Golf course debuts new first tee

Dave Mathieson
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AMHERST - Making a good first impression is always important and when Poly Cello stepped up to the first tee yesterday and smacked a ball straight down the fairway at the Amherst Golf Club, they made an impression that will last a lifetime.
Poly Cello CEO Stephen Emerson did the honours after cutting the ribbon to officially open the redesigned tee. It was all part of the adopt-a-hole program.
"When we were asked if we would join the adopt-a-hole program, we saw it as a great opportunity for us to improve what we already have here at the Amherst Golf Club," said Emmerson.
And improve it they did.
"Poly Cello has set the bar pretty high," said club pro Frank McShane. "They really went all out with the brickwork, the stairs and the great landscaping. It's a huge improvement."
Golfers entering the tee will walk on brickwork that flows into stairs leading up to a large tee box featuring shrubs surrounding the back of the box.
"The first hole is the signature hole," said Emmerson. "As far as the presentation of the first hole is concerned, you're not going to find anything like this (elsewhere) in this area."
Past president of the Amherst Golf Club, Dale Fawthrop, talked about the engineering and design of the tee and is thrilled with the results.
"We wanted the first tee to have a wow factor," said Fawthrop. "We want a golfer to look at the tee and say that they couldn't wait to hit the ball. We wanted a tee that got the adrenaline pumping and I think we have that now."
Emmerson said that many Poly Cello employees "play here or are members of the club."
But he wants everybody to enjoy the new set up.
"This course is a great place for children and families," said Emmerson. "They have about 100 kids participating in the junior golf program here, so that means 100 kids are getting out and getting some exercise instead of sitting in front of a computer.
"If the course is improved year after year, participation will increase. If you let the course deteriorate, then with all the competition out there, less people will come out to enjoy the course."
McShane said many holes are still available for adoption.
"The major ones we're looking at are No. 9 with a realignment of the tee, on No. 14 we want to do some bunkering and a dog-leg, on No. 2 we need a new green and No. 15 also needs some changes," said McShane.
Adopting a hole doesn't necessarily require spending a large sum of money.
"Adopting a hole can range in price from $3,000 to $30 or $40 thousand," said McShane.
For Poly Cello, adopting a hole is well worth the cost.
"It's for the people of Amherst and everybody else who enjoys the game of golf," said Emmerson. "And I hope they come out and enjoy it for a long time to come."

Organizations: Amherst Golf Club

Geographic location: AMHERST

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