Hampton Golf eyes management opportunity at EGC

Published 4:07 pm Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Six months since initial talks, city leaders are looking to take the next step in seeking new management opportunities at Elizabethton Golf Course.

City Council will meet Thursday afternoon and look at awarding a management contract with Hampton Golf, based out of Jacksonville, Fla., to handle the day-to-day operations of the golf course.

According to a recent report issued by a golf course study group — formed by City Manager Jerome Kitchens — it was noted that EGC has been subsided by the city “in increasing amounts over the years” with current numbers pegged at $140,000.

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While officials noted the “level of support is not too high” the goal has been to look at ways to reduce the subsidy and dependency on tax revenue while keeping the quality of the course for patrons.

Starting in September, the city issued a request for a proposal to multiple management companies in the hopes of seeking a suitor for the course. The city received seven responses with the top four candidates being interviewed by the committee — which included Jenny Brock, Pat Hardy, Chris Guy and Jeff Andrews. Hampton Golf emerged as the front runner by the committee with contract negotiations ultimately getting underway March 2.

Officials will look at awarding the contract to Hampton Golf, which is pegged at the amount of $90,000 per year for three years.

According to the management proposal provided by Hampton Golf, the company indicated it will complete “several improvements” in-house, including renovation of the parking lot, painting of the clubhouse, improvement of the cart path, golf shop organization and other key items. Other items are expected to be discussed after being awarded the contract.

Hampton Golf has been in operation since 1999 since it was created by M.G. Orender, former president of the PGA of America. The management firm serves a vast clientele with courses in Florida, Ohio and Arizona.

In the transitional plan issued by Hampton Golf, the company stated it will immediately begin evaluation of existing employees to “determine the strengths and weaknesses of each individual along with their individual contribution level and their ability to exceed Hampton Golf’s expectations for each position.”