Town extends Harbor Links contract , limits private outings

Town extends Harbor Links contract , limits private outings
An aerial view of Harbor Links Golf Course in Port Washington. (Photo courtesy of the Town of North Hempstead)

The North Hempstead Town Board Thursday night unanimously passed a resolution to extend the management contract with Harbor Links Golf Course in Port Washington while it rebids the terms of the agreement.

Included in the contract’s amendment is limiting the number of private outings to once a week on Mondays. Currently, there are no limits on how many outings the course can hold. 

Built in 1998, Harbor Links is owned by the Town of North Hempstead and operated by Arnold Palmer Golf Management.

It features an 18-hole championship course, nine-hole executive course that is not closed off to the public during private events, a driving range, pro shop, athletic fields and a full-service banquet hall and restaurant.

Since at least 2013, the town has had a management agreement with the golf course, according to a financial and operational review released in 2016. 

Councilwomen Veronica Lurvey and Mariann Dalimonte expressed some concern with how limiting the private outings would affect the revenue projections in the 2023 budget, which was adopted in November.  But they said Deputy Supervisor Joe Scalero reassured them there was no reason for worry.

“Our revenue projection during the budget was a very conservative number and based on what we think the number of rounds there will be,” Scalero said. “We’ve already accounted for that.” 

In the town’s budget for 2023, expenses for Harbor Links are projected to be $6,840,819, up $425,000 from $6,416,575 in 2022. 

During the summer golf season, multiple residents were critical of the course’s limited availability to town residents because of the private outings. 

Port Washington resident Jack Genicoff told the board during a July meeting the course was to be partially closed to the public on 66 of the 109 weekdays from May 1 to Sept. 30 – 61% of the time.

James Viras, general manager at Harbor Links, previously confirmed to Blank Slate Media the championship course is closed when outings are going on and reopened to the public following the event the same day.

In the month of June, Harbor Links had private outings on June 13, 14, 15, 16, 20, 22, 27 and 29. In July, Harbor Links had private outings scheduled for July 11, 13, 14, 15, 18, 22, 25 and 28.

For North Hempstead residents, a round of golf on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays on Harbor Links’ championship course costs $100 from open to 8 a.m., $95 from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. and $90 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., with prices dropping to $75 and lower throughout the end of the day.

At Bethpage State Park Golf Course in Farmingdale, the Black Course costs $85 for a round of golf for state residents.

Since 2000, Bethpage State Park’s Black Course has hosted three men’s major golf championships, including the U.S. Open in 2002 and 2009 and the PGA Championship in 2019.

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