Golf carts will compete with construction vehicles on Audubon course this season
It's close to golf season — or more accurately, golf construction season — in Amherst.
As with much of Amherst, the Audubon Golf Course has drainage problems that will cost to finally solve, as the town last year decided to do. This year, brand new golf carts and probably aging yellow construction equipment will likely compete on some holes to solve the drainage issues.
The town is borrowing $500,000 for this year's work and Supervisor Brian Kulpa said there will probably be a loan around the same amount next year, plus a few million more in later years.
However, Kulpa said there will be more change visible besides the drainage.
"Tee markers and the benches and the garbage cans, everything that's been worn down and broken and fallen apart over the past five years, we're intent on getting that stuff up to speed," he said. "So you will see brand new carts. You'll see the driving range opening shortly here and hopefully we'll get a dry course and be able to play on it soon enough."
Kulpa said there was an uptick in business last year after a drop in that summer lockdown of 2020. He said the town also learned having a private operator like Indigo makes a difference, because of its experience running golf courses.
"Unfortunately, in Western New York, the construction season and golf season run hand-in-hand. But I think you will see we'll let it dry out, get it playable, then you'll see some work start to happen here and there," he said. "But, look, Indigo is a wonderful partner and they've got a plan in place to get some of the stuff done. So we'll be moving forward with full confidence."
The eventual goal is a strong 18-hole course flanked by the eventual Amherst Central Park at Westwood.