Leaps and Bounds

by Martha-Page Althaus

 Aug 24, 2017 at 7:03 PM

Providence Country Club unveils a new fitness facility.

When Providence Country Club opened its brand new and improved fitness center this past April, the changes were drastic.

“We used to be in the basement,” laughs Nanette Nelmes, a wellness coach and personal trainer who has worked at Providence for 11 years. “Now, it’s like I have a whole new job!”

As part of the renovation, the old gym and golf pro shop switched locations. The new 3,400-square-foot fitness complex nearly doubled in size and added a cardio room, weight room, and aerobics room. The renovation also traded out old equipment for all-new machines and added group exercise classes and child care.

"We now have state-of-the-art cardio equipment, including Intenza treadmills, recumbent bikes, Octane elliptical trainers, Life Fitness rowers, and stair climbers,” says Jason Vieira, a fitness professional and personal trainer at Providence. “We also added TRX Suspension Trainers, Life Fitness spin bikes, and a variety of Life Fitness loaded strength equipment.”

Before the renovation, the fitness center hosted a few group exercise classes each week. Now with the additional space, they’ve added morning and evening classes. The current class schedule includes offerings in TRX, spin, Zumba, interval training, yoga, and barre.

“We were very lucky to get the TRX equipment,” says Nelmes. “We even had to put in extra binding behind the wall to install the suspensions.”

For many Providence families, one of the most exciting additions to the fitness complex is a child care center. Providence Playhouse offers child care Monday – Friday mornings and Friday and Saturday evenings.

“We’ve never had child care before, so to now have this as an option, it helps our families tremendously,” says Nelmes. “Now, we’re tapping into a whole different market.”

As for the members?

“People absolutely love the space,” says Nelmes. “Wellness is a way of
life for our members. Being mindful of health and wellness helps in every aspect of golf and tennis.”

Brenley Ogden has been working out in the Providence fitness center for more than 20 years. For her, the renovated complex has been a long time coming.

“It’s simply beautiful,” she says. “It’s easy to navigate and we all have so much more space. In the old center, we

constantly bumped into equipment. If there was a class going on, there was no free space to lay down a mat. Now, we can do the workouts we want to do. Plus we have more choices with the new equipment.”

Ogden trains with Nelmes once a week and also participates in the Providence running group, which meets at the clubhouse and runs two-to-three- mile routes around the neighborhood. But when she’s on the treadmill in the new fitness center, she’s got just as good a view.

“The new center has beautiful windows overlooking the golf course,” she says. “Before the renovation, we couldn’t even see out of the windows. I enjoy working out here so much more.”


On hot summer days, it’s tempting to blow off the gym and head straight for the pool. But an innovative summer fitness program at Providence aims to keep the whole family active — with plenty of time left over for Popsicles by the pool!

The club’s triathlon challenge uses the main components of a standard triathlon — two-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride, and a 26.2- mile run — but allows participants to work out in the A/C over a period of 30 days. And while this challenge may be a Providence summer staple, you can adapt the program and do it at any club, anywhere.

“It’s for the entire family,” says Nelmes. “It’s a fun competition between brothers and sisters, parents and kids.”

Each participant receives a tracking chart and marks every mile completed. Depending on the weather (including that infamous NC summer humidity), triathletes can bike and run inside or out, and swim two miles (or 80 laps) in the club’s pool.

“Last year, our winner finished in only seven days,” says Nelmes. “They get really competitive with it, which is all part of the fun.”

Brenley Ogden is participating in the summer triathlon challenge and finds the program gets her motivated to exercise.

“It encourages me to get in the pool and get on the spin bike or outside on my road bike,” she says. “I had not ridden my bike in almost a year before signing up for this. But as soon as I got back out there, I realized how much I had missed it. This is a great motivator to do the things I haven’t done in a while.”


