Ocean County Press Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE rap# 2/16/18
WARM TEMPERATURES AND NEW LEAGUES EQUAL A HOLE-IN-ONE AS OCEAN COUNTY'S GOLF COURSES ENJOYED A BANNER 2017
WARM TEMPERATURES and inviting fairways equaled a great 2017 season at the county's two public golf courses.
"We've seen higher attendance and higher revenue at both Forge Pond in Brick Township and Atlantis in Little Egg Harbor," said Freeholder Deputy Director John C. Bartlett Jr.
Atlantis, an 18-hole traditional course, saw golfers play 27,244 rounds in 2017, a 5 percent increase over 2016. Likewise, revenue at Atlantis was up 14 percent, finishing at $715,548.
At Forge Pond, an 18-hole executive course, attendance was up 8.3 percent, with 25,168 rounds played. Revenue jumped nearly 5 percent to $465,913.
"Not only are more people enjoying our beautiful golf courses, but revenue generated allows both courses to pay for themselves," said Bartlett, who also serves as Chairman of Parks and Recreation for the county.
Pro shop sales, tournaments, cart rentals and season passes generate additional revenue.
"Our staffs at both courses also put a new emphasis on league play, which helped attract new golfers," Bartlett said.
A portion of the revenue generated at the golf courses is reinvested back into the facilities.
Improvements to Atlantis now allows play of all 18 holes from the forward tees, resulting in a reduction of more than 1,000 yards over the entire course.
"This upgrade alone opens up the course to younger golfers, seniors and others who are looking for a less intimidating round of golf," Bartlett said.
Irrigation improvements also resulted in greener, healthier turf while using less water.
Whenever possible, the county uses its own in-house work crews at the golf courses.
For example, county paving crews paved new cart paths at several locations at Atlantis.
New equipment was also purchased at Forge Pond to both reduce maintenance times and eliminate the need to share equipment with Atlantis at the far southern end of the county.
Bartlett also thanked Ocean County Jail Warden Sandra J. Mueller and Corrections Officer Frank Gordon for the use of inmate work crews to perform routine maintenance and cleanups at the golf courses.
"This really is a county-wide effort," Bartlett said. "We save as much money as possible by utilizing the resources we have."
And the county will soon have two new, professional resources to call upon.
Two employees have completed half of a two-year course at the Rutgers Professional Golf Turf Management School and are already applying their expertise at Forge Pond and Atlantis.
Freeholder Director Gerry P. Little said the golf courses are a credit to the county and its Department of Parks and Recreation.
"We are happy to provide the recreation that so many of our residents enjoy," Little said.