NEW JERSEY’S TINTON FALLS — The Monmouth Regional High School golf team is stuck in a sand bunker with no way out, to use a golf analogy.
The local course it uses for practices and games — Suneagles Golf Course in Eatontown, a little town about 10 miles north of Asbury Park — told the team’s coach on March 4, just days before spring practices were to begin, that they wouldn’t be able to use the course for the season.
Suneagles Golf Course was conceived and built in 1926 by renowned architect A.W. Tillinghast. It used to be a part of Fort Monmouth. The fort was deactivated in 2011, and its properties have been sold to private individuals.
Andrew Wardell, the head coach, is now rushing to locate a new course. The worst-case scenario is that they don’t have one and have to play all of their games on the road or cancel the season altogether.
The squad features 12 varsity players and will play St. John Vianney on April 7 at home for the first time this season.
Suneagles’ golf pro notified Wardell that Ranney School, a private school near Tinton Falls, is being permitted to utilize the course, which irritates him.
Wardell also stated that they should have been given more notice that they would not be invited back.
Martelli Development is the owner of Suneagles. Sal Martelli, the owner, did not return my call.
The athletic director at Ranney School did not respond to a phone call or an email.
Historically, the government has allowed Monmouth Regional to use the golf course for free, according to Wardell. Martelli Development paid $2,500 in course fees when they bought the course in 2017, which he says the school covered.
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