Up and away from LA’s bustling traffic scene, off the 101, tucked into an oasis of a hillside north of Ventura Blvd., one can bask in the silence of birds chirping and balls being hit across court or on the fairway. Welcome to Braemar
It’s a quiet Friday evening and the sun has just begun to set over the golf course. No one would know that you are just moments away from the major metropolitan city sounds of Los Angeles. Now celebrating its 63 years as an established club in Southern California, Braemar continues to provide its members with a unique golf experience along with many other recreational opportunities.
Striving to be a special family place, it’s a country club and more. An escape. A lifestyle. And for greater LA, an amazing bargain. Braemar has never looked so good to its membership of more than 2000 families.
Boasting 27 holes of golf, the courses are scenic, tight and challenging. Currently there are 25 racquet courts… 18 for tennis and seven for the fastest growing game in the county, pickleball. Add to that, two pristine swimming pools and a beautiful 4,600 square foot fitness center that earlier this year enjoyed a $250,000 makeover and expansion. Its partnership with Life Fitness has members using state-of-the-art fitness equipment, along with two Peleton bikes.
Braemar is owned by ClubCorp, the Dallas based company who earlier this year, rebranded themselves as INVITED. Upgrades and the rebranding have kept the company vibrant and its nationwide membership growing. Braemar’s Tarzana facility underwent a $5 million golf facelift in 2011, at a time when the golf industry and specifically the private club business was falling on hard times. What may have been viewed as a risky investment then, now looks like a shrewd business move, as ownership has turned a beautiful property, into a more family friendly facility with a growing membership.
Then in 2018, Braemar received the green light to update its tennis clubhouse and deck. The $4 million expansion added more tables on the deck, beautiful furniture creating a great spot for a post-match drink or a bite to eat. While Covid put much of the nation’s travel and hospitality industry on the ropes, wiping out some four million jobs, Braemar emerged stronger than ever.
“Due to Covid, in the spring of 2020, we shut down food and beverage operations except for our take-out and made it available for members. We were forced to furlough all but a few essential workers,” General Manager Ryan Wingo recounts, “but we allowed golfers to walk the course.”
Smart move. It was a hole in one.
When the pandemic hit, California became one of the most locked down regions of the country. One of the few chances to escape the pandemic protocols was a round of golf. Public courses were suddenly packed, tee times at a premium. Golf in short was making a comeback via Covid and for a growing number of born-again hackers, investing in a private club made sense.
“The pandemic was the catalyst for the golf comeback,” explains Wingo. “People wanted to get out and get away. The game itself is addicting, and that’s what made them spend the money to join a private club. It’s a chance to have fun, get out and socialize with people for some four hours, and in this city, unfortunately, now, we haven’t been doing that as often, especially with Covid.”