Eagle's Landing Golf Course

The Ocean City Recreation and Parks Committee met on Tuesday and began discussions on possibly offering locals a discounted rate on nine holes of golf at Eagle’s Landing during the peak season. The course currently offers a nine-hole discounted rate to locals in the off season.

The Ocean City Recreation and Parks Committee met on Tuesday afternoon at the Northside Park administrative offices and discussed the following items:

Eagle’s Landing rates

The committee opened discussions of offering a local nine-hole rate at the city’s municipal course, Eagle’s Landing Golf Course in Berlin, though no decision was made on whether to move forward with the proposal.

Bob Croll, the course’s professional/manager, provided committee members with a rundown of local rates at Eagle’s Landing, saying a local rate is currently offered for residents of Ocean City and the surrounding counties, though the discount was for 18 holes and is only available with a 24–48-hour advance reservation.

Croll said getting local rates in place was something he fought for under former City Manager Dennis Dare, and after a few years, the city manager was convinced to proceed with the program.

The discount program is free to residents of one of the four surrounding counties – three lower Eastern Shore of Maryland counties and Sussex County in Delaware –  as well as Ocean City property owners who may live in places like Baltimore but pay taxes in the resort.

During the summer months, which are the busiest for the course, locals can book a tee time and get some sort of a discount for 18 holes.

Croll said in the afternoon, the rates go low for everyone. For example, after 3 p.m., the course offers a twilight rate of $45 for 18 holes, though during the Spring and Fall, the rate is not offered during the weekends because many golf packages are booked that bring in $134 per round of 18 holes.

“It doesn’t make sense to discount that, from a business standpoint,” Croll said.

But during the week, the course offers 18 holes of golf for $45 after 3 p.m. along with a nine-hole rate of $30.

Along with the reduced rate for twilight play, the course also offers a rewards program where players earn points for every dollar they spend. According to Croll, golfers who spend $500 at the course each year can get as much as a $100 discount.

“Several locals hit that mark two to three times a year,” he said. “They’re the ones it really benefits.”

As far as offering a local rate for nine holes of golf, Croll said it does not exist at this time because the demand is not there.

Nine-hole rates are offered during the season, though they are not available to book through the course in advance. Instead, if a golfer wants to play nine holes, they must call that day to see if it is available, and if so, it can be booked.

This year, the rate for playing nine holes in the morning at Eagle’s Landing with a cart was $50, and the walking rate was $40. After 3 p.m., the rate drops even more.

“That’s for anyone,” Croll said, but added the nine-hole rate is not promoted.

The off season is a completely different scenario, and locals are offered a rate of $20 for nine holes – in the full swing of the season, there is no local discount on the half of a round of golf.

While no decision was made on whether to follow through with a local discount on nine holes of golf at Eagle’s Landing, Councilman John Gehrig and the rest of the committee agreed to continue the discussion.

Beverage franchise

Susan Petito, the director of recreation and parks in Ocean City told committee members an agreement between the city and Coca-Cola is set to expire at the end of January 2022, and nothing has been locked in place for a new franchise agreement.

Petito said discussions with beverage companies are taking place, and Coca-Cola has been reached after leaving several messages with the soda giant.

But she also said she is open to other companies coming in and bidding for the contract with Ocean City.

Petito is working with other city officials to put together a request for proposals to attract beverage companies to the area, and while discussions have taken place between her and some of these businesses, they will have to wait and see what they can offer once the calling for bids is put out.

“There’s more to come on this,” Petito said.

Five-year projects preview

As Petito begins to put together her plans for the 2023 budget, she is looking at projects that need to take place over the next five years.

Some of the projects the director hopes to have completed include painting the Wally Whale structure on the beach near Somerset Street, refurbishing the pool at the skate park on Third Street, and repairing a seesaw at Gorman Park near 136th Street.

Other projects include the installation of an electronic sign at Northside Park that lets people know what is going on in the Recreation and Parks Department and fixing a leaky roof at the park’s administrative offices.

“We’re figuring out how to incorporate many of these things into our budget,” Petito said. “It’s a draft, a living document, and is still being worked on.”

This story appears in the print version of Ocean City Today on Nov. 12, 2021.

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