Amsterdam

Design unveiled for new Amsterdam Muni Golf Course clubhouse

Architectural renderings show the proposed design of the new Amsterdam Municipal Golf Course clubhouse.
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Architectural renderings show the proposed design of the new Amsterdam Municipal Golf Course clubhouse.

AMSTERDAM — The preliminary design for the new Amsterdam Municipal Golf Course clubhouse calls for a $2.2 million shingle-style building with informal and formal dining areas totaling nearly 10,000 square feet.

The developer and the designer of the building joined with Mayor Michael Cinquanti to unveil the architectural renderings Monday.

They impressed the small crowd of golf enthusiasts gathered in the temporary clubhouse, some of them eating lunch, some there just for the debut.

“Everyone I’m talking to is very excited,” the mayor said. “You picture that building on this course, it’s a fantastic combination.”

Finalizing the planning and design work is expected to take several more months. Construction start is targeted for spring 2022 and completion for spring 2023.

The original 1930s clubhouse was heavily damaged when cold weather burst the pipes. When the insurance settlement was determined to not be enough for a full rebuild, the city negotiated a solution with Lance Orcutt, co-founder and president of Executive Group, an Amsterdam-based manufacturer of furniture and fixtures for the hospitality industry.

Orcutt paid $50,000 to buy the old clubhouse, then demolished it. He’ll secure financing for the new clubhouse and will own it once it is built.

Cinquanti said Monday the deal is a game-changer for the 1938 golf course designed by Robert Trent Jones. The golf course is not only self-supporting, it must help the city pay for infrastructure expenses and fixed costs that benefit the course. It had built up a sizable debt.

With Orcutt financing the reconstruction, the insurance settlement could be used to pay off the debt and contract with specialists to maintain the greens.

“This is what we wanted to do, and we were nowhere near being able to do it,” Cinquanti said of the design unveiled Monday; the roughly $1.6 million insurance payout would not have covered it.

The 2021 golf season is on track to be the best in recent memory, Cinquanti said, and is generating positive cash flow.

Orcutt, meanwhile, will use the clubhouse as a showplace for the work Executive Group does, giving potential clients a closeup look at what they can expect if they commission a furnishing project.

The Clubhouse has a second function in the sales process: Orcutt intends it to be the most upscale restaurant in the city, as suitable for client lunches as for dinner out or special events.

The $2.2 million pricetag is a target. Once Phinney Design Group of Saratoga Springs completes the plans, Orcutt can get estimates and bids on the cost of making them reality. If the bids come in significantly higher than $2.2 million, the plans may need to be revised. 

The level of fit and finish won’t be compromised, however.

The design of the clubhouse was inspired by the shingle-style architecture popular in the late 1800s and early 1900s. The style still is a common sight in older communities in the Northeast and New England, particularly along the coast in places like Newport.

But it is also part of Amsterdam’s architectural heritage, said architect Mike Phinney, and that’s one reason it was chosen for the clubhouse.

“It’s echoing a historic style but it’s intended to be a modern building at the same time,” he said. “There’s a lot of examples of that kind of style in this community here.”

The classic exterior will hide a full complement of modern features demanded by code and function. Whatever specs Phinney works into the plan, for example, the commercial kitchen of 2022 will look nothing like the kitchen of 1902.

The formal entrance from the Upper Van Dyke Avenue side will come into a fine-dining area on the second floor, while a more casual pub eatery awaits downstairs. 

The rear of both floors will face onto the golf course, and both will have outdoor seating. Both will have bars; the downstairs bar will open onto the greens.

When the new clubhouse is complete, the former cart garage now being used as a temporary clubhouse will be converted into a banquet facility.

The two buildings will be separated by a short distance, and their kitchens will be able to function synergistically for the busiest days and largest events.

“You look at the golf course now, this is the best shape it’s been in in over a generation,” Cinquanti said.

“The course has the potential of being a gigantic economic development attraction for us. We were missing the things we now have in place: A budget we can work with, the clubhouse needed to be rebuilt and we needed to make sure the grounds were second to none.”

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