Erlene “Stella” Morgan tried golf when she was younger. She tried to hit the ball as hard as she could.
Things didn’t go well.
But she said on Thursday that she will probably give it another try now that she is the new owner and general manager of the Rocky Knoll Country Club in Orrington.
And she emphatically dispelled any rumors that she intended to transform it into something else.
“It’s a golf course! And I think it will always be a golf course as far as I’m concerned,” Morgan said. “It’s a no-brainer.
“I think it’s going to be a great year,” Morgan added. “I’ve got a lot of new ideas. We’re going to make it work. We’re going to have fun.”
Morgan said she hasn’t named a golf pro as of yet but will do so soon.
The assessed value of the property and equipment, including the clubhouse, was $629,000.
The two accounts, one for the leased land and the other for the clubhouse and 96½ acres, were delinquent, which led to the auction.
Barbara Bagley was the major owner, and Bob Phillips, Dan Grover and Louis Daigle were minority owners. Bagley’s husband, Tom Bryant, was the operations manager and an investor.
“Tom and Barbara have really helped me out. They’re great people,” said Morgan. “And the members I’ve met have all been very nice.”
Bucksport’s Allen Staples said he has been a member for “four or five years” and was relieved to see Morgan honor the memberships and that she is keeping things status quo.
“I had already paid for this year. My concern was what happened if it closed. I would have been out nearly $800,” said Staples, who thoroughly enjoys the 6,092-yard, par-72 layout.
“I love the course,” said Staples. “It’s hard but not overly hard. It’s a good course for average players.”
The memberships vary on a variety of factors. It is $600 per year for greens fees only; $800 for greens fees and free access to the 25-tee driving range; $1,110 for greens fees and a motorized cart and $1,510 for greens fees, cart and the range.
There are discounts for those over 55 years of age, 18 years old or under, students 19 and over, active or retired military, couples, senior couples and a family of three with further discounts for more than three family members.
There will probably be a slight increase for the use of carts because they have to be repaired.
“I’ve already ordered all kinds of stuff. We’re going to get them up to par,” Morgan said.
She said that any lingering problems with the course will be addressed.
“We’ll do what it takes to make things right. We’re going to be on top of things,” said Morgan.
She speculated that the course will officially open for walkers only the first week of April.
But she also said the back nine, which is the drier of the two nines, is open for play now for a $10 fee which can be dropped into a bucket on the clubhouse steps.
She said one of her goals this year will be to attract more families and younger golfers.
And she will give it another shot with a different mindset. She won’t be trying to drill the ball as hard as she can.
“I’m going to ease into it,” she said.