Buckhorn Springs Golf & Country Club, which for some time has been struggling to keep its door open, was bought by one of its longtime members and successful businessman Bill Harper, 73, of Valrico. The club is now privately owned and has began an extensive renovation campaign to please its existing and potential new members.

The golfing industry is not immune to the current economy; one only needs to visit some of the local clubs where the evidence of declining memberships and the obvious need to update upgrade, and revitalize. 
Valrico’s Buckhorn Springs Golf & Country Club has also proved to be one of the facilities, teetering on the edge of falling victim to the troubled economy, but longtime member and successful businessman Bill Harper decided that closing the golf course is not going to be the fate of his beloved neighborhood club.
Harper said that closing the club was not necessary, when he could do something about it. “I’ve made a lot of friends there over the years and I did not want that changed,” he said.
Harpers, 73, who has been a member of the club since 1972, paid in full, purchased the 42-year-old club on Christmas Eve, and began its privately owned operation on the following Monday, which included the start of an extensive renovation and upgrading campaign, not only to keep the club running, but to make sure that it will serve its members better than ever.
The 18-hole Buckhorn Springs course, located at 2721 S. Miller Rd. in Valrico, features 6,888 yards of golf from the longest tees for a par of 72. The course rating is 72.7 and it has a slope rating of 125 on Bermuda grass. Designed by Harris Green, the course opened in 1968.
According to Buckhorn Springs General Manager Randy Olinger, the extensive upgrade will include addition of new golf carts and new equipment, repairing the parking lot, revitalizing the landscaping and improving the condition of the golf course.
“We have begun an aggressive fertilization program, which also includes the adding some sand to the course,” Olinger said.  “This is a very special place for us and we are pleased to have Mr. Harper caring about the club to the point of investing his own means to keep it open.”
Local resident and member of the club for the past 16 years Fred Procise spoke highly of Harper’s move to buy the course when he said, “Although it was a business decision, it was a wonderful gesture on his part.”
Procise said that the club ahs already seen an increase in membership. “We couldn’t have asked for a better gift and are thankful for his efforts to keep the facility running,” he said.
For more information about the Buckhorn Springs Golf & Country Club, please call the facility at 689-7766.

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