Fairways of Halfmoon has proven talent in Wright

Already known for its distinct personality among area golf courses, Fairways of Halfmoon added anoth

Already known for its distinct personality among area golf courses, Fairways of Halfmoon added another special touch with the hiring of its first golf professional, longtime area pro Rick Wright.

Fairways of Halfmoon, built just nine years ago by owner Bruce Tanski, features links-style fairways on the front side and plenty of hills and undulations on the back. It also has an excellent par-3 course that is a hidden gem. Normally, only members of the course get a chance to play there.

That will change if Wright has anything to do with it. The longtime head pro at The Edison Club is looking to makes some waves as the first-ever head pro at the course.

Why did Tanski finally decide to hire a golf pro?

“I guess maybe when somebody the caliber of Rick Wright becomes available, you grab him,” said Tanski. “I didn’t get where I am by being stupid. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know that when a pro of this cal­iber is available, you’ve got to hire him.

“Our course is different from a lot of courses and somebody of Rick Wright’s caliber gives it that extra piece of professionalism. Hopefully, Rick will set us apart from other public courses in the area.”

Wright said it will be quite a change for him working at a public course after so many years in the private-course sector.

“I’m excited about trying a different endeavor,” said Wright, who spent 28 years as head pro, and later the general manager, at The Edison Club. “I haven’t worked at a public course in 40 years. It’s been a long time since I’ve worked in the public scene, but I’m excited about doing it.”

Wright’s relationship at Fairways of Halfmoon actually started a couple of years ago, when he helped stock its pro shop with merchandise.

“I’ve put merchandise in their shop for three years, and it kind of gave me a feel for the place,” he said. “When things weren’t working out at The Edison Club, Bruce and I talked. I’m glad it worked out, and I’m very excited about the move.”

Wright already has some new ideas to help bring in new customers.

“They’ve got a great par-3 course that only their members really use. I’m thinking about having a tournament there,” he said. “We plan on promoting a junior golf program, and a ladies’ program at the par3 course.

Tanski added that there will be new specials, including a golf & dine nine-hole spec­ial, and golf/food specials for late afternoons and weekends. He and Wright are also planning a night golf tournament.

During his run at The Edison Club, Wright was well known for starting one of the area’s best junior golf programs and operating one of the premier pro shops. He will use that expertise to strengthen both departments at Fairways of Halfmoon.

Wright’s resume is unmatched.

A member of both the Northeastern New York PGA and Edison Club Hall of Fame, Wright was a two-time NENYPGA president, serving a total of five years. He was on the PGA National Board of Directors from 1997 to 2001.

An Ithaca College graduate, Wright started his career at a public course called Happy Acre in Rochester in the mid 1960s. He went on to become an assistant pro at Glens Falls Country Club from 1965 through 1972. During that time, he was also in the military service as an MP in Korea.

Wright became a golf pro at Skenandoa, a private club in Clinton, for eight years before becoming part-owner of Ransom Oaks in Buffalo. He began his long run at the Edison Club in 1982.

“This should be a shorter season than I’m used to,” said Wright, a former captain for the professional team in the annual Gazette Cup competition with the amateurs from the Capital Region Amateur Golf Association. “I’ll be working from April to November, and I won’t be working the long hours I did at the Edison Club. It should be a good transitional position for me after all those years at The Edison Club.

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