After serving as assistant professional at Dwight D. Eisenhower Golf Course for seven years, William Molloy Jr. recently was compensated for his lengthy tenure by being selected as the club's head professional.

"Every assistant professional's goal is to one day become a head professional," said Molloy, a 1980 graduate of Arundel High School. "It's something I've worked very hard for."

Molloy, a 28-year-old resident of Crofton, was selected by a committee of members from the county Department of Recreation and Parks, who were forced to fill the vacancy created when Robert C. Fretwell resigned late last month to accept the position of head professional at the newly opened Old South Country Club in Lothian.

Committee members cited Molloy's experience, course knowledge and work ethic as primary reasons for his appointment.

"We selected Billy because he was the best candidate out of a very strong group of candidates from the mid-Atlantic region," said Tom Donlin, chief of specialized recreation facilities and a member of the selection committee that chose Molloy. "The PGA really does a great job of grooming its professionals, and Billy is an excellent example of that.

"His experience, knowledge of the course and familiarity with the golfers and his understanding of their needs, gave him the edge over the other applicants."

Fretwell, Molloy's predecessor, said, "I've known Billy since he was 11 years old, and I think they made a very wise decision. Billy is a good golfer and a very easy guy to get along with. The place (Eisenhower) is so busy that he doesn't need to generate more business. What he will do, however, is take care of the people who come there to golf, which he does very well."

As head professional, Molloy will be in charge of every aspect of operation at Eisenhower except for the ground crew, which is under the authority of the course superintendent.

In addition to overseeing the daily operations of the county's only public 18-hole golf facility, Molloy's duties include conducting clinics, giving private lessons, organizing tournaments, as well as supervising employees in the the pro shop, driving range and snack bar.

Molloy, a scratch golfer since the age of 13, realizes that his function as club professional will cut deeply into the amount of time he spends on the links. But he doesn't seem to mind -- he just hopes his golf game can endure his increscent absence.

"When you go from playing three or four times a week to once a week, your game is bound to suffer. You can't avoid that," said Molloy, a graduate of the University of Maryland. "I just hope it doesn't have that much effect on how I play."

Molloy refused to comment on any specific changes he would like to see made at the Crownsville course. He said he will wait and see how his meeting with Joseph McCann, the county's director of Recreation and Parks, and parks administrator William Rhinehart goes before tampering with anything.

"There will probably be some changes in policies but nothing really concrete," Molloy said. "They (McCann and Rhinehart) will have the final say on whatever changes take place."

Donlin trusts Molloy's instinctive nature and believes his promotion is one that will benefit the county's fast-growing golfing community.

"We're all real comfortable with our decision and Billy has already indicated his desire to take the course to new heights," said Donlin. "We don't expect him to make any wholesale changes right away, but change is inevitable."

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