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Honoring Memories

by Martha-Page Althaus

 Aug 24, 2017 at 7:00 PM

For 21 years — and counting — Charlotte’s Providence Country Club has joined forces with Hospice of Union County.

When Providence hosted Hospice of Union County’s Griffin Motor Company Golf Tournament in May, old friends gathered, memories were shared, and record funds were raised. The event contributed $167,000 to Hospice of Union County, the largest amount ever raised for the organization.

Inspired by his personal experience with hospice care, Providence member Rob Kreisher started the event in 1996. From year one, the tournament has been held at Providence and has raised $1.8 million for the organization overall.

“Hospice took care of some of my family members, and I was so impressed with what they did,” he says. “They not only helped patients who were dying, but they taught the family about the process.”

One of the reasons this tournament is successful is because members are committed to playing it.

“We sell out every year,” says Kreisher. “People fly in from all over the country and most everyone comes back year after year. This is a charity that the players want to support. Before we present the check to Hospice of Union County, everyone’s always asking me, ‘What’s the check going to be?’ They under- stand the impact of what they’ve done.”

This year’s event began with a barbecue lunch overlooking the 18th hole, where family and friends purchased in-memory signs to honor loved ones.

“It’s a nice way to pay respect,” says Susanna Trotter, corporate communications associate for Carolinas HealthCare System.

Before the first tee-off, a bagpiper played two verses of “Amazing Grace,” followed by a balloon release on the back of the 18th green.

After the round, a dinner reception and silent auction capped the day. Items for bid included a football signed by Carolina Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly as well as Lilly Pulitzer and Tory Burch items.

But the tournament is more than just a round of golf and an evening with friends.

“Every year, families tell us how much they enjoy the day, and they’re so glad to be a part of it,” says Trotter. “Tears are shed as everyone reminisces. They appreciate all that is done to raise funds because hospice helped their loved ones at the end of their lives. They appreciate that this keeps happening, and they’re given the chance to honor those special memories.”

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Straight from the Source

by Martha-Page Althaus

 Aug 24, 2017 at 6:55 PM

Part of “walking the walk” when it comes to building clubs of the future is seizing opportunities that benefit the planet, local economies, and member taste buds. We spoke with three McConnell chefs from Providence, Holston Hills, and TPC Wakefield on how — and why — they source local.


In his first year in the kitchen at Providence, Neal turned the focus to sourcing more ingredients locally. “I want to know where things come from,” he says. “I want to have the servers educated about the ingredients and know where they’re coming from, too.” While the menu at Providence changes every three months — “it’s a big overhaul,” says Neal — expect to find classic American dishes with a Mediterranean twist. “Clean, light flavors,” he says. “There’s some Spanish, Italian, and Middle Eastern influences.”


Neal finds fresh produce and meats from Middle Ground Farm in nearby Monroe, NC.

“We use their living microgreens, which come into the kitchen still alive,” he says. “We cut them to order and use the greens, like basil and arugula, in our salads and garnishes.”

Middle Ground Farm also stocks the Providence kitchen with high-quality meats, from rabbit and turkey to quail and whole hog.

“I’ve been out to the farm and I’ve seen where these animals come from,” he says. “There’s a huge area where they can roam around. They’re not penned in. There are no hormones, no antibiotics, and they’re fed an all-natural diet. The pig is taken from slaughter to my doorstep on the same day. That’s as fresh as it gets.”


The whole hog finds its way on to various club menus: Smoked Boston butts for a member event, cured and smoked hams for Easter, and racks of pork and pork belly dishes for other menus. The club hosted a wild game dinner last fall and served rabbit, and plans are in the works for an August dinner featuring local quail.

“I would love to use even more local- ly sourced products,” says Neal. “Our members are more conscious of where ingredients come from and what’s going into food. We have a lot of competition from restaurants around us, and we gladly accept the challenge to bring something new to the table. Sourcing local isn’t a trend. It’s here to stay.”

