Opinion

Had the OGC matter been handled differently and more professionally, the following actions would have taken place:

  • … Upon election to the OVA Board, directors would have moved expeditiously to form a committee charged with the responsibility of dealing with the all-important OGC request for financial assistance from the OVA.
  • … All BOD members registering a conflict of interest in managing the OGC request would have recused themselves, (and requested the recusal of any and all committee members in like position.)
  • … The request for non-disclosure of all pertinent information by the OGC would have been rejected to advance the promise of transparency. 
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From the very beginning the Oakmont Golf Club has insisted that two 18 hole golf courses were non-negotiable. This assertion is being made against the backdrop of national consolidation of golf operations, diminishing rounds played by boomers and a future dependent on millennials whose inclinations are not generally pro golf.

We understand that negotiations are going on between the OGC and the OVA of which little to nothing is being communicated to the residents. Director Tom C. Kendrick stated at one time that the amount of $1.4mm in subsidy over 5 years was not going to happen, indicating only the negotiations centered around monies to be paid by OVA to the Golf Club.

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Berger’s undeniable intent was to create a golf course community. He had the golf course (now the west course) designed first, and then the housing layout around it.

But is Oakmont now a golf course community?

The answer to this question is a simple and emphatic NO.

There is a community of golfers within Oakmont, comprised of about 300 OGC members, plus an unknown number of less dedicated golfers who pay greens fees whenever they play. But Oakmont has over 4,700 owners, so OGC members comprise less than 7% of Oakmont owners. More to the point, Oakmont owners rejected the purchase of the golf courses almost 30 years ago; it was at that time that it became clear that Oakmont is not a golf course community, if it ever had been. The golf courses exist within the geographical boundaries of Oakmont, but they do not have broad participation of the community. Oakmont is a senior community with golf courses as window dressing.

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The current (and future) residents of Oakmont Village and the golf courses around which the village was developed have deeply intertwined interests.  Since Oakmont Village Association does not own the golf facilities, it shares a classic interdependent relationship with the Oakmont Golf Club: neither can simply walk away and neither can force the other to agree.  Their current engagement regarding “golf” should, and likely will, become a negotiation.

Two aspects of a successful negotiation deserve special attention in this situation.  To use the framework popularized by Roger Fisher and William Ury in their classic book Getting to Yes, these are Interests and Alternatives.

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After months of spirited point and counterpoint argumentation, the debate surrounding the Golf Club issue has become predictable and repetitive.

While most residents who post regularly take umbrage at the demand by the OGC for a hefty subsidy by the OVA, nobody has yet ventured to analyze or publish the true needs of the Golf Club, least of all the club itself, nor the OVA Board of Directors.

As a result we are faced with assembling a list of requirements based on estimates arising from the limited information available.

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PHOTO: Deferred maintenance at the ERC has left our facility partially barricaded for the past three years and Reserve Study costs escalating from $690,000 to $2 million

This town hall was apparently not meant to address the question of whether or not OVA SHOULD fund OGC but instead HOW OVA should fund OGC.

Director Kendrick opened the meeting by asking the audience 2 questions, both of which indicated the tenor of what we were about to hear. He asked a room with an apparent majority of OGC members:

1. Raise your hand if you are “interested in the golf courses failing.”

And

2.  Raise your hand “if the golf courses did fail, it would improve the value of the homes in Oakmont.”

A more important poll Kendrick could have taken is:

1. Raise your hand if you oppose subsidizing a private entity that has a history of poor management practices.

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