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How does Ocean City Golf Club stand out from the others? For starters, not only is it a yacht club but it also has TWO golf courses. Secondly, other courses don’t have Buddy Sass. It is not every day you meet a man like Sass; he has been head of the pro shop for Ocean City Golf Club for nearly 14 years. His air of confidence on the sport convinced me he was capable of answering all of the amateur-ish questions I could muster up.
As I sat and spoke with Sass about the courses he was able to relay to me the difference between them both. When asked about the uniqueness that comes with having more than one course he said, “Because we have 36 holes you can get a very different high quality of experience with either one. Since Seaside is considered to be a parkland course you get that experience of playing on such a course; Newport Bay as a link course is a completely different type of experience. So you can get two very different experiences from two courses on the same property.”
“you can get two very different experiences from two courses on the same property… Our value and our level of quality for what you play are strong.”
Since the courses are different from one another I wondered if they at least shared the same structure.
The answer is no. Their difference in structure adds to the difference in atmosphere. “Our original course [Seaside] is considered a Parkland golf course; it’s got a lot of trees, not a lot of water but some ponds… With link courses it’s more about preserving the wildlife and natural setting, like Newport Bay. The term literally refers to a link between the water areas and the uplands.”
The differences even exist in the grass for each course. “Parkland style golf courses are usually constructed with cool season type grasses. So our Seaside course, which is our older course, has bent grass which is a cool season grass. Our fairways are primarily rye grass which is fairly a cool season and our roughs are fescue, another cool season grass. On our other golf course we have a mixture of warm and cool grasses. Our primary play areas are really strong from summer until fall. It doesn’t really matter what type of grass as much as the other characteristics.”
Playing at Ocean City Golf Club is like getting two things for the price of one; which then has the average American living in this economy wonder, ‘how much?’
You would assume playing at the club would be ridiculously expensive. WRONG. Since the courses are Ocean City owned the prices are fair. “Our value and our level of quality for what you play are strong. In the middle part of the range most of the time most customers would say that you get a feeling of playing at a higher value golf course.” At this moment Sass has me, someone who can barely get through a round of miniature golf, wondering if I missed my calling.
As the interview was drawing to a close I wondered if there was anything I left unasked that could be beneficial to those coming to the area. Lucky for me I asked the question that is most vital to golfers who come to the eastern shore, “Is there anything else you want to share with me?” Sass was able to relay a very important factor most golfers seem to either forget, or are not aware of when traveling to the eastern shore.
Changes in how one plays differs when the temperature of water, humidity and wind become a factor. “Wind blows more in the spring and because the water is colder the ball doesn’t tend to fly as far. So you always have to think ‘one more club.’ … So your normal 150 club should be a 160. Now in the fall you have warm water and the air is lighter so your ball is going to move faster. Basically in the spring you have to carry a half a club to a full club [more] and in the fall you can go down a half a club to a full one. That’s the one thing I would definitely share with all the golfers coming down [to] the area.”
Ocean City Golf Club is more than your average golf course. Who knows if it is the friendly staff, Seaside or Newport Bay courses, or the intelligent Mr. Sass that make the property one to look forward to visit? One thing which remains true is there is only one place you can find all of those components.
Tip of the day: Keep trying to get better. A lot of us fall into the trap of thinking that we can’t get better. You have to learn how to play differently by knowing your strengths; then your golf game can evolve. There’s more to the game than hitting it far.
If you would like to play Ocean City Golf Club and then wake up to the sounds of the ocean from your oceanfront room visit tee1off.com or call 1-800-833-1633 to set up a custom Ocean City golf package!
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