Nick Stoner Golf Course scores as ‘An architect’s dream’

Pro Shop worker Connor Brown works the cash register at the pro shop Saturday. (The Leader-Herald/Richard Nilsen)

CAROGA — The Nick Stoner Municipal Golf Course got its first review by a registered golf course architect, who stated the course is “an architect’s dream, with good bones and lots of upside potential” according to the April 28 Golf Course Steering Committee meeting conducted via remote Zoom.

In the 6 p.m. meeting, Town Supervisor Scott Horton stated the Phinney Design Group Golf Course Architect Doug Smith and Joseph Dannible, a civil engineer from the Environmental Design Partnership, did an on-site look at the course which was reported to the Golf Course Committee at their meeting.

Besides Horton, attendees at the Zoom meeting included Gene Centi, chair of the Golf Course Steering Committee, Town Board member Rick Sturgess, grounds superintendent, Steve Stedman, clubhouse Manager Jerry Groom III, Steering Committee member Denny Fincke, along with a total of 27 interested parties in the Zoom meeting.

According to the minutes of the Zoom meeting:

“Denny shared that yesterday’s in-person meeting was an historic moment, as this golf course had never been reviewed by a registered golf course architect. Denny noted that the golf course architect, Stephen Kaye Golf, expressed that Nick Stoner Golf Course is an architect’s dream with good bones and a lot of upside potential. The combined meeting with PDG, Stephen Kaye and this committee resulted in some new and deeper consideration, from which these two firms will come up with new recommendations. In short, it was a great kick-off day. Denny shared that Stephen Kaye envisions the course as family friendly which this architect believes would attract greater numbers of golfers within a one-hour drive.

Further, retaining the Donald Ross look could make this a destination course for new golfers who love the historic look and feel. Kaye sees the positives to leaving the fairways as they are to preserve the course’s history and distinguish this course from modern courses.”

Other considerations discussed in the Zoom meeting included “the driving forces for construction of the clubhouse” (which burned in November). Currently a temporary shed houses the pro shop.

Other issues included ideas for using the Town Hall leach field, as it would be extremely expensive to construct a new wastewater treatment system.

The existing former clubhouse leach field cannot be used due to new standards.

Other driving design criteria are the need for a sizable potable water supply for the clubhouse, the need to keep the clubhouse near to the course, and the International Building Code required number of parking spaces.

A monument area for a club house was discussed, but since parking is a major issue, as well as “errant golf balls” the group tentatively agreed that parking adjacent to Town Hall is likely the best solution.

Centi stated there are currently 30 loaner golf carts at the course with replacement Yamaha carts scheduled for delivery the end of the month. Centi added that carts are difficult to acquire at present and installation of security cameras are also in the immediate plan.

Further steering committee meetings are planned for 6 p.m. just prior to each monthly town board meeting. For notification of the meetings, go to

By Patricia Older