Golf commission adopts five year plan to improve golf course

Golf Course Laison Ed Russo (left) meets with commission members. Photo by Scott Mulford.

The Amsterdam Municipal Golf Commission met last Monday night at Amsterdam City Hall and adopted a five year plan as a “working document” for improving the Municipal Golf Course. The commission intends to submit the plan to the Common Council for approval.

The plan outlines five key goals:

  • Create a management structure that is clear and effective
  • Focus on the quality of the course and its amenities
  • Create programming to attract membership and play
  • Develop a regional marketing strategy
  • Create a self-sustaining operation

Download the most recent version of the 5 year plan here

Incorporated into the plan are recommendations made by the Robert Trent Jones II architectural design firm. Bruce Charlton, the President and Chief Design Officer of the firm visited the course on October 7, 2014 and reviewed the site on a hole by hole basis. Charlton made 16 primary observations in his assessment of the course and submitted them to the Golf Commission. Among the recommendations were the removal of trees and underbrush at several holes on the course in order to promote better grass growth, reconstruction of the greens to promote proper drainage and the installation of irrigation heads around the perimeter of the green surfaces.

Download the Robert Trent Jones review here

At the November 12, 2014 Golf Commission meeting, Derrick stated that seven trees near hole 7, which was one of the holes mentioned in the report, had been removed and more were slated to come down. Also, work on holes 16 and 12 was to begin after Thanksgiving. Derrick was absent from Monday’s meeting so the commission moved up the upcoming January meeting in order to get an update before Derrick leaves the superintendent’s position before the end of January 2015. Golf Commission Chairwoman Michele Russo said that there were eight potential candidates for the position.

In addition to improvements to the course, the five year plan also calls for placing all course staff under the authority of a Golf Course Manager/Pro, and replacing the commission with an advisory board.

The structure identified recognizes the Mayor of Amsterdam as the elected administrator for the city. It places the supervision of the Golf Manager/Pro under the Mayor’s supervision to mirror the other administrative departments within the city. It also recognizes the decision making authority of the Common Council for budgetary decisions. It eliminates the Golf Commission and establishes an Advisory Council of interested individuals who can make recommendations through the Golf Manger/Pro, to the mayor and common council for investments in the golf course. (Page 3)

The next commission meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, January 7th 2015.

(Scott Mulford and Tim Becker both contributed to this article)