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May 2016

Cedar Creek Golf Course


By Chris Lundy


   Township officials said they are continuing a push to bring the Cedar Creek Golf Course up to the level where it’s a destination spot for people throughout Ocean County, not just Berkeley.

   The restaurant will be the biggest lynchpin in the plan. The interior had some renovations being done. A new bar area is being constructed. It will have tables and televisions, and will be a separate room from the dining room.

   “We want to partner with the concessioneer. When they succeed, we succeed,” said Fred Ebenau, the town’s chief financial officer.    
   The town officials are looking for someone to open the restaurant at 6 a.m. to welcome a breakfast crowd, and stay open in the evenings to serve people coming off Veterans Park for events or concerts. They also would need to be open year-round, Ebenau said.

   Additionally, there’s a possibility of putting a picnic area near the 9th hole so that people can have a little break, and buy a snack or a drink.
   Training programs were instituted to improve customer service, he said. Bathrooms are being renovated. The pro shop was refurbished and will sell more items, such as logo shirts, hats, balls, spikes, and gloves. The town’s buildings and grounds department was doing a lot of the work inhouse to save money.

    “We want our municipal course to be as good or better than a private course,” he said.

   As for the course itself, there are some changes to improve the player’s experience, said superintendent Richard Saloom. They’ve been trying to speed up the play on the greens, and have reseeded or sodded all of the tee boxes.

   Some of the fences were taken down to make it more navigable for older golfers. There were issues because golfers who had trouble doing a lot of walking had to park their carts and walk a long way to get to their balls. Now, they’re allowed to drive 90 degrees out onto the fairways so they can get to their ball.

   Historically, Cedar Creek’s had issues with keeping the water where it needs to be. They have a strict limit on the amount of water they are allowed to use. And, since some of the course is in a low lying area around the river that lends its name, the water tends to pool in certain places.

   Cedar Creek is not alone in this. At a recent United States Golf Association event, leaders were trying to make the transition for golf courses to reduce the amount of water used, in order to promote sustainability.

   “We’re not infringing on the environment anymore, but managing it,” Saloom said.
    There’s been a movement to introduce the game to young people in town. There have been demonstrations at local schools and youth lessons. The Central Regional and Lacey school districts already use it for their golf teams.

    Financially, the golf course is not a money maker. Whereas ten years ago, there was six figure profit margins, it’s been down most recent years. Super Storm Sandy didn’t help much, either.  For example, 2008 saw a profit of $110,000. In 2009, there was a deficit of $20,000. In 2012, there was a profit of $16,412, and in 2014, there was a profit of $11,311. In all other years since 2010, there were losses of between $920 and $24,000.

    A change in the rate structure will hopefully overcome that, officials have said. The twilight hours have already helped. They start at 1 p.m. People who work early morning shifts, such as contractors, take advantage of this. “It’s actually a way to grab another market,” Saloom said. Additionally, the senior rate was extended to all seven days, providing an incentive to senior players every day. There is also a new county card. As long as you are a resident of Ocean County, you will have a discounted rate to provide an incentive to play here.


> 7 Day Senior Rate
The resident and non-resident senior rate is no longer limited to only weekdays. You can now come play on weekends at the same rate!

> New County Card
Ocean County residents may now purchase a non-resident card that will entitle them to a discounted rate. You need to be a resident of Ocean County, and please keep in mind this card is specific for Cedar Creek Golf Course. This card will save you money EVERY time you play!

> Early Twilight
Starting May 31st our twilight rate will move back up to 1 PM! That will help you get out and you’ll be sure to finish before the sun sets!

> League Play Schedule
Please keep in mind that we have scheduled league play Monday through Friday. Tee times are available on these days if you call ahead we will find a way to get you out!

> Tournament Schedule
Stop in the Pro Shop today to pick up a copy of the entire season schedule so you are up to date on the all the happenings or pick some tournaments to play in!

> New Carts
To top it off we have 30 brand new Yamaha golf carts that are ready to make your ride around the golf course as comfortable as possible!