Course is hoping golfers opt not to drive

Rocky Point program allows players to arrive by boat instead of car

September 07, 2004|By Kevin T. McVey | Kevin T. McVey,SUN STAFF

Rocky Point Golf Course is taking advantage of its waterfront location with a new Dock and Drive program that encourages golfers to combine their leisure activities and arrive at the course by boat.

Jeff Bell, assistant golf pro at the Essex course, believes the program will be a success because it brings two popular pastimes together for the price and time of one.

"What's great about this is that people can make a day out of it," Bell said. "You can get on your boat in the morning, have a nice trip over here and enjoy the view, then play some golf for a while and then when it's over, enjoy the nice trip home." Bell said interest in the new program is just starting, with perhaps one pair of golfers a day making arrangements.

The view Bell refers to is that of the mouth of Back River, the Chesapeake Bay and its shoreline, Hart-Miller Island and Sparrows Point. Golfers can also enjoy views of the Chesapeake from eight of the 18 holes on the course, most notably hole 11, which overlooks the water.

The prospect of a scenic trip to the golf course isn't everything, of course, as Baltimore resident Jeff Vitelkites and his girlfriend, Jenn Blois, demonstrated over the weekend.

Vitelkites and Blois didn't know whether to take the scenic route with their 24-foot Grady-White boat or the car trip, but when it came down to the decision, it was the tee time that ultimately influenced them.

In the clubhouse, Vitelkites and Blois told Bell why they canceled their boat trip.

"Unfortunately, I didn't bring the boat because we would have been late for our tee time and didn't want that," Vitelkites said. "I woke up this morning and grabbed the clubs but realized by boat it's 45 minutes and by car it's 10 minutes."

Golfers must call for a tee time, call the park to arrange docking and then call the pro shop when they arrive.

When golf carts arrive for the patrons, they take a short drive through the surrounding woods and holes to reach the pro shop and the first tee.

"I'm interested to see how the program will work, most importantly with the scheduling," Bell said. "We're not busy right now, but we'll see how it is when we have a tournament on Sept. 20."

Although the Dock and Drive program is open, work has not been completed on the docking area for 30-foot boats, said Bud Chrismer, property manager of Rocky Point.

However, Chrismer remains optimistic about Dock and Drive.

"There is no expenditure of land," he said. "And that's the beauty of it."

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