Mother Nature taketh away.
But she also giveth.
And so, while this year’s spring tee off at The Bridges Golf Course in Tillsonburg was five weeks later almost to the day than a mid-March start in 2012, the ongoing wet, cool weather have been ideal for its grassy playing surfaces.
“It’s tough to make up that golf course play when there’s snow on the ground,” said General Manager Walter Kleer Wednesday afternoon inside the clubhouse. “Mother Nature always has the final say.”
This is Kleer’s third season as G.M., maturing along with the renovated and expanded facility.
“There are long days,” says Kleer, crediting Greens Superintendent Brian Haum and Chef Ron Thoma for able support. “You have to wear many hats because the golfing component is only one aspect of it.”
Playing 2,569 yards ‘out’ off the bronze tees and 3,170 on the back nine, The Bridges features three additional sets of tee blocks for golfers of varying handicaps.
“We don’t boast to be a championship length course, but we do provide championship conditions,” said Kleer.
“The aesthetics have always been there,” he continued. “But the course has certainly matured as far as the turf and greens are concerned.”
The Bridges is offering an enhanced website (www.thebridgesattillsonburg.com) this year to go along with enhanced course maturity.
“We’re doing a few funky things with the website,” said Kleer, a list including a ‘Golf For Life’ promotion, whose main prize is a 20-year membership.
“That’s what the penal code says,” Kleer explained. “Life is 20 years.”
Receipts from each purchase at The Bridges include a code, which entrants are able to input after registering with an email address. Increased inputting increases the odds for winning a major prize which will be drawn on June 14, 2014.
Other initiatives include The Birthday Club, whereby golfers can claim a free round on their birthday, a pay-all-day price, and an opportunity to receive special offers via email.
“There’s a number of different things,” said Kleer, alluding to an ongoing $40 midday special, that includes cart and taxes.
“You can get a lot of quality golf for the dollar.”
The saying ‘don’t work in your playground,’ may apply at least partially to Kleer, an enthusiastic golfer in his own right.
“I do get out occasionally,” he said. “And still maintain a respectable handicap.”
Kleer strives to get a round in at least on a weekly basis, a positive experience from his perspective both on the links and with his broader view as G.M.
“Right now, the course is in unbelievable condition.”
It is always wise to call ahead for a tee time (519-842-4142) says Kleer, based on men’s (Tuesday evenings) and women’s (Tuesday mornings and Wednesday afternoons) league play; tournaments and special events. But in closing, he extended an open invitation to all area golfers.
“Our greatest objective is to let people know we are open for play, we certainly welcome green fees seven days a week, all season.”