By Gloria Tierney
The city would like head golf pro Ron Yarbrough to accept their gratitude for his many years of service and then ride quietly into the sunset.
He's not ready to do that just yet.
Yarbrough's been at the Coronado Golf Course for most of his adult life. The Coronado native started working at the pro shop and teaching in 1971. Then in 1995, he became the head pro and took over operation of the pro shop.
He wants to continue for another 4.5 years. However, the city offered him a 3-year extension on his contract earlier this month. He signed a letter agreeing to the terms, but is still insisting that he wants the 4.5 years.
The actual agreement won’t be finalized until November, he said. Yarbrough said he “will sign” though he is still protesting its terms.
He calls the city’s proposal “a goofy deal.”
Goofy or not, he did agree to it.
“He sent us a letter agreeing to the terms,” said Assistant City Manager Tom Ritter. “The council approved the 3-year extension and we’re not going to negotiate with him anymore.”
The deal was approved by the City Council at it’s Sept. 3 meeting.
Normally the city enters into 5-year contracts with its concessionaires. And at the end of the 5 years, the operation is put out to bid. The city just went through a bidding process with the operator the restaurant at the golf course, Ritter pointed out.
“Things were different when [Mark] Ochenduszko was city manager,” Yarbrough said. “My contract was extended every five years automatically.”
He contends that the 3-year deal will cost him a lot of money in cart rental fees.
“They give you a better deal on a long-term lease,” he said.
He now pays $76 a month for carts. For a three year contract, $115 per month was the lowest quote he was given.
“I’ll pay more, but not that much more,” he said. “On 88 carts it adds up.”
He also wants to see a return on the online tee time system that launched on Sept. 2. Yarbrough said he invested $20,000 of his own money to set up the system.
It allows golfers from all over the world to use their credit card to reserve a spot. As of this week, some 300 golfers had used the new system.
“It saves a lot of money,“ Yarbrough said. “Before we had two staff people taking reservation. Now we don’t have any, it’s all done on the Internet.“
At 69 he’s ready to retire, but for financial reasons he’d like the extended contract terms.