Married for nearly nine years and raising a young family, Valley Country Club members Cheryl and Sean Smith had plenty of reasons to get out of downtown. But even a short conversation makes it pretty obvious why they chose Valley Country Club.
They say “family golf” simultaneously, but that opens the floodgates to all the other activities they enjoy doing as a family at the Club. “We love playing tennis,” Cheryl says. The kids love rolling down the big hill and the pool and the playground and the ping pong tables – but mostly, they love doing whatever they do as a family.
Their youngest, Ben, turning 4 in April, shows a real interest in swimming – maybe a little ahead of his time. He’s “in the pool pretty much all day when we go,” Cheryl says, laughing. “He doesn’t leave.” Even better, “he’s made a lot of friends.”
Before joining, Cheryl (a partner at Robinson Waters & O'Dorisio, P.C., where she practices Family Law) and Sean (who owns Blue Spruce Management, which performs turnaround and restructuring advisory as well as valuation services) didn’t really know all the ways a country club could bring them closer as a family. How could they? “Our kids were young,” Sean admits. When they enrolled as Social Members in 2018, Ben had just turned two years old; Luke was around four and Ellie was six. With their children at ages when bonding and socialization are so crucial, connecting as a family was high on their priority list for their move from downtown Denver to the suburbs.
Getting Away from Downtown – and Toward a New Family Lifestyle
Washington Park, the Smith’s former home of four years, is “more like the city,” Cheryl, a partner at a Denver law firm, says. They hoped something further from the hustle and bustle would help them stay close during their formative years as a young family, and nearby Centennial was on their list.
“We were looking south because we were looking to ... get more space and just kind of move out of the city,” Cheryl explains.
The next step was figuring out how to make their new neighborhood into their new home. Cheryl grew up frequenting a Connecticut country club, so she knew they could be used as an entry point for families to join a new community – but she also knew how exclusive and unapproachable they can be.
Visits to another Denver club with family were a showcase for the latter. Cheryl says, “Every time we went [to the other country club], I felt like with our little kids and the demographic being a little older there, I just didn't feel like it would be a good fit for us.”
The search continued until Sean discovered Valley Country Club. “It was kind of a no-brainer when I went,” Cheryl says. Her anxieties about country club life faded: “Everyone was so friendly and outgoing.” Even at first blush, she valued the welcoming, sociable atmosphere and visible commitment to raising the bar. “It’s more inclusive and exclusive,” she adds, “if that’s the right way to say it.”
Starting Social, Staying Social
With their search over, the Smiths still rave about the benefits they’ve become used to. Sean participated in the men’s golf league; the kids love being on the swim team and kids’ club. Becoming Social Members before moving south made it possible for them to discover those passions, and made it clear Valley Country Club was the place to pursue them together.
“We staged in,” Sean says. “First we did the Social Membership, and what we were really taking advantage of was the pool. It was just such a nice... it's a beautiful pool. That's it. You know, you just feel like you can unwind,” he continues. Like father, like son.
“And that was a pretty easy first step for us before we moved out,” he says. “They make an effort on the social front to make a lot of activities for the Social members. And so it's not all just ‘golf, golf, golf’ all the time.”
Cheryl echoes Sean’s broad sentiment: Valley Country Club supports not just their lifestyle and place in the community, but their ability to do things they enjoy as a couple and as a family. “We’ve always loved doing activities together,” she says. “You know, we love golfing together. We love swimming. We just like being outside and having fun. And that just really gives you a good place to do that."