It's been a season of change at some of the area's golf courses.
Pine Brook Golf Club in Gloversville nearly didn't open this year. Another city course, Kingsboro Golf Club, is listed for sale, while the Canajoharie Country Club begins operations this season under a new owner after not opening in 2011, as the owners had put it up for sale.
John Liu of New York City purchased the Canajoharie club and opened it for the 2012 season.
Chris Quenelle of Caroga Lake takes a shot on a hole at the practice green at the Pine Brook Golf Club in Gloversville on Thursday. Terry Denney of Mayfield is in the background.
The Leader-Herald/Bill Trojan
Liu said he purchased the club "because the golf course looks great and the people here are very friendly. I like the atmosphere."
However, through a recession that lasted nearly two years, people haven't had the extra money to come out and golf.
"Right now, we have been fighting with the economic situation and the weather situation," Liu said. "Anything other than that, we'll be fine."
Pine Brook didn't have enough members this year for its Board of Directors to open and keep the club in the black for the season. It was nearly shut down for the season before being rescued by a landscaping company, which will operate it through Oct. 31.
The board voted in March to close the private club due to its debt, but then voted to lease the property to Blansper Inc., which is run by restaurateur Don Blanchard and Jim Esper. The company will run the course through Oct. 31.
The landscaping company will maintain the course, be granted use of club's equipment, provide cart rentals and get the greens fees.
Pine Brook Board President George Ringland told The Leader-Herald the board will reduce the debt so the group can open the club privately next season asa private course.
According to the deed, it must be maintained as a private course. If it isn't for a full year, the deed gets transferred to the city.
Blanchard has been familiar with the club as he has leased the restaurant and bar for the past two years.
Ringland previously said the club would have needed to expand membership to 200 to keep the course open.
Kingsboro Golf Club, which opened April 2 for its 82nd season, has been listed for sale by Hunt Commercial for $500,000, at what was described on the company's website as a "reduced price."
According to tax information, it has been owned by William A. Studenic since he bought it from 301 N. Kingsboro Realty Inc. on February 16, 2011.
Another golf course has made changes this year. Rolling Hills in Amsterdam has seen a change in the management of the clubhouse and bar, which is now being leased by the Lanzi family.
"It's the best thing that happened to us," said Butch Greco, a consultant to Rolling Hills owner John Tesiero Jr. "With their reputation and their food, they're old-time recipes; it's a real plus for us, and they're doing very well. We're hoping the changes we made will entice new members and really be a plus for current members."
Greco said he would like to see the course get back to where it was many years ago, but he said he doesn't want to see the exclusive nature of its previous incarnation as the Antlers, a private course.
"We've got it down to where it is all the down-to-earth great people are coming there," Greco said.
Mike Zummo is the business editor. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.