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Amsterdam Municipal slated to open Monday

AMSTERDAM – Weather permitting, the 82nd season of golf will begin at the Amsterdam Municipal Golf Course on Monday at 8 a.m.

Course Pro Kevin Canale reported that the Robert Trent Jones designed track came through the winter beautifully describing the fairways and greens as being in great shape.

Amsterdam Mayor Mike Cinquanti gave the go-ahead to open the course pursuant to the guidelines set forth in the New York State Pause Executive Order signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo on March 22.

That order allows New York golf courses to remain open during the Coronavirus state of emergency provided that they implement all CDC and state mandated guidelines, and promote safe, social distancing. There is to be no access to pro shops, locker rooms, indoor facilities and restaurants/bars.

The Governor’s office defined social distancing on the golf course as follows: Maintain at least 6 feet of space between one another at all times; don’t shake hands before or after your game; leave the flagsticks in the hole; don’t use rakes, ball washers and coolers from the course; don’t share clubs or any other equipment; and if using a golf cart it must be limited to one person per cart.

The toughest virus-related restriction for players to deal with at Muni will be that no bathroom access will be available to the public on the course at this time. The 8 a.m. opening tee-time slot will continue until warmer weather arrives and tee-times will be in 15-minute intervals as per state recommendation.

The way golfers pay for a round of golf at Muni has also been impacted by the social distancing mandates.

Canale said the online payment option was the most convenient method to use. Players can log into the Course’s Web site at www.golfmuni.com and click on “book a tee-time.”

Once they book the tee-time, they will be prompted to pay for their round with a credit card. Players can opt to pay for an entire group or individually. Members can log in as usual and make tee-times and no fees will be required.

Those wishing to pay for their annual memberships are asked to please download and complete the membership application available at the website and mail it with a check to 158 Upper Van Dyke Ave. Golfers who cannot pay online or by mail and who wish to pay by credit card or check, are being asked to make an appointment with the pro shop as these need to be handled on a case by case basis. The pro shop will be closed to walk-ins during this state of emergency period.

Cinquanti explained his decision to permit the course to open by describing “The game of golf as one of the very few recreational activities available to citizens of our community that can be played safely during the Coronavirus-induced state of emergency. With the social distancing measures in place there really is no reason why golfers can’t play the game they love on this beautiful course during a time when doing so offers a much-needed way to exercise and socialize at an acceptable social distance.”

The Mayor also pointed out that opening the course under these conditions required just a skeleton staff and since the city must maintain the course anyway, he is hoping the revenue generated from greens fees and memberships actually generates positive cash flow for the city.

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