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Over $7 million in investments going to improving Macungie country club

Land Development on Former Brookside Country Club Land
Jay Bradley
Land being developed at the former site of the Brookside Country Club.

MACUNGIE, Pa. — Brookside Country Club is undergoing a $7.3 million dollar improvement of the facility that will include updates to all 18 holes.

Across the country club, renovations will include a new aquatic center that will have its own restaurant, two new indoor tennis courts and four pickleball courts.

  • $7.3 million in improvements were approved by a vote of members at Brookside Country Club Wednesday, heralding facility improvements including a redesign of all 18 holes on the golf course
  • The project is being financed through land sales, borrowing and some increased fees upon members
  • The plan incorporates new pickleball courts and comes on the heels of increased membership attainment over recent years

Expansions within the clubhouse will include openable walls to allow easy outdoors access and expanded dining space — including a complete renovation of the catering ballroom for weddings.

Country Club President Robert Della Sala said a vote of approval for the project by about 100 members came at a special meeting.

Administrators have worked the plan for about four years, Della Sala said.

While the spending for the project was only approved this week, tree removal already has started to reconstruct the holes.

Della Sala estimated the golf course improvements alone will cost $1.9 million.

"We hired a golf course architect to redesign the golf course; bring it back to its original 1920s style," Della Sala said. "We're getting the greens back to the original sizes, going to do some moderate changes, redo all the tee boxes, all new bunkers."

Della Sala said the pool complex is hoped to be completed by the Fourth of July this year, pickleball courts completed by the end of summer, and the golf course to be completed by spring of next year.

Other renovations, such the clubhouse, will start in 2024.

He said pickleball, an exploding phenomenon in the Lehigh Valley and across the country, was No. 1 on the trends of what was growing at country clubs.

Della Sala said golf fervor and pool availability during recent years have seen an increased enrollment for the club, including last year — when the club gained more than 100 families as members, the most it has ever had.

The pandemic was a boon to the golfing industry throughout the country, with the socially distant sport growing more than 30 percent since 2019.

Some of the renovations are intended to grow the facility's year-round capabilities. The current all-weather bubble is set to be replaced by a different fabric structure for tennis, pickleball and other sports such as basketball.

Additionally, the pool renovation may allow it to stay open for a longer season, Della Sala said.

Club General Manager Kristofer Fair said the vision for the club is to be family-centric rather than the traditionally male catering of country clubs.

Non golf facilities at Brookside
Jay Bradley
The current recreational facilities at Brookside Country Club.

Della Sala said the project was partly financed by a $3.5 million sale of 17 acres adjacent to the driving range and parking lot that are going to be home to 66 single-family homes.

He said he hopes those who move in will be able to be club members.

Other financing includes increasing monthly member fees by 5% to 8% and borrowing an anticipated $3 million, according to Della Sala.

"We kind of came to a culmination that finally we had every all our ducks in a row for projects that we want to do costing and budget-wise and financing," he said.

"We've never had any type of strategy to have capital improvement for the club. We basically were self-funding on an annual basis."
Country Club President Robert Della Sala

"We've never had any type of strategy to have capital improvement for the club. We basically were self-funding on an annual basis."

Renderings for the golf course changes are available on Brookside Country Club's website.