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The Bluffs Golf Club – rugged & beautiful

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by Doug Harvey
12 Holes At The Bluffs

After seventeen years of operation as a 9 hole golf course, The Bluffs Golf Club owners, Mark and Sue Trowman have succeeded with their expansion plans to transform the existing 9 hole golf course into a challenging for the experienced, yet forgiving for the novice, 12 hole golf course on their beautiful lakeside 128 acre property.

Although new to the golf club business, Mark came from a business development background in the automotive industry that started in England, then to Ontario, when Mark and his family immigrated to Canada in 2005. Five years later while looking at cottage resort businesses for his "Semi-Retirement", he found The Bluffs Golf Club that was up for sale, and with the support of his family made a huge career change.

Now, living the dream, working 100 hours a week, Mark armed with his passion for the game, and with a huge amount of assistance from Sue, began working on his list of improvements to the golf course. One of the first things the Trowmans did after buying the nine-hole course that measured 2,300 yards in 2010, was to put in a driving range, and to make the start of the first hole, and the end of the ninth hole close to the clubhouse so golfers had closer access to the clubhouse for a break.

The idea for expansion came from Jack Nicklaus who had been promoting a 12 hole golf course since 2007, and built one in 2008 in the US. The advantages of twelve compared to nine are that nine just isn't enough, while twelve keeps you out for about two and a half hours, add some time for lunch (like a Dine A Dozen), and your gone. When you think about sports for the kids, and families to be active in, the options are few as many sports have you standing by the sidelines and watching your kids, while golf on a 12 hole course, lets the whole family participate together playing with more options. The transformation to twelve was accomplished by adding three holes, redesigning five of the original nine, and adding over a thousand yards. Keeping the first, sixth, seventh, and twelfth holes close to the clubhouse was a priority, not just for convenience, but for players that want to play eighteen, who now have a choice of playing the front six starting with the first, or the back six starting at the seventh.

Besides having a beautiful tranquil setting on the bluffs of Lake Erie, the proof is in the people that play the game and during my tour I couldn't help but notice the party in front of us had some experienced players that seemed to know the course quite well. It was on the eighth hole, a 398 yard par 4 with a slight dogleg to the left in the middle of the fairway, with the green barely visible on the left. As I watched the players hit off the tee, I couldn't help but notice that they both had great shots, and one with near perfect position for a clear shot at the green. After their second shots we passed the group with our cart, and all I could hear was one of the players saying "He got an Eagle, He got an Eagle", and asked us to check it out, and yes we did. Moments like this are priceless, and it was great to be in the right place, at the right time to be a witness of this rare achievement.

The Trowmans seem to be following the right business plan, as membership has almost tripled since 2010, more participation in the men and women leagues, and some great tournaments which last year received over $12,500 dollars in prizes. Success is earned, and with all the effort, planning, and persistence in the last seven years by the Trowmans, a dream has now become a realty, The Bluffs Golf Club has now more than earned it's position as the best 12-hole golf course in Canada.

The Bluffs Golf Club
Last Updated: Thursday, 20 July 2017 14:20:42 PM EST

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