “In spite of hard economic times, our membership is growing. We feel it is because of the value we offer. For new members, we wave the initiation fee and the dues are the same as they were in 2011. There are no assessments with ongoing improvements. If you join now and play golf, there are no dues until June.”

According to General Manager Frederick Rickey, CCM, Easton’s Northampton Country Club was the first private club to be founded in the Lehigh Valley back in 1899. Celebrating 113 years of history, the invitation-only club is home to 400 families and offers a variety of membership options.

Members and their invited guests enjoy a list of amenities at the 190-acre year-round club. Let’s start with golf. The 18-hole championship golf course was designed by Robert White, the first president of the PGA of America during the early 1900s. It is well known for its manicured greens and tree-lined fairways. Golf enthusiasts can take advantage of golf programs, member tournaments, golf lessons, the Pro Shop and Snack Bar, driving range, and practice putting green. If tennis if your game, there are four hard courts, 2 soft courts, and 3 paddle tennis courts. How about swimming? There is a heated competition sized pool. For youth ages 5-17, Northampton Country Club has youth sports programs, including a seven-week summer sports academy  that offers swimming, tennis, and golf instruction.

Northampton Country Club members also enjoy fine dining menus created by the experienced culinary staff. There is dining in the Grill Room as well as the main dining room. Members can also enjoy fare at the pool, The Clubhouse, even on the terrace. The banquet rooms can seat up to 236 guests for weddings, showers, family gatherings, and other special celebrations. And at Northampton Country Club, members enjoy several parties, special events, and tournaments.

In 2010 Allentown’s Lehigh Country Club  celebrated its 100th anniversary. According to General Manager Zenard Mikulski, Lehigh Country Club is a strong family oriented club. “We welcome children. There are numerous junior programs dedicated to tennis, golf, and swim. There are social activities, camps, and clubs.” Over 500 families call Lehigh their home away from home.

“Our 18-hole golf course is rated in the Top 100 according to Golfweek magazine. It was designed by William Flynn, one of the top ten architects of our time,” Mikulski says. Golfers also have access to a short game practice area, putting green, practice hole and driving range. For racquet enthusiasts, there are nine tennis courts, three of which are soft, as well as three paddle courts. Swimmers can choose from the swimming pool or diving pool and there is a baby pool for the kids. Members also have use of the Clubhouse Fitness Area.

The recently renovated clubhouse at Lehigh Country Club features several dining rooms and banquet facilities. “We constantly receive compliments on our quality of service, as well as our staff,” Mikulski says.

Poolside dining, spa treatments, a heated Olympic swimming pool – the day at one of the Lehigh Valley’s country clubs sounds wonderful to a working mother like me.  So whether you are a golfer, swimmer or tennis player, or you are looking for a family-friendly social community, one of the Valley’s country clubs may be right for you.

Brookside Country Club

901 Willow Lane
Macungie, PA 18062

Lehigh Country Club
2319 South Cedar Crest Boulevard
Allentown, PA 18103

Northampton Country Club
5049 William Penn Highway
Easton, PA 18045

Woodstone Country Club and Lodge
3777 Dogwood Road
Danielsville, PA 18038

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