By Morgan Pilz, Staff Writer
(May 9, 2019) Ocean Pines Golf Director John Malinowski appeared before the board of directors last Saturday to clear up what he considers to be some misconceptions the costs and operations of the course and clubhouse.
One of the biggest factors affecting play, he said, was the exceptionally wet weather.
“This year, we played 26,000 rounds, which is down a little bit from last year,” Malinowski said. “It was the wettest year on record. Of the 26,000, 56 percent of those were played by Ocean Pines property owners.”
His calculations showed that about 1,500 residents have played the course so far this year, he reported.
“I always hear, ‘There’s only 100 people playing on the golf course,’ that is absolutely not correct,” Malinowski said.
The financial forecast for the year projects a loss of $80,000, which is still better than the budgeted figure. The course lost approximately $60,000 because of back-to-back hurricanes in September. Overall, however, everything is moving forward in a positive manner, Malinowski said.
Last week alone, 600 rounds of golf were played. Bookings for the year are significantly up from last year, he said.
“May 1, looking at this year compared to last year, that doesn’t take into account last year the rounds played,” Malinowski said.
Some residents were still not appeased with the report. OPA board candidate Paula Gray expressed concerned about the amount of money budgeted for the new clubhouse.
“I think we would have all been happier if we knew now … you have kept it below $1.6 million for the contract,” Gray said. “Beneath it are all kinds of things that are exclusions. What is the dollar amount next to these exclusions? What are we not doing when we take that money from in-house? Just write down a list. I would like to request someone put that out there.
Director Frank Daly, who is a liaison for the Golf Advisory Committee, said the costs for the building are not something that can be brushed aside, and read from a corporate charter.
“The board’s obligation is to own, manage, maintain, rebuild, operate, improve and repair and/or beautify all – listen to this word – all streets, rights of way, parks, common areas, recreational facilities, bulkheads and waterways designated on a subdivision platform and/or other easements,” Daly read. “The truth is, if you’re sitting up here, we don’t have the right to pick and choose. We have an obligation to maintain all the assets of this community in working order.
“That is why we are spending money renovating the Beach Club, because the windows were leaking and they couldn’t lock the doors at the beginning of last season,” he continued. “That’s why we’re going forth at the golf course with the multi-purpose and golf facility. It’s dilapidated and not usable and has been that way for years … This board is not going to abdicate its responsibilities.”
Construction for the golf course facilities is expected to begin in September once the building permits are granted by the county.