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Landscapes takes control of Ocean Pines golf course

(May 7, 2015) It was something of a long and winding road, but the Lincoln, Neb. firm Landscapes Unlimited officially took the reigns of the community golf course in Ocean Pines last Friday, replacing the former course manager, Billy Casper Golf.
Despite the change in companies, Casper’s entire Ocean Pines team, including PGA Director of Golf John Malinowski and Golf Course Superintendent Rusty McLendon, made the transition to Landscapes along with the course itself.
Several dozen residents of the Pines greeted company representatives during an open house at the country club that included five members of the Ocean Pines Association Board of Directors, as well as Worcester County Commissioner President Jim Bunting.
OPA Treasurer Jack Collins introduced the new Landscapes leadership, starting with Vice President of Business Development Mark Mattingly.
“I’ve got to tell you, [Landscapes] has been extremely cooperative and very, very motivated to make this transition smooth and well organized, as well as making a promise that this course is going to be one of their top priorities within their organization,” Collins said. “That’s exactly what we wanted to hear as a board.”
While Casper devoted most of its attention on outside play, Mattingly said the focus of Landscapes would be the membership of Ocean Pines, which has dwindled to roughly 200 during recent years.
“We see this as a wonderful opportunity and an excellent fit for what we’re really good at, and that is working with public and private clubs alike, and specifically focusing on the members side of it,” Mattingly said. “We saw a great opportunity here, as this being an amenity of the homeowner’s association that we could come in and really bring our skills to bear, and really help reengage with the membership.”
Mattingly said the company officially took over that morning, and that Landscapes was working on presenting a budget and business plan in the next 60-to-90 days to the OPA board.
“Talking with you in venues like this and others where we can get your feedback is very important to building that plan and making sure we’re on the right track,” Mattingly said.
Vice President of Finance Bryce Juedes spoke next, highlighting the history of the company.
“They always talk about Midwest values and pride of ownership and things like that. Our founder started the company close to 40 years ago in 1976 when he was one man with a trencher and a shovel and an old Keebler delivery truck,” he said. “Now Landscapes Unlimited is one of the premier golf companies in the world. That’s the pride that we have in working with Landscapes, and that’s the mentality and vision we have for this place.”
Juedes said there was a great deal of pride in Ocean Pines surrounding the course.
“You could see [pride] of the facility from the employees that are here,” he said. “They said … this is one of the greatest golf course that I’ve ever played. The conditioning is fantastic. And that’s something we want to continue and emulate.”
Regional Manager Scott Nissley, a Pasadena resident, underscored the notion that – for the moment – not much changed during the turnover.
“Yesterday we had a great experience with the employees who worked for Billy Casper Golf. Today they work for Landscapes, and they have a remarkable attitude,” he said. “Really nothing has changed in the front of the house. It all looks sort of the same, but there’s a different bank account the credit cards are going to.”
Nissley said real change would “evolve and develop and occur” within the next 90 days.
“There’s a new website to go up. It looks a little bit different. It allows us to do a little bit more than this website did, and you’ll all have access to that – that will be pretty exciting. That will be a visible change,” he said. “There’s a lot planned to be changed … and you’re important to that change.”