Last summer, at one of their properties on Cape Cod, in Massachusetts, the group repurposed its tennis stadium as a human foosball court.
“We strung pool noodles across the tennis court and you got taped into your noodle,” Mr. Southworth said. “Then we played a 10-on-10 soccer game, but you could only shuffle left and right. It was a huge hit.”
But not all of Southworth’s efforts to skew younger have been successful. A drone race was a memorable failure. “It ruffled a lot of feathers,” Mr. Southworth said.
Whatever the activity, a casual dress code is a key component to attracting younger guests. Mr. Meldman, who has created two dozen Discovery Land properties in North America and the Caribbean and has his first European property set to open in Portugal, said players can wear the kind of attire that would get them booted out of most country clubs.
“People on their way to the beach club stop in their bathing suit, go hit balls and start playing golf that way,” he said of the club at Baker’s Bay in the Bahamas. “A lot of the clubs have rules and traditions. I love them. But it’s also nice to know that you’re growing the game, getting people to stop at the driving range in their bathing suit and pick up a club. If we were a more traditional club that would never happen.”
In other places, there’s a move toward making the resort itself more cosmopolitan.
Reynolds Lake Oconee, which is 90 miles from Atlanta, has six golf courses, and 20 years ago it was all about golf. In the past three years, the number of international residents there has topped 300, up from just 20, and they are looking for more things to do.
The developers have decided to create an 80-acre downtown village, with restaurants and fitness centers on the water. It’s meant to entice the 2,400 year-round residents of the sprawling community to stroll along the lake.