To be one of the best Foothills Council golf teams, it helps to have a tough course to play and train on.
That is exactly what the Amsterdam High School golf team has with the Amsterdam Municipal Golf Course. The rolling, Robert Trent Jones-designed course is one of the toughest in the league – sporting steep hills, tight fairways and unforgiving greens.
“This course makes you hit your shots and make every shot count,” said sophomore CJ Durinick.
Durinick is one of seven veterans on this year’s Amsterdam golf team, which entered its home match against Gloversville on Wednesday, September 12, sporting a 4-2 league record. Amsterdam came away with the win, 191-212.
Durinick, along with junior Erin Rivera and sophomores Ryan and Andy Welch, form a formidable foursome at the top end whose experience belies their young ages.
“We don’t have a senior this year,” said Amsterdam coach Tim Jones. “Our younger guys have a lot of experience, and they have taken some ownership this year. They’ve been helping with the newer guys.”
“For me and Erin, we’ve been on this team for so long now,” said Durinick. “The seniors who have come and gone in years past have really influenced me.”
Durinick and Rivera have been on the varsity team the longest, and their experience has shown. Going into Wednesday’s match, they each needed a round of 8-over-par 44 or less to qualify for the Section 2 Golf Championships next month. Durinick carded a nine-hole score of 42, and Rivera finished his round with a score of 44 to earn their eighth consecutive rounds of 8-over-par or less and their berths into Sectionals.
“It feels great. It’s my fourth year in a row [of qualifying],” said Rivera. “One of the goals for golf is sectionals, and then qualifying for states.”
“It definitely means a lot because not a lot of people make it there,” said Durinick. “It’s great to get to sectionals and play for what you worked on all year.”
Amsterdam is just about half-way through their season, with six more regular season matches left between now and September 28. Additionally, Amsterdam will host this year’s Foothills Council Championships on September 26, which Rivera said gives them an advantage.
“For one thing, it’s on our home course. We know the greens, and we know where to hit the ball,” said Rivera.
As for the two-day Section 2 Championships in October, Durinick said the time he and Rivera have spent practicing and playing on the Amsterdam Municipal Golf Course will help them as they pursue a berth in the state tournament.
“You definitely feel like you have an advantage because this is one of the tougher courses around,” said Durinick.