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Rocky Springs Golf Course opens in Pa.

February 26, 2001

Rocky Springs Golf Course opens in Pa.



By STACEY DANZUSO / Staff Writer, Chambersburg

photo: RICHARD T. MEAGHER / staff photographer

Rocky Spring Golf CourseCHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Since the Rocky Spring Golf Course opened to the public last month, about 80 people have purchased memberships to the former U.S. Army facility.

Part of the nine-hole course on the Letterkenny Army Depot is on land scheduled to be transferred from the Army to the Letterkenny Industrial Development Authority. Part of it will be leased from the Army.

The authority approved a maintenance and management contract with Environmental Golf in September.

The Army ceased operating the golf course Dec. 31, and the authority board of directors will pay $393,000 each of the next two years to run the 3,000-yard, nine-hole regulation course.

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The agreement opens the course to the public, including employees of companies at the Cumberland Valley Business Park, which is being developed by the authority on about 1,500 acres of land being transferred from the Army as it downsizes the depot.

Environmental Golf, based in California, began overseeing the operations of the course Jan. 1.

"Beginning Jan. 2, we took memberships from the general public," said Don Miller, course operator. "We're pleased with the response so far."

John Van Horn, executive director of the authority, said despite it being the middle of winter, he saw people out playing last week.

"I'm glad to see them. I hope more people take advantage of the course," Van Horn said.

Prior to turning over the land to the authority, the course was only open to depot and military personnel and retirees. Now anyone can become a member, Miller said.

The course is currently open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., weather permitting. Green fee rates range from $8 to $18.

Miller said with the start of the golf season around April 1, more things will be up and running, including the restaurant.

With the help of the authority, Environmental Golf is in the process of remodeling the pro shop, which should be completed in the next three weeks, Miller said.

"We're starting the process of improvements. There will be a new fleet of electric golf carts. But we need to install electricity to the barn to restore electricity to the carts," Miller said.

That project started last week.

Plans also include a learning center for instruction and clinics aimed at benefiting golfers of all levels and junior and women's programs.

At the end of two years, the authority could exercise a three-year option with Environmental Golf. At that point, there could be some major changes in the layout, including rerouting the course and moving three holes and incorporating them with three planned water hazards.

Environmental Golf has been building, maintaining and managing golf courses nationwide for more than 40 years.

It is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Environmental Industries, Inc., a major landscape contracting and horticultural service firm with more than 5,500 employees and annual revenues of $500 million.

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