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Hales Mills Greets Area Golfers with Challenges

By PAUL ANTONELLI

For the Express

JOHNSTOWN — As Chris Mathewson heads into his second season as head golf professional at Hales Mills Country Club, he has a say in almost everything and anything that involves the golf course: From running tournaments, to repairing clubs, to making sure his pro shop is fully stocked.

But one area where Mathewson has no control is, of course, the weather.

Rainy and cool weather has dampened the spirits of area golfers this spring as they attempt to shake off the winter cobwebs with hopes of attacking the links. Hales Mills opened for business on April 8.

“The weather hasn’t been cooperating,” Mathewson said. “As soon as the weather gets nice, we get hammered with bad weather again.”

Hales Mills, under the ownership of Roy Dykeman, enters its seventh year of operation and the decision to install new drainage on the course a few years back is paying big dividends on the par-72, 6,418-yard layout.

“We put a lot of new drainage in and plan to add some more,” Dykeman said. “When we purchased this eight years ago, it was in rough shape. Golfers want good conditions.”

Dykeman is proud of the maturation of his golf course, especially the greens.

“I believe our greens are one of the best in the area,” said Dykeman who credited course superintendent Carl Albanese with keeping the greens in tip-top shape. “I rank them right up there with Saratoga National. They roll true and are smooth.”

Mathewson said approach shots to the greens are key to scoring low on a layout that feature four sets of tee boxes on each hole.

“If you get on the wrong side of the green, it can be a challenge,” Mathewson said.

Mathewson has been involved in the game of golf ever since he was a child. Growing up across the street from the Amsterdam Municipal Golf Course, Mathewson starred for the Amsterdam High School golf team before playing college golf at both Wagner College and the College of Saint Rose. He went on to learn the business side of the sport — earning a degree in Golf Complex Operations and Management from the now-defunct Golf Academy of America in Myrtle Beach, S.C. Before taking the job at Hales Mills, Mathewson was the assistant professional for four years under Joe Merendo at the Amsterdam Municipal Golf Course.

He is currently an Apprentice of the PGA of America in which he is working on becoming a Class A Professional.

“I’m really happy with what we’re doing here,” Mathewson said. “We’re always looking to improve. We added a bunker on the eighth hole and renovated the area around that green. We also got rid of some trees on that hole and added a new bed of flowers. It’s looking great.”

Dykeman said owning a golf course is a challenging business, but like the weather, some things he just can’t control.

Mathewson also plans to hold clinics this summer with hopes of bringing in youngsters and women.

“We’re trying to get young people and women more involved,” Mathewson said. “The clinics will be geared toward them.”

The other facets of the Hales Mills business continue to go strong. The venue recently served over 500 dinners on Easter Sunday and Mother’s Day is close to selling out. The restaurant is open every day during golf season and four days a week during the winter months.

Hales Mills will be offering a Tuesday special comprised of 18 holes of golf, cart and burger for $28. The course also offers a $25 twilight special featuring 18 holes with a cart every day after 4 p.m.

“We’re ready to go,” Mathewson said. “Now, we just need some good weather.”

Profiles 2017

Hales Mills Country Club, a premier 18-hole golf course in Johnstown, just completed numerous improvements to
the course including the addition of a practice bunker, new tees on holes #3 and #10 and new drainage on hole #12.

In addition, last year Hales Mills added a set of orange tees on each hole to provide a shorter version of the course. According to Roy Dykeman, General Manager at Hales Mills Country Club, “Now you don’t have to hit the ball long to enjoy our great conditions.”

If you’re looking to put some variety into your game this year, Hales Mills offers a great reciprocal program
that allows members to play two times per month at any of their participating courses for only $20, cart included.
Participating courses include: Canajoharie Country Club, Mohawk Valley Country Club, Cobleskill Country Club, Brookhaven Country Club, Shamrock Golf & Country Club, Fox Run and Pioneer Hills Golf Club. Calling ahead to check availability is recommended.

Shawn Bond returns this year to the Hales Mills team as a golf pro. Bond offers clinics and individual lessons.
For the latest information and schedule of clinics, visit the website at: www.halesmillscountryclub.com.
Or check out Hales Mills on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/HalesMills.

Outing packages are a great value for group event planners. The Clubhouse can comfortably accommodate
200+ people with banquet menus available to suit all your dining needs.

Hales Mills also has a great Pro Shop on the premises with all the brands you are looking for including Titleist,
Callaway, Taylor Made, Under Armour, and Foot Joy.

