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Braintree

Braintree golf course had healthy year

After a healthy 2012, the Braintree Municipal Golf Course is hoping for a winter with ice hockey and a spring with new golf carts and no increase in green fees.

About 41,000 rounds of golf were played in the 2012 season, which lasted from March to November, said by Daryn Brown, director of golf operations. That compares with about the same number of rounds for the same period of 2011 at the town-owned course.

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Business has been so good that the pro shop will have to buy merchandise during the winter in order to stay well-stocked. Though not highly unusual, Braintree officials point to it as a measure of success.

According to Peter Morin, Braintree’s chief of operations and staff, the golf course’s stocking of inventory and marketing practices are evolving. “We haven’t done it the same way twice because the business is growing,’’ he said.

All in all, business has been good, and revenue is almost $50,000 higher than expected this fiscal year, enough to provide a cushion as the organization heads into the fickle winter weather.

During the winter months, Brown hopes to get good use of a makeshift hockey rink on the driving range. Last winter, in its second year, the rink didn’t get much action because of the unusually warm weather. This winter, Brown is hoping it will be cold enough to make the rink worthwhile.

Although Brown said a definitive picture of the club’s success won’t be determined until after April, next year’s golf season already looks promising.

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The current three-year lease for golf carts has expired, and Brown is working on a new lease at a lower annual cost.

“We’re looking to enter into a five-year lease . . . so we’re ready for a new fleet of golf carts for the 2013 season that will start probably sometime in March, depending on snow,” Brown said.

The Town Council is expected in January to review a five-year lease that would cost $35,000 a year. Another three-year lease would cost $47,500 annually.

Brown said the new lease would be through the same company, Wareham-based Country Club Enterprises.

The golf course’s only problem this year has been a clerical error that underestimated the amount of money needed in the budget for health insurance.

The Town Council will be asked to take money out of golf course revenues to correct the shortfall early in 2013, though Brown said the situation is minor.

Brown said he hopes to keep rates steady for the new year.

Jessica Bartlett can be reached at jessica.may.bartlett@gmail.­com

CORRECTION: Because of incorrect information provided to the Globe, a previous version of this article about the success of Braintree Municipal Golf Course misstated the number of rounds played at the course in 2011 and 2012. The course had 41,000 rounds in both years.

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