Muskoka Highlands Golf Links, located in Bracebridge, Ontario, is unique in that it is a dog-friendly public golf course. Every dog visiting the course is made an Honorary Member and given a member dog tag. The course fosters a new puppy every year, with most pups going on to become a guide dog assisting those with various needs. In 2019, Muskoka Highlands organized a $200,000 charity golf competition to raise money for the Dog Guide Program in collaboration with the Lions Foundation of Canada. The Lions program trains service dogs to assist people with disabilities. Don MacKay, President, believes in giving back to the community. “We are in an ideal situation here in that you, the golfer, play a big role in socializing the foster puppies so that they are completely comfortable meeting new people”.
Muskoka Highlands is a dog-friendly golf course that offers a fun, social and family-oriented golfing experience enhanced by the ability to bring your pet. Some golfers suggest that interacting with their dogs on the course helps them gain an intimate awareness of the surroundings, reduces the stress and competitiveness of the sport, and adds to its therapeutic value.
It has expanded its membership options and welcomes student golfers who are twenty-five years or younger, to popularise the sport among the younger generation. Their ‘add zero’ membership allows junior players 18 and younger to play golf all season by just adding zero to their age.This graduated membership extends to the19-25 age group at $15 per year and the 26-40 year old category at $20 per year making it popular with all of these age groups, and helps to grow the sport of golf.
They have a range of other options for local golf enthusiasts including spousal and unlimited adult memberships. “Golf has the perception of being stuffy and expensive. We believe that if we can get the youth playing at a younger age, they will stay in the sport for the most part fore the rest of their lives. It is our investment in building a broader base of golfers fore the future. The boom in golf that was created by Covid needs constant attention and investment to retain these new and returning players. Golf has no option but to invest heavily at this time” says MacKay.
Muskoka Highlands is an 18-hole golf course with premium bentgrass greens and 4 sets of tees for different levels of skill. They have a fully public driving range that encourages beginners to explore the property and try the sport. “People associate our course with fun and scoring their best round ever. That is the really satisfying part to our business” MacKay said.
The pet-friendly golf course offers a variety of services including technologically simulated indoor golf during the winter and professional training programs in collaboration with a reputed golf academy. There is a Footgolf course onsite, and there is a lawn bowling club that now offers croquet at certain times in the week. They partner with local hotels and resorts to offer tourists the experience of a round of golf on the course. “We are known to be innovators and disruptors – each taking their own energy to support” Don said.
Fees are determined by a dynamic pricing model that takes into consideration major golfing factors like weather, client demand, and course occupancy.
With the latest announcement, Muskoka Highlands continues its commitment to make golf an accessible and enriching experience for a diverse range of people. By expanding their membership services, they offer affordable opportunities to dog lovers and young golfers in the local community.
Find more information by visiting https://muskokahighlands.com
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