When you visit Hales Mills, golf is not the only attraction. Chef Brad Saunders, formerly the co-owner of the
Rail Yard Restaurant, is a culinary master when it comes to artistically prepared dishes. Saunders completely
transformed the menu to serve only the freshest of ingredients.

There is nothing frozen or prepackaged in his kitchen… everything is handmade. Saunders also believes in local sourcing for his menu items. Some of his signature recipes from the Rail Yard are now on the menu at Hales Mills. His creamy seafood bisque, chocked full of scallops, crab, lobster and clams has been extremely popular.

“I would stack the food in our restaurant  up against any restaurant in the area. We range from burgers and wings to fresh tuna, steak, etc.,” remarked Dykeman. The Clubhouse also offers many weekly specials including the popular Prime Rib Fridays.

The grounds of Hales Mills are exceptionally manicured with beautiful year-round views of the surrounding hills, making it an ideal venue for weddings and receptions.

The restaurant, under Chef Saunders’ leadership, also offers off-premise catering for events ranging from 25 or more guests.

For more information about scheduling your special event call (518)736-4622. Or, visit them online at www.halesmillscountryclub.com or their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/HalesMills. Hales Mills Country
Club is located at 146 Steele Rd, Johnstown, NY.

“I would stack the food in our restaurant up against any restaurant inthe area.” — Roy Dykeman, General Manager

Fulton County Express

Hales Mills Country Club, a premier 18-hole golf course in Johnstown, just completed numerous improvements to the course including a complete remap of the 7th Hole — including three new bunkers, some drainage and some resodding — and a brand new tee box on the 18th Hole, which will be playable as soon as they open this spring. The greens are fast and in really good shape. According to Roy Dykeman, General Manager at Hales Mills Country Club, “We’re going to make changes to the practice facility and more general improvements, making it better than it already was.”

If you’re looking to put some variety into your game this year, Hales Mills offers a great reciprocal program that allows members to play two times per month at any of their participating courses for only $20, cart included. Participating courses include: Canajoharie Country Club, Mohawk Valley Country Club, Cobleskill Country Club, Brookhaven Country Club, Shamrock Golf & Country Club, Fox Run and Pioneer Hills Golf Club. Calling ahead to check availability is recommended.

Shawn Bond has recently joined the Hales Mills team as a golf pro. Bond has previously worked at Northway 8 in Clifton Park for 12 years and served as a former head pro at Pine Brook Golf Course in Gloversville. Bond offers clinics and individual lessons. For the latest information and schedule of clinics, visit the website at: www.halesmillscountryclub.com. Or check out Hales Mills on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/HalesMills.

Outing packages are a great value for group event planners. Weekday outings are $35 per person and weekend events are $40 per person. Greens fee and cart fee is included along with a $5 per person merchandise card for the Pro Shop and a $5 per person Restaurant credit. The Clubhouse can comfortably accommodate 200+ people with banquet menus available to suit all your dining needs.

Hales Mills also has a great Pro Shop on the premises with all the brands you are looking for including Titleist, Callaway, Taylor Made, Nike, Under Armour, Adidas and Foot Joy.

When you visit Hales Mills, golf is not the only attraction. Chef Brad Saunders, formerly the co-owner of the Rail Yard Restaurant, is a culinary master when it comes to artistically prepared dishes. Saunders completely transformed the menu to serve only the freshest of ingredients. There is nothing frozen or prepackaged in his kitchen … everything is handmade. Saunders also believes in local sourcing for his menu items. Some of his signature recipes from the Rail Yard are now on the menu at Hales Mills. His creamy seafood bisque, chocked full of scallops, crab, lobster and clams has been extremely popular. “I would stack the food in our restaurant up against any restaurant in the area. We range from burgers and wings to fresh tuna, steak, etc.,” remarked Dykeman. The Clubhouse also offers many weekly specials including the popular Prime Rib Fridays.

The grounds of Hales Mills are exceptionally manicured with beautiful year-round views of the surrounding hills, making it an ideal venue for weddings and receptions. The restaurant, under Chef Saunders’ leadership, also offers off-premise catering for events ranging from 25 or more guests.

For more information about scheduling your special event call (518)736-4622. Or, visit them online at www.halesmillscountryclub.com or their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/HalesMills. Hales Mills Country Club is located at 146 Steele Rd, Johnstown, NY.

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