Schenectady

Green fees at Schenectady Municipal Golf Course set to increase

A golf cart awaits its golfer near the practice green at the Schenectady Municipal Golf Course in April 2021.
PHOTOGRAPHER:
A golf cart awaits its golfer near the practice green at the Schenectady Municipal Golf Course in April 2021.

SCHENECTADY — Green fees at the Schenectady Municipal Golf Course are set to increase this year, a move made necessary by rising maintenance costs brought on by the pandemic. 

Under the proposed increase, which is set to be approved by the City Council next week, season passes would increase by 50% and green fees for a round of 9 and 18 holes would increase by $3 for residents, including seniors and veterans, and non-residents. Rates for juniors 17 and under would grow to $15, a $2 increase from the current fee.

Matt Daley, head golf professional for the course, said the proposed increase is the most significant in recent years and will not only offset rising maintenance costs,  but also bring the course’s green fees in line with those throughout the region.

“The golf course is in such high demand now and we’re just looking to offset our costs and maintenance fees,” he said. “Expenses are going to rise. I know for a fact that on-course supplies — such as chemicals, fertilizers, grass seeds — all those things are going up 20% to 30%.”

The city increased green fees by $1 last year, Daley said.

A round of 18 on the weekend would cost $29 for residents and students walking or $45 with a cart. Resident seniors and veterans would pay $26 or $42 with a cart under the new price structure. Non-residents would pay $37 for 18 holes on the weekend, or $53 with a cart. Non-resident seniors and veterans would pay $34 or $50 with a cart.

Season pass holders, meanwhile, will see a more significant increase.

Residents seeking to purchase a pass this year would have to pay $1,500, a $500 increase from last year. Resident seniors and veterans would see an increase of $450, bringing costs up to $1,350. Non-residents would pay $1,950, while non-resident seniors and veterans would pay $1,800, an increase of $650 and $600, respectively.

Daley said he believes the new fee structure is fair and is still a bargain given all that the course has to offer.

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“When you compare our rates to other golf courses, I think we’re very much undervaluing what we have,” he said.

At Stadium Golf Club, the closest competition for the municipal course, a round of 18 on the weekend costs $32 walking or $52 with a cart, according to the course’s website.

The future of that course is unclear. Scannell Properties, an Indiana-based development company, is seeking to purchase the 120-acre course and construct some type of commercial facility on the property. Little is known about the project, but the company has requested a zoning change needed to move the project forward.

The City Council tabled the request earlier this month, citing a lack of information.

At the Town of Colonie Golf Course, a round of 18 costs $30 for residents (or $35 with a cart) with a permit and $41 for non-residents, according to the course’s website.

A round of 18 at Capital Hills at Albany currently costs $32 for residents and $41 for non-residents, according to rates posted on the course’s website. A cart costs $18 extra.

In addition to the increased fees, the city is seeking to perform some maintenance at the course later this year and has identified around a dozen trees that have either grown too tall or have died that must be removed.

The Development & Planning Committee advanced a proposal that would use up to $35,000 to remove the trees.

The measure, along with the proposed fee increase, will be voted on by the full council next week.

Contact reporter Chad Arnold at: 518-410-5117 or [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter: @ChadGArnold.

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