Sacandaga Golf Course gets new owner

The Sacandaga Golf Course will open this year with a new owner and renovated club house. Here it is shown in this Friday photo. (The Leader Herald/Donna Kenney)

MAYFIELD — Augustin Isernia remembers the first time he stepped foot onto the Sacandaga Golf Course. As a young child, those summers spent in Upstate New York were something that he cherishes. As the new owner of the golf course that made such an impact on him, he plans to continue to provide a scenic golf getaway that is family friendly and community driven.

“I was introduced to the Sacandaga 40 years ago as a kid, and I remember the beauty of being on the course, it was wonderful memories made from an early age,” said Isernia.

A native of Italy, Isernia, moved to Suffern in 1971. He said his next-door neighbors told his family of a great place to getaway during the summer — the Sacandaga Lake, –and he remembers going to their summer home which was next to what is now Lanzi’s Restaurant. Today, Isernia is the president of a biotech company in New Jersey, and he, his wife, and their four growing children spend as much time on the lake as they can. Earlier this year, the opportunity arose to purchase the golf course, and Isernia said it was an easy decision to make.

“I purchased a home on the lake as an adult with my wife and children, and we have been making memories on the lake ever since. When I got a call about six months ago from a friend who was distressed about the sale of the course, saying the community wanted someone to purchase it who they knew would take care of it,” said Isernia.

Isernia bought the property from previous owner Dick Osborne for $300,000. He plans to put additional funding into the property to make what he describes as much needed updates.

“We plan on keeping many of the traditions, while also making many improvements, including renovations to the clubhouse, the kitchen and the greens. Dick will stay on for a while to help us with that transition,” said Isernia.

The greens will get a manicure and the clubhouse is being upgraded, painted and repaired, with the possibility of eventually building a new facility. The space will house the restaurant, The Pines Bar & Grill, where Isernia said high quality, simple offerings will be served at a fair price. The restaurant will work with local artists by offering them a place to display their Adirondack-style work. The course will also be focusing on youth involvement by holding clinics over the summer as a way to get kids involved at an early age.

“It will be a family and adult friendly, fun atmosphere, and we are really excited about it,” said Isernia.

Isernia said they plan to carry about 10 to 15 employees, including the addition of a well-versed golf pro, something Isernia is particularly excited about. He said PGA pro, Scott Frasier, a native of Northville, will join the staff. Frasier grew up caddying at Sacandaga Golf Course and played golf for SUNY Cortland during a time when the team made their way to the NCAA Division III finals in 1976. He later played amateur golf and won the Club Championship, has worked as a pro in both public and private clubs in the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia, and is now returning to the Sacandaga Golf Course.

“We are fortunate to have Scott, we’re really looking forward it,” said Isernia.

A grand opening planned for early May will feature a community-style barbecue and free play for the community. Isernia said he hopes that this will encourage the public to come out and see what they are all about.

“Our priority is community involvement, and so far, we have gotten so much support. The people who spend time here and care so much about the area are really what this all about, and we want to preserve that,” said Isernia.

Isernia said he encourages people to look for information through social media and as well as their website, which is in the process of being updated.

“Our ultimate goal is to provide a stimulating environment in the great outdoors, we’re very excited,” said Isernia.