Down the Fairway: The quick Fox Run: course plays short, but the putts go long

hey say you should be careful what you wish for, because you just might get it.

That was the


They say you should be careful what you wish for, because you just might get it.

That was the case on Monday when I took my usual group over to play scenic Fox Run in Johnstown.

I haven’t played this course in more than a decade, back when it was called Alban Hills.

I remember shooting one of my best nine-hole scores ever on what used to be the front nine, and I also recall struggling on the much more difficult other side.

Although my golf game hasn’t improved much, I’ve still got a pretty good memory. The nines have been switched since I last played there, but the basic setup was still the same.

What is now the front side is a bear. Although it plays “only” 3,280 yards, the stretch from the third hole through the seventh is extremely difficult for the average golfer with three 400-yard or longer par-4s and a couple of challenging par-5s.

But it wasn’t the yardage that got us that day. It was the speed of the greens. From what we were told by a course worker on a tractor, the good folks who play Fox Run regularly had been complaining about slow greens. That certainly wasn’t the case on Monday. In fact, the guy on the tractor even asked us how we liked the fast greens and gave us a devilish little laugh.

Believe me, these greens were some of the quickest I’ve ever played, and that includes a few of the elite private courses I’ve been fortunate to play over the years.

It took quite a while to get used to the speed, as all of our putts kept running out well after the hole. Holding the greens on our approach shots was also difficult.

But once we made the turn to the back side, which plays just 2,804 yards from the white tees, we started to play much better.

The 10th hole is a confidence builder at just 320 yards to a downhill green. My 9-iron approach shot landed in the front of the green but rolled all the way to the back and just into the fringe. Luckily, I made the birdie putt as my ball hit the flag and rolled in. The next hole played just 279 yards but was a dogleg right up the hill. I two-putted for par and thought it was going to be a great round.

But the 160-yard par-3 third hole was well guarded by trees on both sides, and the green was well below the tee. I ended up pushing my tee shot into the trees and struggled from there with a quadruple bogey. The rest of that nine was up and down for me, but still a lot of fun.

All in all, Fox Run is an excellent course with plenty of challenges if that’s what you are looking for. It helps if you have plenty of length off the tee on the front side, which also was very wet earlier this week.

The back side provides the average golfer plenty of opportunities for birdies, but there are still a few tricky holes on that side, as well, including the dogleg left 550-yard par-5 15th hole to an elevated green. You need three big shots to get home on this one, especially on a wet fairway.

I enjoyed the course tremendously, but wish my putter was a bit softer on the front side.

Superb scenery throughout and an extremely friendly staff.

I also recommend the restaurant, which had several excellent specials for us to enjoy while we lamented our relatively poor scores.

If you haven’t played Fox Run lately, give it a try, but make sure you bring your “A” game, especially on the front side.


The Northeastern New York PGA will conduct its second major championship in the span of just one week when the NENYPGA Stroke Play Championship is contested Monday and Tuesday at The Edison Club.

Frank Mellet of Colonie Golf & Country Club is the defending champion, but the big favorite is Normanside Country Club assistant pro Scott Berliner, who won this week’s NENYPGA Match Play Championship at The Sagamore Resort. Berliner crushed former Match Play champion Ian Breen of Colonie Golf & Country Club, 6-anda-5, in the finals.


u Stadium Golf Club’s Falling Leaves Tournament will be held Oct. 22 with a 9 a.m. shotgun start. The two-person scramble has an entry fee of $75 for non-members and $65 for members. The entry fee includes golf with cart, range balls, and a hot and cold hors d’oeuvres/ buffet following play. Top prize will be $450 for low gross and $450 for low net, based on a full field of 72 teams. The top six gross and net teams will cash. Call Stadium at 374-9104 for more information.

u The Haggerty Two-Man Tournament, named after Bob Haggerty Jr., the late Schenectady Municipal pro who served the course for more than three decades, will be played Saturday and Sunday at Schenectady Municipal. Call 382-5155 for more information.

