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OP Golf Committee reviews current, future needs

By Greg Ellison

(Sept. 2, 2021) The Ocean Pines Golf Committee reviewed equipment upgrades, course conditions and budget needs during its meeting last Wednesday.

Chairman Fritz Lahner revisited a number of equipment issues that had been discussed at the groups’ last meeting, and brought up some parking lot visibility problems.

Lahner said members have found it difficult to see oncoming traffic when leaving via the first parking lot exit.

“It’s hard to see around that turn,” he said.

Committee member Susan Morris said that maintaining hedges bordering the course and parking area could help alleviate some of that.

“As long as they keep it clipped,” she said.

Lahner said he had discussed the matter with General Manager of Golf John Malinowski and that two approaches were identified.

“One idea was a mirror, like in a warehouse, or [directional] arrows,” he said.

Lahner said until recently the lot’s entrance and exit were marked with arrows.

After upcoming parking lot renovations are completed this fall the topic will be revisited.

Defibrillator access and training sessions were also revived from last month’s meeting.

“At the last meeting, the question was do we have one,” he said. “Right now we have a portable one.”

Lahner suggested mounting a stationary defibrillator in the golf facility.

“There should be one mounted so everyone knows where it’s at,” he said.

“Does anybody know how to use it?” Committee member Joe Lynch asked.

Lahner agreed that training is vital, adding, “If you don’t know what you’re doing you could do more damage.”

Morris recalled attending training courses at the Ocean Pines Racquet Center.

“It’s relatively simple,” she said. “Once you open it up, the thing starts buzzing and gives you directions.”

Lahner said the training is straightforward and takes roughly 15 minutes.

Before the meeting on Wednesday, Malinowski confirmed receipt of new water refill stations to replace jugs currently in use, Lahner said.

The water apparatus is slated for installation by course restrooms.

Morris said similar equipment has proven popular at the Racquet Center.

“There’s two at the Racquet Center and they work,” she said.

Turning to course conditions, Lahner said maintenance crews were aerating fairways that Wednesday and Thursday.

Lahner said despite dipping into the dog days of summer both greens and tees have remained in top form.

Lynch agreed the course had been well maintained to this point in the season.

“This is the time of year that the trouble usually begins,” he said.

He also noted that Mother Nature has been fairly accommodating.

“We actually had a cool week in August,” he said. “We haven’t had the torrential downpours and 90-degree heat the next day, which is when it burns.”

Lahner, however, pointed out that the fairway is beginning to show some slight damage, while Lynch added that the area leading up to the eighth hole needed reseeding.

“For some reason that area has always been a problem,” he said.

 Also a problem for the committee is finding people to serve on it. At the moment, an opening on the committee has gone unfilled for three months even though that vacancy has been posted on the association’s website.

“I’ve asked a number of people,” he said. “It’s hard to get people to volunteer.”

As for financial matters, Lahner said 2022 budget requests would be compiled in November.

Lynch asked about a previous idea of trying to boost membership by holding an open house at the golf course and clubhouse.

“It would have to be budgeted,” he said.

Lahner said earlier plans  were shut down because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Lahner said Director Frank Daly, the committee’s current board liaison would coordinate the undertaking with General Manager John Viola.

“We did it once five to six years ago and it was a total fiasco because nobody really planned it,” he said.

Ideally, the affair would motivate past members to renew their memberships or entice new faces in the community to sign up.

Morris characterized the event as a meet and greet.

Lahner said while costs should be minimal, human capital is required.

“It’s mostly volunteers and that’s going to be the problem,” he said.

Lynch took a more charitable view.

“I don’t think it will be problem between the men’s and women’s groups and the golf council,” he said.