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Amsterdam, NY ,



Changes expected at Muni

Friday, February 15, 2013 - Updated: 5:10 PM


Recorder News Staff

The management of the Amsterdam Municipal Golf Course could see some structural changes in 2013.

The city's Golf Commission held a special meeting this week to hear presentations from regional PGA representatives on what those structural changes could look like for the course.

Frank Natale, commission chair, said the thoughts coming from the PGA were for the course to possibly consolidate operations and hire a general manager.

Natale said that right now the course includes three entities -- city employees who maintain it, a contracted pro, and a contracted concessionaire -- but the general manager, if brought in, "would manage all of that."

"The way to increase the revenue is if the city basically took over all the operations, had a general manager run the course," Natale said. "It's a consolidation and that's the what the town of Colonie and Schenectady Muni did, too."

But it is also about efficiency, said commission member Mike Bucciferro.

Bucciferro said that the three-entity structure "is not the most efficient way to run a golf course."

"We want the most efficiency that we can get for the future and we want to understandably have this golf course here for the next 75 years," Bucciferro said.

This year is the course's 75th year in existence, he said, and he wants to make that last.

Natale said the general manager, if brought on, could be a city employee or a contracted employee, but the discussion is just beginning.

The point of the presentations, he said, were to begin the dialogue.

"They (the PGA) offered to write out a Request For Proposal of how we would do it and then we would go forward from there to see which would be the best option at this point," the chair said. "That's a service they provide."

The PGA gives the course their ideas based on what they have done with other courses in the past.

Natale said the commission has been thinking about the possible change for a while.

"We basically need to look at other options and see what is the best for the course and the city at the same time."

Also on the agenda Wednesday evening was a presentation from a representative from the Golf Channel, who spoke to the commission about a partnership going forward, one that the commissions members seemed to take a liking to.

And the partnership will center on the channel's website

"It's where people that want to play golf go on to that and (with) any participating course in the country ... you book tee times at separate courses," Natale explained. "They promote us by booking tee times for us and we split the revenue."

It's another form of advertising for the course and, Natale added, it's not something where they have to put money up front for.

"There's some small details, but everybody was pretty much in favor of it."

Bucciferro said this is a year of being very aggressive for the course.

The general manager position, he said, would ideally be decided on by Labor Day and if it's a go, would be "ready to go" for the 2014 season.

Natale said the presentations were all about understanding what they need to do to move forward.

"We're just trying to get our course out there, get more play so we can maintain it, and keep it how it is for everybody locally and for everybody to enjoy."


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