Borough to let golf pro’s contract expire

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Naugatuck officials have decided to not renew the contract of Hop Brook Golf Course Pro Robert Clark, who was hired in 2012. –FILE PHOTO
Naugatuck officials have decided to not renew the contract of Hop Brook Golf Course Pro Robert Clark, who was hired in 2012. –FILE PHOTO

NAUGATUCK — The borough is not renewing its contract with Hop Brook Golf Course Golf Pro Robert Clark.

Mayor N. Warren “Pete” Hess confirmed that once Clark’s contract comes to an end on Nov. 30 it will not be renewed.

Hess said the recommendation to not renew the contract came from the Golf Commission. He declined to comment on the decision stating it is a personnel matter.

Golf Commission Chairman Pat Corbett could not be reached for comment.

Clark was hired as the pro at the nine-hole borough-owned course in 2012. His contract was renewed for three years in 2013 with then-Mayor Robert Mezzo calling Clark’s performance at the course “exceptional.”

Under the contract, Clark was paid $625 a week between April 1 and Nov. 30. If Clark worked any time before April 1 or after Nov. 30 he would be paid a per diem hourly rate of his weekly salary divided by 40, the contract stated.

Clark said he was surprised by the decision and that he didn’t know the reason that his contract wasn’t being renewed.

“I had no idea that this was even a possibility,” Clark said.

Clark said membership and revenue have grown during his four years at the course.

“It has been a true honor to be the pro,” Clark said. “I am proud of the work I have done here. I am proud of the level I have taken Hop Brook Golf Course to now.”

Since his contract with the borough is coming to an end, Clark said he is also resigning as head coach of the Naugatuck High School golf team.

As he wraps up his last week, Clark is nervous about what comes next at the course.

“At the end of the day I am afraid for the future of Hop Brook without a pro PGA presence,” Clark said. “I feel bad for the golfers, but most importantly I feel bad for the juniors.”

Clark said the junior club had 12 members that would travel to other courses to play matches against other towns.

“Without a PGA presence that isn’t feasible,” Clark said.

Clark thanked Mezzo, Hess, Public Works Director James Stewart, and all the members of Hop Brook Golf Course who played during his four years as pro at the course.

“Thank you for letting me serve you,” Clark said.