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Sunday, May 19, 2024

2024 Season at Schenectady Municipal Golf Course is in Full Operation

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SCHENECTADY — The city-owned Schenectady Municipal Golf Course welcomed golf enthusiasts for the season’s opening on a bright and sunny Tuesday.

The golf season was inaugurated with a friendly driving contest between Schenectady Mayor Gary McCarthy and Schenectady High School junior Jomar Moilanari, marking their second consecutive year of competition.

McCarthy initiated the contest with a straight drive down the fairway, followed by Moilanari’s impressive drive that went even further, earning him the victory in the friendly face-off.

“It was a blast,” Moilanari commented.

Head golf pro Matt Daley mentioned that while the course layout remains unchanged from the previous season, the upcoming irrigation system upgrade will significantly improve the grass quality.

“Take a look around and you’ll see how spectacular it is,” Daley remarked. “Year after year, we boast some of the best greens in the Capital Region. Our fairways are always in prime condition and the new irrigation system will further enhance the turf quality of this golf course.”

The first public tee times began on Tuesday morning, with Daley highlighting that the course had a full schedule of golfers ready to play on the opening day. Plenty of tee times are still open for booking in the coming weeks via the course website.

The city has slightly raised the greens fees by $2 for 18 holes and $1 for nine holes this season. The revised rates will have city residents paying $29 for 18 holes on a weekday and $31 on weekends, with an additional $18 per round for those wishing to rent a cart.

Non-residents will be charged $37 for 18 holes on weekdays and $39 on weekends.

The new rates also include a slight increase for a season pass for residents, with the price set to rise from $1,500 to $1,600 for the golf season.

“Our municipal course rivals many of the private clubs in the region in terms of quality and design,” McCarthy stated. “We have made a series of investments in this facility and in parks across the city to enhance their appeal and add value to the neighborhoods and for the city residents. This golf course attracts people from across the Capital District.”

Daley assured that players will get value for their money at the course this spring and summer.

“There’s a slight increase in the price, but it was necessary as our expenses are not decreasing,” he explained. “They keep rising, so we have to balance that cost. We tried to keep the greens fees in line with the rest of the courses in the area.”

The greens fees at Stadium Golf Club in Schenectady are $34 for 18 holes on weekdays and $36 for weekends, with an additional $24 fee for cart rental.

The Capital Hills at Albany public course charges $32 for 18 holes for Albany residents and $41 for non-residents, with an $18 fee to rent a cart.

Following the retirement of former golf course Superintendent Mike Scesny last year, Schenectady entered into a three-year agreement with Troy firm TerrAmend Inc. to maintain the course.

Thanks to a mild winter, the course opened a week earlier than last year on April 9.

“The course is in absolutely top-notch condition,” Jeff Madison of TerrAmend commented on Tuesday. “Kudos to Mike Scesny, who managed the golf course for over 20 years before us, for the excellent condition that we inherited. Unfortunately, a severe snow and ice storm a few weeks ago brought down a lot of trees and debris. We’re currently cleaning that up. Other than that, it’s ready to go.”

The golf course will host its annual raffle for the American Red Cross disaster relief fund over the next month. This fundraiser has been a tradition since 2014 and all proceeds go to the Red Cross.

The fundraiser precedes the May 18 Sound the Alarm event that will see Schenectady firefighters and Red Cross members distributing free smoke detectors in the Hamilton Hill and Vale Park neighborhoods.

Ericka Vacaflores, disaster preparedness specialist with the American Red Cross, mentioned that the group has chosen the local neighborhoods based on the need for improved fire safety.

“But if someone calls us and they need them [smoke detectors], we don’t discriminate,” Derek Dobson, regional philanthropy officer with the Red Cross, said on Tuesday.

Schenectady Fire Chief Donald Mareno emphasized the importance of smoke detectors, citing the danger posed by cottonwood fluff falling from trees, which contributed to at least five structure fires in the city last summer after outdoor fires spread to nearby buildings.

“Smoke detectors are a crucial tool,” Mareno said. “They don’t prevent fires, but they help people evacuate their homes if a fire occurs. The more smoke detectors you have in your house, the safer you are.”

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Kiara Thomas
Kiara Thomas
I uncover quirky and compelling stories. Always on the lookout for the 'why' behind the 'what'.
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