Poxabogue Golf Center to get a makeover

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The managers of the Poxabogue Golf Center are planning a series of improvements to the public facility that they hope will generate more revenue for the already-profitable 9-hole golf course, driving range and restaurant.

The 35-acre Poxabogue property sits on the line between Southampton and East Hampton towns, which purchased the property in a joint agreement more than five years ago.

Since that time, the golf course has become tremendously popular, according to Ed Wankel of Long Island Golf Management, the company that manages the facility on behalf of both towns. He presented a plan for the future of the property to the East Hampton Town Board at a work session on Tuesday. He was joined by consultant Dick Ward of Ward Associates and Southampton Town Management Services Administrator Richard Blowes.

Mr. Wankel said that in 2008 the golf course brought in nearly $1 million in revenue and that it has generated a total net profit of $800,000 since it opened five years ago. Teaching and revenues from the driving range have been driving the facility’s profits, he said.

Mr. Ward, who was hired to develop a long-term plan for the golf course, said that in the long run he hopes to develop a practice area, expand parking and build a miniature golf course and a new clubhouse. The plan would be completed in four phases, all of which could be constructed independently of one another and funded with money that is available at that time.

Mr. Wankel said that the driving range needs several improvements. The 72-stall range is not irrigated, lacks target greens and needs more safety nets, he said. The first phase, which the towns would issue bonds to pay for, is slated to cost just over $1 million, and would include a number of improvements to the driving range and practice areas.

“We’re comfortable that between the reserve from running the facility and the money that we’d bond, we’d generate profits going forward,” said Mr. Blowes, who added that, even if there was no additional revenue generated by the facility, the reserve created by the profits in hand could pay the bond for as long as five years.

“In the summertime, you’re in a line behind four people to hit golf balls,” said Mr. Wankel. “We think we can probably generate an additional 20 percent in revenue with this space.”

“You guys did good work. It sounds good to me,” said Town Board member Pete Hammerle. The board enthusiastically agreed to draft a resolution to amend the intermunicipal agreement between the towns in order to complete the improvements.

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