u Canajoharie Golf Club, which has been closed all season, is now open for play under new ownership. The new owner is John Yiu. There is a fall special where players can buy one greens fee and get another free. The price is $30, which includes cart. Call 673-8183 for tee times

u Following is the Section II playoff schedule: Class A at Town of Colonie Golf Course, Oct. 5; Class B at Rolling Hills Country Club, Oct. 5; Class C-D at Schenectady Municipal, Oct. 5; ABCD Playoffs at Orchard Creek, Oct. 11; State Qualifier at Orchard Creek, Oct. 13.

u The New York State Turfgrass Association’s Poa Annual Golf Tournament will be held Wednesday at Normanside Country Club. Entry fee is $460 per foursome and includes golf, cart, lunch, beverages on course and a reception after golf. The format will be best ball of four. Call 783-1229 or 783-1322 for more information.

u Richard Gonyeau won the employee division in the annual Bryce Hume golf tournament for Daily Gazette employees and friends with a Calloway score of 75 last Sunday at Stadium Golf Club. Steve Ostrander also shot a 75 but lost the tie-breaker on a matching of cards. Rolf Erickson had the low gross with an 86. Doug Shattuck was the guest champion with a 73 Calloway. Victor Trombley won the longest drive, while Ostrander also won one of the closest to the pin competitions. Gonyeau won the other.

u The Adirondack Phantoms of the American Hockey League will hold a scramble golf tournament Oct. 10 at Hiland Golf Club. One Phantom player or staff member will be assigned to each threesome. The tournament begins at 12:30 p.m. Entry fee is $400 per threesome and includes golf, cart, hors d’oeuvres and prizes. Call 480-3355 for more information.

u The Northeastern Women’s Golf Association’s Gail Sykes Better Ball of Partners Championship has been rescheduled for Monday at Columbia Golf & Country Club.

u Airway Meadows Golf Club’s 13th annual Oktoberfest tournament will be held Oct. 9. There will be a 9 a.m. registration and continental breakfast, followed by the tournament. Entry fee is $93 for non-members and includes golf, cart, lunch at the turn, kegs of beer, wind and soda from noon on and a steak, chicken and pork dinner. There will be two gold memberships for the 2012 season given away. Call Airway Meadows at 792-4144 for more information.

u The fifth annual Union College Women’s Basketball golf tournament will be played Monday at Pinehaven Country Club. The entry fee is $500 per foursome, and a full foursome is not needed to enter. Tournament organizers will find you partners. Each golfer receives practice range privileges and lunch (at 11:00 a.m.), cart, greens fees (12 p.m. shotgun start), appetizers and prizes in the scramble format. Register online at: or call Mary Ellen Burt at 388-6546 for more information.

u The YWCA NorthEastern New York’s first golf tournament will be held Friday at Mohawk Golf Club. Proceeds benefit the YWCA’s Breast Cancer Education/Prevention programs and Domestic Violence Shelter & Supportive Services programs. The shotgun event begins at 8:30 a.m. Cost is $150 per person and includes golf, cart, goodie bag, breakfast, snacks, liquid refreshments, beer tasting and lunch. Long drive champion Eric Lastowka will host a demonstration. Call 374-3394 for more information or to register.

u Fox Run will hold an impossible pin three-man scramble in October. Visit the website for info.

u Stadium Golf Club will host the final Eastern New York Golf Association tournament of the season on Monday.

u Local pros still have a few tournaments on their schedule including the Assistants Match Play Championship Oct. 4-5, the Bob Smith Pro Am at Leatherstocking Golf Club Oct. 7, and the Points Challenge at Country Club of Troy Oct. 11. The local amateurs from CRAGA also participate in that Points Challenge. The amateurs also play their Tri-County Partners event some time in October at Olde Kinderhook.


Cheri Carlo holed out with a 7-wood on the 150-yard second hole at Mill Road Acres.

Trina Carlton posted a hole-in-one with a 5-wood on the 120-yard fourth hole at Van Patten Golf Club. She was competing in the End Zone league outing.

Mike Frollo fond the cup with a 6-iron on the 150-yard 16th hole at Amsterdam Municipal Golf Course.

At Briar Creek, Bill Jackowski of Clifton Park aced the 110-yard seventh hole with a pitching wedge.

Categories: Sports

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