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Title Time

by Brad King

 Apr 25, 2017 at 5:09 PM

Big Winners at Providence 

In Charlotte, Providence Country Club’s 40-and-over women’s team brought home the state championship title in December 2016. This 3.0 team won the USTA State Championship in Goldsboro, NC. “This is a really special team,” says Eric Winn, director of tennis at Providence CC, who won the USTA National Championships in 2016. “One of the players, Alison Priory, was diagnosed with cancer, and that’s why they formed this team last summer.” Priory underwent treatment and was able to play. The team won the city tournament in Charlotte, advanced to the playoffs, then went to State and won the highest prize. They went 3-0 to reach the playoff round. Winning the semi-final match against SET Murray, they advanced to the finals, where they took all three lines against Piedmont Glenn to capture the state title.

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Memorable Moments

by Jessie Ammons

 Dec 22, 2016 at 3:39 PM

For a stately ceremony, cherished anniversary, or intimate celebration, McConnell Golf members and outside guests partner with club staff to host unforgettable events.

With historic courses outside and traditional warmth inside, McConnell Golf clubhouses epitomize elegance and style. This was certainly true for Katie Calabro, who hosted her September 2016 wedding at Providence Country Club in Charlotte. “My husband and I had such a fantastic experience hosting our wedding at Providence Country Club,” Katie says. “Dorianne was such a pleasure to work with ... She truly helped us in every way possible and made the wedding planning experience enjoyable and stress free. As for our ceremony and reception, everything was gorgeous. It was everything we could have ever wanted! The club is the perfect spot for photos inside and out, and the whole staff is accommodating and friendly. The food was delicious and our guests had a fabulous time.”

Whether sticking close to home or venturing to a sister property, hosting a show-stopping event is fun and easy with the following accompaniments: 

  - Refined and comfortable seating options
  - Glassware, flatware, and tableware
  - Tables covered with classic club linen
  - Customizable menus for any meal and hors d’oeuvres
  - Bartender consultation and available drink menus
  - On-site coordination and day-of execution
  - Indoor and outdoor spaces with access to outside settings including verandas and pavilions

To learn more about weddings at Providence Country Club in Charlotte, please visit http://www.providenceccweddings.com/ 

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Proper Impact

by Kevin Reardon

 Dec 19, 2016 at 6:39 PM

Ben Hogan always said, “The secret is in the turf.” In the following video, featuring Providence Country Club's Justin Mathers and Kevin Reardon, turf paint is used to illustrate proper contact. 

The red line represents where the ball lays on the turf. By painting a line and hitting balls that lie directly on top of the line, it allows the student to identify where the contact took place. You’ll note in the video that a thin shot typically takes little to no turf. A heavy or fat shot will always happen when the club enters the turf behind the painted line. A well struck, or solid shot will be executed by hitting the golf ball first then followed by the club entering the turf on the target side of the painted line. 

To hit proper chips/pitches, do your best to have a flat left wrist at impact for righties, and flat right wrist at impact for lefties. If you feel as though your hands are in front of the club-head at impact, you’ll most likely be in the correct position to execute proper and solid contact. When you look at the impact with the paint you’ll instantly get feedback, thus the secret is no longer undisclosed.

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Fitting in Fitness

by Jessie Ammons

 Dec 13, 2016 at 9:56 PM

Resourceful planning has yielded impressive improvements at four McConnell Golf Clubs. Thanks to ingenious use of clubhouse spaces, the Country Club of Asheville and Holston Hills Country Club have brand-new fitness centers; and Old North State Club has significantly renovated its center.

Soon, a similar facelift will be underway at Providence Country Club. “We’re excited to be doubling the footprint of our existing fitness center,” says general manager Howard Murphy. The plan is to swap the locations of the clubhouse’s golf shop and fitness center, and also add a kids’ zone adjacent to the new fitness location. “We’ve never had a kids’ zone before, and we’re really looking forward to that,” Murphy says. Murphy anticipates a late spring 2017 debut for the new center.

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