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Golf Guide: Don't let Holland Meadows' length fool you

Saturday, April 9, 2011
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— Short on yards, the course at Holland Meadows avoids being short on challenges.

The 3,333-yard, par-59 on Route 29 between Gloversville and Broadalbin tempts its visitors to go just long enough instead of playing it safe.

Water on several of the holes forces golfers to make a decision. On other holes, the challenge lies on the greens.

"Some of them entail some water, and some people can carry the ball over the water, some can't," club pro Mike Iannotti said. "The players have to make that dec­ision, whether they want to go for it or not. Some of the holes are a little tricky because the greens slope quite a bit. If you hit the ball off the green someplace, it requires a challenging chip shot."

Iannotti said the course is one that accommodates golfers from juniors all the way to seniors.

The length of the course is what attracts many golfers, allowing them to play a round on those days they might not be able to ded­icate wholly to the game.

"Because of the length, or lack of length, it makes people feel like they're not climbing uphill all the time," Iannotti said. "That's bas­ically where we do get a lot of traffic. People feel they can play nine holes in a sufficient amount of time, and not feel like they're climbing a mountain all day."

The course has five par-4 holes, but the rest are par-3s.

Late in March, while watching several patrons play indoor golf at the course, Iannotti said he was hopeful the course would be open by now, but it always depends upon the weather and how quickly the ground thaws.

The sooner, the better, as always. Even those golfers who made due all winter with indoor golf were champing at the bit to get out on the course.

"Oh yeah," Iannotti said. "They've got spring fever."

With a shorter winter, the course was open by late March last year, but indoor golf keeps Holland Meadows open for business year-round, regardless of the weather.

"Most courses are closing up for the winter," Iannotti said. "We do great business in the winter. Not a lot of places have it, but we've had indoor golf for, I think it's been 14 years now. That's been a huge part of our business."

Once the thaw arrives, Holland Meadows has a number of events to keep these golf enthusiasts busy. Tournaments, a junior program and several leagues dot the calendar, as does an upcoming demo day.

On April 23 from 10-4, Holland Meadows will host a number of vendors with their new equipment. Golfers will be able to hit the new clubs for free. Vendors include Adams, Callaway, Cleveland, Cobra, Mizuno, Nike, Ping, Titleist, Tour Edge and Wilson.

"We always have something going on, whether it's a tournament or leagues," Iannotti said.

Iannotti has been golfing for three decades and teaching for 12 years. Not only is he the certified teaching pro at Holland Meadows, he also is a custom fitting professional.

Golfers can get fitted for clubs by Iannotti at the Holland Meadows pro shop, and if they buy at the shop, they will have the fitting fee rebated.

It's a job that keeps the pro busy all year, but he said he wouldn't be doing anything else.

He tried doing something else, but someone convinced him to change careers and do something he would actually enjoy.

"I was doing one of those jobs where you might not want to be doing it for your whole entire life, and a friend of mine suggested I go to golf school and see if I could get certified," he said. "I decided to go, and I luckily made it through the program.

"I worked at Fox Run for a couple of years as a part-time pro. It was 1998-99 that I started here. Since then, I've done thousands of lessons. I've been lucky enough to work with thousands of kids and adults, and I've enjoyed every minute of it."

For information, golfers can visit the website www.hollandmeadowsgolfcourse.com or call 883-3318.

 
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