Scott Brennan learned the ropes from the late Bobby Haggerty at Schenectady Municipal and then from former Orchard Creek head pro Tom Oppedisano, who is now at McGregor Links Country Club.
Like both of his mentors, Brennan loved to tee it up as often as possible when he was a little younger, but he realizes that running the extremely busy Orchard Creek layout is much more important these days, especially with the new construction project going on.
"We are generally packed here with leagues from Monday through Thursday, and even a few on Fridays," said the 28-year-old Schenectady native. "This course requires a lot of attention. With all the lessons and clinics I have going on, it's tough for me to find time to play, and that means I'm not always playing my best the few times I do get a chance to compete. When I go to a tournament, I'm not as sharp as I want to be, and that's difficult. I tend not to play in too many PGA events right now, but I will eventually."
Brennan is even busier now that Orchard Creek is undergoing a renovation project with its clubhouse.
"We're expanding it by about 3,000 square feet," he said. "It's going to be about 50 feet larger toward the right as you enter the parking lot, toward the 18th green."
Brennan said the expansion will involve several different parts of the clubhouse facilities.
"We're putting in a big room in there for banquets, and we are going to double the size of the kitchen. The original restaurant will be extended to the other side of the building. Plus, we are installing two new bathrooms in the clubhouse. It will be perfect for wedding parties. By adding this space, we can bring people inside when there is inclement weather. Also, we have the option of staying open 12 months out of the year with addition of weddings and banquets."
Other plans in the works involve the addition of golf simulators to be used year-round for lessons or for recreation in poor weather.
"Right now, we are planning on having three golf simulators, but we are still trying to decide which company we are going to use," Brennan said. "We're not sure if we're going to put the simulators in the restaurant, to be used during the winter, or in the expanded part of the clubhouse. The great thing is that we can throw something up on the screen in bad weather."
Another project in the works is an expanded wrap-around patio with a service window, so that guests can be served food and drinks outside without having to go back into the restaurant/grill room.
"We will still have a wait staff to bring things outside, just like we do now, but having the service window will make things
easier. We're even considering installing a fire pit outside," Brennan said. "It should be really nice when it's all finished."
Brennan said that he's young enough now to wait on his playing career in favor of his work at the course.
"I'm still on staff with Titleist, and I want to play in more local tournaments eventually, but right now, I want to take care of my job and make sure things are going smoothly," he said.
The Schenectady High School graduate worked for Haggerty as a freshman in high school, and after he graduated in 2002, he continued working there until 2004, when he became an assistant for Oppedisano at Orchard Creek. He worked for Oppedisano for three years, and also worked every winter at the Sombrero Club at Marathon Keys in the Florida Keys.
"It was a great time, but one of the harder things was spending eight months grinding out every day up here and then going down there for the winters, he said. "There wasn't much time off, but it was a lot of fun. I made some great contacts, and I was very young at the time. I wasn't committed to family relations, and it was easy for me to do. Still, I love
this area, and I wouldn't like to leave it."
Brennan also worked as an assistant pro for two years at Shaker Ridge Country Club for head pro Chas Conrad, and assistant pro Scott Berliner before taking over as head pro at Orchard Creek in 2009.
"I really learned a lot from all the places I've worked before -- especially from Bobby Haggerty," Brennan said. "He used to tell us stories in his Butler Cabin about the old days. He was a lot of fun and a great guy. He didn't hit it that far, but I remember that the guy used to carry what seemed to be seven or eight wedges in his bag. He could get up and down from anywhere."
For more information about Orchard Creek, Brennan said golfers should check out their new Web site, orchardcreek.com, which includes all of the latest products offered in the pro shop, upcoming events, tee times and prices for weddings and banquets.