Baxter Creek Golf Club Transfers to another Generation

Photo Karen Graham.
Pictured from left to right are Darryl and Cheryl Martin, their son Andrew Susands and Darryl and Maureen Paxton.  All are descendants of the original owners of the property on which Baxter Creek Golf Club was developed.  The ownership of the Golf Club has now passed to this 5th and 6th generations of the original property owners, Roberta and Keith Wood.  When the time came for the former owners, brothers Ralph, Ron and Grant Larmer and their cousin Jerry Paxton to step down from operations, the decision to keep the business in the family was an easy one.

The property was a farm for generations before Larmer brothers Ralph, Ron and Grant along with their cousin Jerry Paxton decided to develop the 165 acre property into a golf club.  The property had a lot going for it, featuring woodlands, ponds and frontage on County Rd. 28 and Cedar Valley Road. The original farmhouse remains on location, accessed from County Rd. 28.  A few outbuildings remain as well, but more than a decade ago the owners transformed the property into an 18-hole championship public golf course.

Designed by David Moote, transformation respected the property’s traditional past while incorporating appealing golf course features such as rolling fairways, a variety of water features, a back nine wandering through existing woodland.  There are also 50 bunkers to keep golfers on their toes. There is a driving range and practise green.

More recently, the owners invested in new full-service clubhouse which accommodates weddings, tournaments and other special events.  The clubhouse includes a lounge, outdoor patio, a banquet hall and boardroom.  Two years ago, they introduced golf simulators to allow virtual golf experiences at courses around the world during the off-season.

The owners have always been hands-on operators, and this tradition will continue.  Andrew Susands, son of Darryl and Cheryl Martin, assumes the role of manager, but none of the new owners expect to introduce significant changes to the way the club is managed and current staff will be retained.  The past two years has seen a boom in golf activity and Baxter Creek has benefited from this trend.  As the new owners agree, if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it.

The connection to the property in the new owners is palpable.  All have fond memories of spending summer months on the farm with grandparents, helping with chores or riding horses in the fields.  It was inconceivable to the family to let this property fall into the hands of strangers who do not share their appreciation for its past and its future.  So while some things have changed, most have not: Baxter Creek continues to be a family owned and operated golf club welcoming experienced, novice and non-golfers alike to have some fun on the course, the driving range or in the clubhouse.  KG

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