Sharpen your game at a par-3 course

While on vacation last week, I finally got a chance to play a few rounds of golf, and I moved around

While on vacation last week, I finally got a chance to play a few rounds of golf, and I moved around the area a bit to spread the wealth — and some fat divots — to numerous local layouts.

A couple of things came to mind. For one, it’s never a bad idea to hit some of our region’s fantastic executive courses. They help to keep your short game sharp, and you can usually play them much faster than a regulation-size course for a much cheaper price.

I played Mill Road Acres in Latham and had a blast. I hadn’t been to this place in years. In fact, it was so long ago that I hadn’t seen their back-nine addition, which has been around for quite a few years now.

I think we appreciate places like these not only when we’re first starting out and learning the game, but also when we become senior players and don’t hit the ball quite as far as we used to.

We have so many great “par-3” courses around here that also offer a few par-4s in the mix. Don’t forget about Whispering Pines, French’s Hollow, Hiawatha Trails, Brunswick Greens, the Saratoga Spa State Park par-3 course and the old Clifton Knolls (Barney Road) courses, just to name a few.

Like Old Tom Morris says in the commercials, go play.

Even if it’s only nine holes, you will feel better hitting the little ball around on a nice summer day. Many of our local layouts have breathtaking scenery as a bonus.

But please play ready golf and don’t hold up the people behind you.

And please, don’t forget to fix your ball marks. With all the wet weather we’ve had this spring and summer, our greens have been very soft. Ball marks make it more difficult for the players behind you to sink putts. I have enough trouble putting as it is!


Entry deadline is July 24 for The Gazette’s 17th annual Capital Region Newspaper in Education Junior Golf Championship, which will be held Aug. 1 at Schenectady Municipal Golf Course. Entry fee is $35 and includes lunch and prizes. There will be an 8 a.m. shotgun start. Competition will be divided into three divisions: boys’ 12-14, boys’ 15-18 and girls’ 12-18. Gross and handicap awards will be awarded in each division. Proceeds benefit the Gazette’s Newspapers in Education program. Make checks payable to The Gazette, and do not send cash. Send entries to N.I.E. Junior Golf Tournament, The Gazette, 2345 Maxon Road, Ext. P.O. Box 1090, Schenectady, NY 12301-1090. The first 120 entries will be accepted in order or postmark.

The Capital Region will host the 59th annual state Junior Elks Tournament for the third time on Aug. 4 at Orchard Creek Golf Course. The local qualifier for the event will be held Tuesday at 8:45 a.m. at Schenectady Municipal Golf Course. Age divisions will be 12-14 boys and girls, 15-16 boys and girls and 17-18 boys and girls. Entry fee is $20, and includes golf, lunch, and prizes for the top two players in each group. Checks should be made out to Rotterdam Elks Lodge #2157. For more information, contact Paul Ungerland (384-0221).

The Haggerty Two-Man tournament, originally planned for last June, has been rescheduled for Sept. 20-21 at Schenectady Municipal Golf Course.

Eastern New York Golf Association competition continues Wednesday with the Harry and Bonnie Clark Memorial ABCD Championship at Orchard Creek.

Schenectady Municipal defeated rival Stadium, 28-20, in the first round of the annual Schenectady Cup at Schenectady Municipal. The teams used a Ryder Cup format. The second round will be held later this summer at Stadium.

Here are the local players who qualified recently at Colonie Golf & Country Club for the New York State Amateur July 22-24 at Bellevue Country Club: Steve Quillinan Jr., Corey Purcell, Alex Kinkaid, Justin Deitz, Lance hope, Aaron Simone, Chad Stoffer, Ed Hart, Zach Sullivan, Taylor Bellemare, Thomas Cassidy, DJ Tozier, Travis Deuel, Jason Urschel and Mike McCarroll.

Joe Merendo’s Swing Fore Kids Scramble will be held Aug. 8 at Amsterdam Municipal Golf Course. There will be a noon scramble. Cost per player is $90 and includes six Titleist Pro V1 logo balls, a Titleist hat, a valuables pouch, lunch, a prime rib dinner and prizes. The event is open to the first 36 paid teams. Call Merendo at 842-4265 for more information.

As part of its 85th anniversary celebration, Cobleskill Golf & Country Club’s seventh annual Rally for the Cure raised $1,400. Brett Carver, Sean Carver, Bubba Keyser and Jeff Schafroth won the first flight low gross title with a 59, while the net champions were John Dahl, Lonnie Dahl, Mel Diamond and Dan Kelly with a 54.8.

Mohawk Golf Club hosts the second annual Golf Tournament to Benefit the Joan Nicole Prince Home Aug. 18. Entry fee is $175 per player and includes breakfast, golf, cart, snacks and lunch. For more information, contact executive director Susan Tomlinson at the Joan Nicole Prince Home, PO Box 2122, Scotia, NY 12302.

The Jack Scaccia Sr. Memorial Golf Tournament will be held Aug. 11 at Mohawk River Country Club & Chateau. Proceeds will support youth bowling in the Capital Region. Entry deadline is July 30.

Entry fee is $125 and includes golf and cart, breakfast, lunch at the turn and dinner/awards ceremony. Call Lisa or Chris at 393-5013 or 337-8128 for more information.


Steve Igo posted his first career hole-in-one with a 3-wood on the 205-yard eighth hole on the green nine at Town of Colonie Golf Course.

Stan Norman aced the 15th hole at Schenectady Municipal during the Schenectady Cup at Schenectady Municipal.

Bill Martin wielded a 7-iron for his hole-in-one on the 137-yard fifth hole at Saratoga Lake Golf Club.

Duke Green found the cup in one shot with a 9-iron from 130 yards on the second hole at Mechanicville Golf Club.

There were two aces recently on the same hole on the same day at Amsterdam Municipal. Rob Sherlock collected his first hole-in-one with a 9-iron on the 155-yard 16th hole, while Dave Sanders hit an 8-iron on the same hole for his memorable shot.

At Eagle Crest, Jesse Robinson holed out with a 9-iron on the 134-yard third hole.

Ballston Spa Country Club member Bernie Fragomeni, 49, recorded a hole-in-one on the 205-yard 15th hole with a 3-hybrid at his own course.


With the weather warming up, a flock of eagles were posted at Amsterdam Municipal Golf Course — especially on the 10th hole. Don Zarecki eagled the 10th hole twice in the same week, while Mark Compton, Dennis O’Malley, Chris Dulysz, Tom Bower and J ack Niemczyk also eagled the 10th.

Mike Riska registered an eagle-2 on the 390-yard par-4 12th hole at Hales Mills Country Club.

Also at Hales Mills CC, Dave Hayward eagled the 454-yard 15th hole.

John Dempsey holed out with a 5-iron for an eagle on the seventh hole at The Edison Club.

Steve Filak eagled the 13th hole at Eagle Crest.

Neil Murray eagled the ninth hole at Schenectady Municipal Golf Course.

At Mechanicville Golf Club, John Amodeo eagled the par-4 third hole with a wedge, while Laurie Phelps also holed out with a wedge on the par-5 fourth hole.

Gary Costanzo of Rotterdam eagled the par-5 first hole at Cobleskill Golf & Country Club.

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