Playing a game for the ages

Posted 5/15/10

On a typical day at the office, Bill Loeffler brings his three dogs to work with him. He doesn’t wear a tie. He tried that life once. His office is …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Don't have an ID?

Print subscribers

If you're a print subscriber, but do not yet have an online account, click here to create one.


Click here to see your options for becoming a subscriber.

If you made a voluntary contribution in 2022-2023 of $50 or more, but do not yet have an online account, click here to create one at no additional charge. VIP Digital Access includes access to all websites and online content.

Our print publications are advertiser supported. For those wishing to access our content online, we have implemented a small charge so we may continue to provide our valued readers and community with unique, high quality local content. Thank you for supporting your local newspaper.

Playing a game for the ages


On a typical day at the office, Bill Loeffler brings his three dogs to work with him.

He doesn’t wear a tie. He tried that life once.

His office is the Highlands Ranch Golf Club, where he has been the owner and operator with his wife, Sandy, since its inception in 1998.

“It’s a very casual place,” Sandy Loeffler said. “You get to wear shorts.”

Comfortably attired, but wearing long pants on a breezy, cool early-May afternoon, Bill Loeffler says he’s a fortunate man.

You’ll really believe him when you hear this: He’s made a hole in one — 14 times.

“It’s so lucky and haphazard,” the Castle Rock resident said, sipping a diet Coke in the club’s restaurant.

Luck might help carry a tiny white ball into a small hole from 180 yards away, but it won’t qualify you to play in the Senior PGA Championship.

Loeffler earned a spot in the tournament for the third time by finishing in the top 35 last fall at the national senior club pro championship, an event he won in 2007.

He will be among the more than 150 competitors who will tee it up May 27 at the 2010 Senior PGA Championship in Parker.

While he isn’t considered one of the favorites to win in a field that includes Champions Tour rookie sensation Fred Couples, Loeffler, 53, is very much a prominent figure in Colorado golf.

Coming up aces

The former Cherry Creek High School and Arizona State standout is a member of the Colorado Golf Hall of Fame. He’s a three-time Colorado Open champion. Loeffler won the senior version of that event by five strokes last September.

“Growing up, the Colorado Open was always the premier event,” the Centennial State native said. “When the senior open came along and I turned 50, it was just natural that I wanted to win it. And I finally did last year after a couple of tries.

“It’s a blast when you finally get lucky enough to be on top.”

Loeffler’s career path took a brief detour nearly 30 years ago.

He played on the PGA Tour for a few years in the early 1980s, with limited success. After that, he tried his hand at various jobs. He was a sales representative for a golf apparel company. He worked as a stock broker. He learned he didn’t enjoy making cold calls or working indoors and wearing a tie.

Loeffler missed the competition.

After regaining his amateur status, he won the 1986 U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship and was a member of the 1987 U.S. Walker Cup team that won in England.

In 1991, he won his first Colorado Open, still a memorable victory.

“It was the last tournament my dad saw me play before he died,” Loeffler said.

Still going strong

More than four decades after he first picked up a club and “messed around on the putting greens” as a 10-year-old, Loeffler continues to play the game he loves.

Moreover, he’s among the growing ranks of players older than 50 who are finding they can still compete at a high level.

Fitness is an important factor, Loeffler said. Yoga, light weightlifting, walking and hiking help keep him in shape.

“I think the seniors have learned from the younger guys,” he said. “If you maintain your body, your flexibility, watch what you eat, don’t consume all the beer in the world, you can have longevity in the game.”

Improved fitness combined with advancements in equipment technology have senior players slamming the ball.

For example, Tom Watson is hitting it farther — averaging 283 yards per drive — at age 60 than he did when he was winning major championships in his 30s.

Loeffler is not a big hitter, but he is accurate with his irons. In winning the Colorado Senior Open, he fired a tournament final-round record 66.

As far as balancing his time between playing golf and the business of the game, Loeffler gets plenty of help. He says his wife is the one who manages most day-to-day operations at the club and at their other property, The Links Golf Course, also in Highlands Ranch.

That frees Loeffler up to work on his game. He can take an hour to hit balls at the driving range, or travel out of state for a few days to practice in warmer weather.

“He’s been playing competitive golf since he was 15,” Sandy Loeffler said. “It’s kind of hard to picture your life without it.”


Our Papers

Ad blocker detected

We have noticed you are using an ad blocking plugin in your browser.

The revenue we receive from our advertisers helps make this site possible. We request you whitelist our site.