When golfers chipping their way out of a sand trap forget their frustration and start praising the quality of the white sand, you know its' a great course.
Replacing the old masonry sand with the fine grade sand found on prestigious courses is just one of the countless improvements made since Bob and Sheila Chalut bought Tilbury Golf Club from its members in 2009. And there are more enhancements planned.
"This is not a clay field, as some used to claim, it's a competitive course," Bob says.
The course is in excellent shape, thanks to the club president, Arnie Palmer, and his grounds crew. Arnie has been with the Tilbury Golf Course for approximately 33 years, so he knows a thing or two about transforming a golf course into a thing of beauty. Bob and Sheila have impressed members and public golfers with incredible changes achieved through the couple's efforts, funds and business smarts. Members have caught the excitement, volunteering for cleanup projects and applauding upgrades.
One member likened the experience to waking up on Christmas morning. 'Everyday there is something new.'
The club was much loved for 40 years but grew tired and outdated. Built by members in 1968 as a nine hole course, Tilbury Golf Club received new life in 1992 with the purchase of more land and an expansion to an 18 hole, par 71 course. The curling rink and restaurant drew members during the winter months. But by the time the Chaluts arrived, everything was in decline. Undaunted, they immediately set about raising the club to the standards which discerning golfers and club members expect today. While being careful to honour the members of the course, Bob and Sheila named the club restaurant The Legends of Tilbury, after the founding members who worked tirelessly to create a recreational facility for the Town of Tilbury.
Tilbury Golf Club has been rejuvenated inside and out. To date, the course's improvements include: a new bridge for holes 10 and 15, another bridge for holes 13 and 14; drainage for the sand traps; new sand and the creation of two more sand traps; two green alterations; continued improvements to course irrigation; logo flags; paved approaches for holes and the addition of new golf carts. The new snack bar and beverage cart refresh golfers during play.
The grounds are now more beautiful and accessible, with concrete paving around the pro shop; paved parking lot with catch basins; three new garden beds; attractive sineage; dead tree stumps removed and 200-plus trees planted for a future challenge. A new maintenance tractor and a rebuilt older tractor keep the grounds looking their best. "With our parking lot paved, patrons can come safely in their high heels for our Sunday brunch and Friday buffet," says Bob.
"Although our course has been greatly improved, our rates are still very affordable, both during the week and on weekends,"
Bob says. "Membership rates, while very reasonable, include free access to the driving range."
Inside the clubhouse, the Chaluts have completed many of their renovation plans. Some of the new features already in place are: a bar, lighting, interior decoration and TVs in the dining area; patio furniture; carpeting; painting; ceilings and surveillance system throughout; furnished conference room; pro shop stocked with new merchandise; online tee reservations; handicap computer system; P.O.S. (point of sale) system; kitchen appliances; trophy cases; office equipment; and wireless phone system.
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