Clifton Park’s golf course running on par
Opening season marked by rain
CLIFTON PARK The first year the town has owned and operated the Barney Road Golf Course has been a qualified success, town officials say.
“It’s been good,” said James Romano, a Town Board member. “We have been pleased so far.”
But both Romano and town Supervisor Philip Barrett said the heavy rain this spring and late summer and fall washed out many golfing days.
Town officials want to attract more players to the nine-hole, par-3 executive course off Barney Road near the Clifton Knolls residential development.
The town is offering “Ten Dollar Tuesdays” that allow golfers to slice up to $3 off the normal greens fee on that day.
The town is also teaming up with local restaurant Pasta Pane for a “Nine and Dine” promotion on Oct. 17 that allows golfers to play nine holes and get a $15 coupon toward dinner at the eatery, all for $20.
“It’s been a tough year for any golf course,” Barrett said. “There have been so many days of just complete washouts.”
But Barrett says the town is still on pace to meet its profit goal of $50,000 at the golf course that was built near one of the town’s first residential subdivisions in 1966 by the Van Patten family.
The town has been able to reduce the cost of operating and maintaining the course. The town’s Buildings and Grounds Department cuts the fairways and greens under the direction of a former course superintendent who works for the town on a seasonal basis.
“The course looks good,” Romano said. “It’s in good shape.”
He said the end of the season marketing efforts are intended to attract golfers to the course during a traditionally slow period. The course will be open through Nov. 12, depending on the weather.
Once the season is over the number of rounds played and total revenue generated by the course will be calculated and discussed by the Town Board, Romano said.
He said seven golf leagues played their matches on the Barney Road course this year, just as they did in 2010.
One of the reasons the town has instituted the “Ten Dollar Tuesdays” is that the leagues usually play on Tuesday but the league season has ended, meaning course use that day has dipped.
Course use figures through mid July show that an average of 63 rounds of golf were played each day at the course. The busiest day of the year was one Sunday when 170 rounds were played, according to town records. An average of 83 rounds of golf were played on Sundays in the spring and early summer.
Last November, the town paid former owners Peter Murray and Robert Phillips $1,075,000 for the 40-acre course. A $90,000 grant from Saratoga County’s Open Space and Farmland Protection Fund reduced the town’s final cost to $985,000.
The sale included the mowing and other equipment used by the former owners of the course. The course features mostly par-3 holes, but there are two longer par-4 holes and several of the holes have distances of 200 yards and 150 yards, according to town officials.
“We are learning as we go,” Barrett said. “We learned a lot in the first year.”
When the town purchased the golf course, town officials talked about reducing operating costs and using the town’s website, www.cliftonpark.org, to market the course.