By Cindy Hoffman
(Feb. 23, 2023) It’s a busy time at the Ocean Pines Golf Course, as work continues to clear out of dead and diseased trees to promote sunlight and airflow on the 17th hole. The shelter is also getting cleaned out in preparation for the new instructor, Matt Ruggiere, who will arrive in March.
New merchandise is arriving in the shop, including towels and umbrellas. Staff members are being brought back earlier than expected because of the good weather.
“We’ve hired one to two people inside and one to two people outside to fill out the staff,” Director of Golf Bob Beckelman said. “We are getting ready for spring, which never seems to have ended.”
New golf carts are expected to arrive in June to replace the current fleet. Beckelman cautioned that there is always the possibility of delay. The expense for the golf carts was approved in last year’s budget.
The Golf Committee is exploring two beautification projects. Its members are looking at building up the soil in the back to stop balls from going over the green to the path on hole 7. The work on the 7th hole is in this year’s budget.
A tree was taken down and planting beds are being added. The committee will focus on hole 18 next, to identify plants that deer will not eat.
USGA came out last summer to re-rate the golf course. USGA rates each hole on the golf course from one to 18, with one being the toughest and 18 being the easiest.
The difficulty of the hole is related to other holes in the area. There is a slope, which is a comparison of the golf course to other golf courses and a rating for each hole.
The last time the course was rated was so long ago, no one knows when it was rated, according to Frank Brown, Golf Committee chair.
Brown said Beckelman has not yet received the report, so the new score cards have been printed with the old ratings. The handicap for each hole number does not change, which is done by the scores that members post on the holes.
Beckleman and the golf committee members hope the improved conditions will lead to an increase in golf membership.