OP Golf Club Announces Promotion, New Hire
Ocean Pines this week announced the promotion of Justin Hartshorne to golf superintendent, and the hiring of Kurt Joseph as assistant golf superintendent.
Hartshorne and his wife, Justine, are both originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
The couple have two young children: a 2-year-old son, Aiden, and an 8-month-old daughter, Paisley. They also have a "big Burmese mountain dog,” Hartshorne said.
Hartshorne graduated from Penn State University with a bachelor’s degree in turf grass science. His Maryland certifications include a pesticide applicator’s license and a fertilizer applicator’s license, and he recently completed Links “level two” irrigation software training.
"I've also been doing golf maintenance for 18 years now, so I have a lot of experience there as well," he said.
Hartshorne and his wife moved to the area about four years ago, and he initially worked at the Cripple Creek Golf and Country Club in Dagsboro, Delaware. Last September, he was hired as the assistant superintendent at the Ocean Pines Golf Club.
As the new superintendent, Hartshorne will help oversee the entire golf operation. His duties include managing the staff and budget, supervising chemical and fertilizer applications, and maintaining the irrigation system.
"All of that is part of the day-to-day of working on the agronomic aspect of maintaining the golf course," he said.
Hartshorne said the Ocean Pines course is particularly challenging, because of its geographic location.
"Being in a transition zone, the weather certainly creates some issues,” he said. “And almost the entire course is tree-lined, which is definitely challenging when you have those shade and air-movement issues. It certainly keeps us busy."
What makes the course a pleasure to work on, he said, is the timeless Robert Trent Jones design.
"He's obviously a fantastic architect and designer, so it's just kind of a unique property with a great design and a great layout. It's very cool,” Hartshorne said.
Joseph is originally from Wheeling, West Virginia. He began working at Oglebay Resort Golf in Wheeling in 2003 and later moved locally, to work at the Lighthouse Sound golf course in Ocean City.
He previously worked at the Ocean Pines Golf Club, but had to leave 18 months ago to help with family issues back home. Just a week ago, he moved back to the area and rejoined the team in Ocean Pines. He also brought his black lab, Bo, who can often be seen working alongside him.
Joseph said the assistant superintendent's job is to "basically put out all kinds of fires."
"I'm Justin's eyes when he can't be somewhere," he said. "Everything that he does, I try to make it easier for him."
Joseph said he's very happy to be back in Ocean Pines.
"I think we have a good crew. We have a lot of experience, including a couple guys with 16 years' experience,” he said.
"It's a very challenging course, because there's a fine line of watering here, compared to other courses. And then you've got the breeze off the ocean,” he continued. “But I think we're really going to get a good grasp on the course, and I think Justin and I are going to work really well together and get the course back where it needs to be.”
General Manager of Golf John Malinowski said both men bring an important amount of experience to Ocean Pines, which should benefit the course for many years to come.
“We want everyone to know that, with the team we’ve assembled, the condition of the course is in very good hands. Justin is a very capable superintendent and he’s very experienced. He also knows a lot about our particular golf course,” Malinowski said. "Kurt's also got a lot of experience and knowledge of our golf course. He was here before for almost a year, so he really knows everything we have going on.
“I'm looking forward to seeing good things here, and I think the conditions are only going to get better and better,” he added.
For more information on the Ocean Pines Golf Club, visit www.oceanpinesgolf.org.