Ocean Pines Golf & Country Club is something of an enigma in the picture of Ocean City area golf. It is an excellent course, designed by perhaps the best-known modern course architect, Robert Trent Jones. But it is primarily a private club; the only way you can play it is to be a member at another club and ask for reciprocal privileges, or play as a guest of an Ocean Pines member.
Although Mr. Jones once told me that it was not one of his best efforts, the members seem to like the Ocean Pines course, and it is crowded most of the time. Facilities are super, with a fine clubhouse, driving range with a golf school hookup, lockers and snack bar and a fine pro shop run by Buddy Sass and Bret Marshall. Both are available for lessons, whether you play the course or not.
The Ocean Pines layout plays 6,927 yards from the blue tees (but only if you really wish to do yourself bodily harm and mental anguish) and a more reasonable 6,308 from the whites, with par of 36-36 -- 72. The women's length is set at 5,585 yards and the par is 37-37 -- 74.
No matter its small failings, Ocean Pines is indeed an interesting and first-class course in many ways, and 40,000 rounds a year attest to its popularity. Call Mr. Sass or Mr. Marshall at (410) 641-8653 for playing availability and also for arranging for tournaments in less than busy seasons.
In the local scores department, the Ocean City Golf & Yacht Club had a ladies' day called Most Pars or Better, in which only net pars, birdies or eagles were counted and each at just 1 point. The A Flight winner with 11 was Mabel Jarvis, just ahead of Jane Emich's 10. In B it was Jane Coates at 14, edging the 13 tie of Peggy Murray and Connie Hall, while C honors went to Kay Glover and Sylvia Hudkins, each at 14, one better than the 13 of Dot Morris. And D laurels went to Ethel Stampone with 14 over Joanne Hopkins at 13.
At nearby Ocean Pines, the Ladies Golf Association -- 18 Holers had an interesting test in which they counted only the back nine scores, but they started the contest on that side, and one-half of handicap was factored in. The winner of this unusual format was Mardie Davis with 33 over Jean Tarr at 34 and Ann Bauer 36.
The day after the above event, an Ocean Pines member, Jo Johnston, won the low net honors at the Nutter's Crossing Ladies Member-Guest on a 52 compiled with her daughter, Susan Andrews, in the better-ball format.
Also at Ocean Pines, the Ladies 9-Holers teed it up against the skills of head pro Buddy Sass, who shot a 37 on his half round. With nets figured in, three women topped Sass. Florence Taylor, Peggy Craven and Lois Hall each carded a 36.
Nassawango County Club in Snow Hill had its annual James T. Sturgis Invitational, attracting 128 golfers from as far away as New York and Florida. Championship Flight winners were Mitch Wyatt with 146 gross over Robby Mills at 147 and Bill Sterling at 139 net.
The usual trio of events took place at Pine Shore Golf, as Sunday Morning Scramble honors went to Bob Grover, Donald Passwater, Jim Hazzard and Gene Kerin at 10-under-par; Tuesday's Ocean View VFW Scramble went to Dave Elwood, Earl Roberts, Jack Calloway and Dick Thompson at 6-under; and Wednesday Ladies laurels were taken in the Best-Ball format by Maxine Yowler, Dot Healey, Rose Wierzbowski and Dorothea Algiers with a 59 score.