Council votes on golf course membership rate changes

The Amsterdam Common Council voted Tuesday to approve new membership rates for the Amsterdam Municipal Golf Course. Several different options were discussed during the Golf Course Committee meeting for lowering membership rates, but the council finally agreed to revert to 2012’s prices, which were raised by 5% in 2013.

During the discussion period, Golf Course Commission member Pam Ritter said it would be “fiscally irresponsible” of the council to change rates now due to the pending lawsuit over golf pro Joe Merendo’s contract, and the uncertainty as to whether the golf course would be using Merendo’s carts this year or need to acquire new ones.

“Right now we don’t know where we are going to be on cart rentals, we don’t know what income we are going to have. I think it’s wrong to reduce [membership rates],” said Ritter.

Laura Elmendorf, the golf course concessionaire said, “You’ve got to get the rate set tonight, I’ve been getting phone calls left and right…people are just looking to know what’s going on. It might spearhead some people from making decisions to leave, because every other golf course has been running their rate ads in the paper since last October. So it would be good to set them.”

Golf Course Commission Chairwoman Michelle Russo said that if the council waited another week to make their decision, “I don’t think we are going to lose anyone in the next week… No one is at the golf course at this point to collect any fees…Normally people don’t start paying until the golf course opens…we’re not ready to open for another three weeks… I don’t honestly see a problem if we hold off.”

After the committee meeting, the council convened and approved the new yearly membership rates as follows:

Standard: $700, Senior: $675, Senior Limited: $635, Senior Family: $1110, Family: $1160, Junior: $150, Young adult: $350

All other rates, including greens fees, were left unchanged from last year.

Tim Becker

Tim Becker is the owner of Anthem Websites Inc. which publishes The Compass. He serves as both editor and a writer.