By SCOTT COTTOS
Growing up attending Hopewell-Loudon schools, Andy Clouse would sometimes play golf at nearby Loudon Meadows Golf Club.
Now, he owns the place.
Clouse took over as Loudon Meadows’ owner on Sept. 2, giving him a Triple Crown of sorts in area golf. Clouse has owned Fostoria Country Club since 2012, and Hillcrest Golf Course in Findlay has been his since March.
“The synergies for us are lowering how much it costs for advertising, and buying our chemicals in bulk, that lowers our operating expenses,” Clouse said. “And I grew up in Bascom, and this was one of my favorite courses at that time.”
Unlike Fostoria Country Club and Hillcrest, where quite a few upgrades were needed, Clouse found Loudon Meadows in good shape in all regards.
“I couldn’t be more excited to have it,” he said. “This is one smooth, oiled, running machine.”
As the owner of three courses in close proximity, Clouse is implementing a plan in which a year’s membership will allow the golfer access to all of the courses.
That will be a benefit to those who like to play different courses and to members who might find themselves unable to get a tee time at a particular course on a certain day.
“This course is in such great shape,” Clouse said while seated on a couch in the Loudon Meadows clubhouse. “It’s such a great track. And now we’ll have all three courses together — one membership, you get all three courses. What’s going to happen is, we’re going to have outings here, and members now can go to any of the other courses and golf at no charge. That’s just keeping it simple. On those days that we’re having an outing and we’re full, they can go to one of those other two courses and play.”
Clouse said the condition of the course is a testament to the work of longtime superintendent Keith Scaife and a small staff.
“Every once in a while you’ll find a superintendent like him who goes beyond the call of duty,” Clouse said. “He really cares about the course. He puts in extra time.”
Clouse said among the few improvements needed when he acquired Loudon Meadows were a few pieces of equipment to make the groundskeepers’ jobs easier and an additional use of chemicals on the course.
“I like to spray the whole course, rough and everything,” he said. “I don’t like to see dandelions or any clover. That will be an improvement, at least aesthetically, looking at the course,”
Clouse said future plans also include expanding food offerings, and he hopes to organize competitions involving base members from all of his courses.
A membership deal is now underway in which 20 percent will be carved from the price if paid by Oct. 15, 15 percent will be discounted if paid by Nov. 15 and 10 percent will be lopped off if paid by Dec. 15.
Loudon Meadows’ phone number is 419-435-8500.