Golf News

Hudson Valley public golf course getting renovation

Hudson Valley public golf course getting renovation

Luke Whalen still sometimes thinks of himself as “one of the kids” and can’t believe how quickly the time has flown. Granted, it hasn’t been that long since the 21-year-old was actually a child. But the Poughkeepsie native put himself at the head of the local golf grownups table last summer, winning the Dutchess County Amateur.

That victory, tournament chairman Mark Webber said, was “good for competition.”

“There’d been talk over the years that, ‘Only 3-5 guys every year have a real opportunity to win it,’” Webber said. “For Luke to emerge and play the way he did, coming from behind and beating some of the best players, it’s great, especially as a young guy.”

The competition is steeped in history that dates back almost 90 years, and it’s a delight that some of the familiar names involved are septuagenarians who’ve still got game and a passion for the event. But organizers understand that its growth and future will depend on an influx of youth.

So, it is encouraging to them that a college student is the defending champion, and that a few prominent high school stars will be competing.

The Dutchess Amateur Championship will tee off July 12, running three consecutive days at the newly renovated McCann Memorial Golf Course in Poughkeepsie.

Players will play on a McCann course that recently had an overhaul of its traps and drainage system on the front nine. With the installation of Capillary Concrete, a polymer-based concrete in the bunkers, moisture can more easily be regulated, and debris doesn’t rise to the surface, Webber explained.

“One of the issues golfers have had was the traps, that they didn’t drain well and had rocks in the sand, so it was a blemish we needed to fix,” McCann course superintendent Chris Kemble said of the project that began three years ago with the hiring of an architect. “We repositioned some of the traps that come into play and made them smaller for maintenance purposes.”

The renovation began in 2022 and the last seven holes of the front nine were completed earlier this month. The expectation is that, with the more consistent sand, the golfers will have more traditional bunker shots. The work this spring was done relatively quickly, Webber said, and the finished product is “impeccable.” A similar project is planned for the back nine.

The course was built in 1972 with William Mitchell the chief architect, but was redesigned in 2001 by Stephen Kay. Locals can play the course for just…


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