ActivePaper Archive City OKs country club golf agreement - Hobbs News Sun, 2013-08-20

City OKs country club golf agreement

Local golfers have been worried about where they would be placing their tees this coming year when Ocotillo Golf Course closes in the fall.

Commissioners have soothed some of those concerns by approving a $600,000 lease agreement with the Hobbs Country Club during Monday night’s commission meeting.

Ocotillo is planned to be closed for year-long renovations that will include a complete remodel of the 18-hole course.

There are no other public golf courses or golf practice areas in Hobbs.

J.J. Murphy, city manager, said that the country club and the City have come to an agreement on public use of country club’s 18-hole golf course.

“I entered negotiations with the country club, back and forth, there were healthy discussions, but the proposal I think is fair for all sides,” Murphy said. “It’s a true public and private partnership. I don’t think the [country club] committee will get everything that they want and golfers won’t get everything they want, but I think this is almost like a teeter-totter and I think its balanced with the agreement.”

The lease will allow the public to have access to the county club golf course, paying the same fees as they were paying at Ocotillo. Ocotillo’s green fees ran from $4-$15, depending on age, time of play, and day of the week.

Mayor Sam Cobb, vice president of the country club board, said country club members would have to share tee times with the public and the golf course shouldn’t be too overcrowded.

“The Ocotillo had about 28,000 rounds last year. The Country Club had 10,000 rounds last year. A busy golf course would have about 42,000 rounds,” he said. “ So if everybody that plays at Ocotillo shows up and everybody that plays at Hobbs Country Club shows up you’d have about 38,000 rounds, which would mean there wouldn’t be a lot of extra tee times available, but nobody would be denied the ability to get a tee time.”

The City plans to provide equipment that will assist with the additional golf play at the country club. The city plans to purchase 21 new golf carts to be utilized at the country club at a rental rate of $3,000 per month to the city.

Commissioner Garry Buie said he thought the agreement would suffice the needs of golfers in the community.

“We made a commitment to the golf community out at Ocotillo and I think with this agreement with the country club we've lived up to our commitment,” he said. “I’m happy with the commitment.”

The golf course at the country club will also be accessible to the Hobbs High School golfers for practice and matches at no charge.

Ocotillo is planned to close as early as Oct. 1.

Denise Marquez can be reached at 391-5437 or at reporter@hobbsnews.com.