Press-Republican

May 19, 2013

Year-round golf in Brushton

New indoor golf center at Highland Greens Golf Course is one of many improvements at the facility

DAN HEATH
Press-Republican

BRUSHTON — Even in the bitterest of winters, golf can be played year round at one local golf club.

Highland Greens Golf Course Superintendent and Golf Professional Harold Webb said the club’s indoor golf facility proved popular in its first season.

“It opened last fall for the first time,” he said. “Once we got through the holidays it was good.”

Barn-like appearance

The indoor golf center is situated in a 6,000-square-foot facility. The barn-shaped building features natural wood siding and the exterior was designed to look like a barn.

It is open from November through March, then closed once the regular golf course is open. 

Inside, there there are four high-definition golf simulators, where golfers hit the ball into a screen and a computer analyzes information and displays the flight of the ball. The device even provides a reverse view as the ball nears the end of its flight.

There are more than 20 courses available, including Bethpage Black, Doral, Bay Hill, Pinehurst and Kiawah Island.

“We now have St. Andrews,” Webb said.

The indoor mats feature a tee as well as short artificial turf to simulate a fairway and taller turf to simulate rough.

Each simulator can accommodate four golfers at a time. Webb said they had some leagues and some tournaments during the first season.

Golfers can select the length of the automatic “gimmee” feature, choosing a distance of 6, 9 or 12 feet. Webb said the simulators can’t read anything under six feet.

The simulators also allow for practice, club testing, 14-point swing analysis and closest-to-the-pin contests, with holes from 100 yards to 214 yards.

He demonstrated that feature with the 7th hole at Pebble Beach, with ocean waves breaking on shore next to the green. The simulated crowd cheered as the majority of his shots landed on the green.

Webb said the cheers get even louder if the ball lands within 10 feet of the cup.

“We’ve had a few hole-in-ones,” Webb said.

Interior nicely decorated

The interior features wood paneling and tile floors. There is a small snack bar and a fireplace lounge with large flat-screen television.

The 6,260-yard course plays to a par of 72.

The property was formerly a potato farm. The owner originally built three holes and a driving range.

It became a nine-hole course in 1995. 

Webb said a second nine, which is now the front nine, was built in 2004 and opened in 2005. They also built four new greens for the original nine.

There is no longer a driving range, but there is one a short distance to the east on Route 11B. Webb said that is where he gives lessons. 

They removed a number of trees when they built a new tee for the 17th hole. That opened up scenic panoramic views of the St. Lawrence River Valley.

Visitors can see the New York Power Authority complex in the distance, Webb said, as well as fireworks from various locations on both sides of the river around the 4th of July.

The clubhouse and restaurant was renovated and expanded four years ago. It also features wood paneling with flat-screen televisions in several locations. The clubhouse deck was rebuilt two years ago.

There is a full-service pro shop, and offices are in a house in the front of the parking lot. During the peak season, Highland Greens has about 20 employees.

Webb said he’s in his fourth year at Highland Greens. He is originally from nearby Winthrop in St. Lawrence County.

Hosts leagues, benefits

Highland Greens has about 300 members, and also get a lot of daily fee play. Highland Greens hosts seven leagues and numerous benefit tournaments.

One upcoming event is the Salute Military Golf Association Wounded Warriors tournament scheduled for June 15. He said SMGA NY Regional Director Frank Dorchak asked him to host the region’s first such event in 2010.

The event raised more than $6,000 for the organization, which helps introduce golf to those injured in service to their country.

The course is also the home course for the Brushton-Moira Central School Golf Team. Webb said one member of the team, Devan Delisle, was last year’s Section X champion.

Greens fees for 2013 are $39 for 18 holes with a cart. Special rates are available at different times.

Highland Greens is located at 1055 Route 11B. For more information, call 529-0563 or visit www.highlandgreensgolf.com.

Email Dan Heath:dheath@pressrepublican.com