Battenkill Country Club Awarded "First Links" Grant

Battenkill Country Club in Greenwich, N.Y., has been awarded a grant from First Links, a program offered by the American Society of Golf Course Architects (ASGCA) and PGA of America. First Links encourages course owners to contact a golf architect for a conceptual evaluation of their property to ensure a thorough investigation of all design options and provide an experienced eye on how to enhance play and grow the game.

Battenkill's board of directors invited Lester George, based in Richmond, Va., to the course to assess what alterations could be made to improve the learning process for beginning golfers and experienced players. George was selected due to his extensive background in designing practice facilities as well as his work with First Tee.

Lester sought ways to offer more strategy and challenge to local players, while increasing the impact of Battenkill's learning programs. Hoping to improve and add to the learning facility, George evaluated options to incorporate a full-swing practice area, short course, a short-game practice area and assess the addition of forward tees for younger players.

"It means a lot for our club to be chosen as one of the facilities to be awarded the First Links grant," said Bill Wigand, the golf pro at Battenkill Country Club. "We have enjoyed working with Lester George and exploring the changes we could make to our course.

"We also would like to thank the ASGCA and the PGA for their efforts to help all of these facilities. It is really important to get people started in the game of golf, and even more important to retain them. Through everyone's efforts we hope to achieve this goal."

Battenkill Country Club is a nine-hole semiprivate facility and opened in 1925 as a factory club. The par-35 course is 2,950 yards.