Sullivan County Democrat
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If You Rebuild It . . .

Democrat Photo by Frank Rizzo

JOSH MURPHY, THE clubhouse manager at Swan Lake, looks over the golf course.

. . . Will They Come?

By Frank Rizzo
SWAN LAKE — July 13, 2001 – Josh Murphy, clubhouse manager for the summer at the Swan Lake Golf Course, was puzzled.
“We read about how courses down in [the New York City area] are backed up,” he said. “We have such beautiful courses up here, and people aren’t taking advantage of them.”
Murphy is a 1996 graduate of Delaware Valley CS who first worked at Swan Lake one summer 10 years ago.
Last year he resumed his friendship with Todd Gallo, son of golf course (and Stevensville Hotel) owner Dr. Vincent Gallo. The pair had first met during Murphy’s first stint at the resort.
One thing led to another and Murphy — starting his last year this fall at SUNY Oneonta — became a bartender at the Stevensville’s Bobar and the clubhouse manager.
Murphy went from the general state of the golf courses in Sullivan County to the advantages of his own.
“I don’t think people are aware of what kind of course we have around here,” he said. “We have deals every day. For example, on Monday, you pay your age or $30 — whatever is cheaper. That’s cart, greens, and lunch. You’re not gonna find a better deal. You can’t beat that.”
Todd Gallo agreed with his friend.
“It’s a great course,” he said of Swan Lake, in his family’s possession for over a decade. “For people not to use it or play it is a shame.”
Gallo said plans are underway to reconstruct all the sandtraps and repave the cart paths.
“Right now we’re taking bids on the cart paths, and hope to get them done within the year,” Gallo said.
The course also hopes to sponsor a county-wide tournament.
Gallo noted the greens on his course, “which have always been our pride and joy. Those are our favorites and we want to protect them.”
Golf course superintendent Dave Irwin of Livingston Manor claimed that “the course is in better shape than it’s ever been. The roughs and fairways are real good.”
Gallo wants to spread the word about the course because it’s feeling the pinch. For whatever reason, golf courses in the county are in general not doing as well as they can be, a number of observers have pointed out.
“The past few years we’ve seen a big dip in rounds,” Gallo said. “It’s the slowest its been in 12 years. We think we can compete with any other course in the county — barring the Monster and Grossinger’s, which are gems.”
Here’s a list of daily specials:
Monday – Play your age or $30, whichever is less.
Tuesday – Seniors Day. Seniors play for $30.
Wednesday – Ladies Day. Women play for $30.
Thursday/Friday – Sullivan and Orange County Days. Residents from the two counties play for $30.
Weekends and Holidays – Four people play, only three pay.
All specials include cart, greens and a lunch at the turn.
The phone number is 292-0748.

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