The course and club at Stonegate in West Winfield spent three years in unuse, disrepair, and unkemptness.
Then this past spring it was purchased by the Rittenburg family and put into a rehab program that day-by-day is turning Stonegate into the next best golf course in Central New York.
The only thing about it is time is running out to play the course while it's still partially unplayable. Start learning the course now because it's not going to get any easier once the overgrowth is mowed, the greens grow in, the irrigation system is replaced, the fairways are evened, and the topsoil stabilized.
Nathan Rittenburg purchased the Stonegate Golf Club with the intention of having it be a fundraising system for the Anavah Bible Day Camp Rittenburg and his wife Rebekah manage.
Camp Anavah is a faith-based day camp providing a safe and friendly environment for kids to have fun, be social, exercise, and learn about God. Rittenburg purchased the Summer Camp property down the road from the club to use as a summer retreat for Anavah campers.
Stonegate is south of the Village of West Winfield and just east of Leonardsville off Route 19.
"I really wanted to do something for the camp and the Cabin property down the road was perfect it," Rittenburg said. "I'm a huge golf fan. I love to golf when I can, and I saw this as an opportunity to lump the mortgages together and have a new way to fundraise for Camp Anavah."
The Rittenburgs, parents of three children, moved to the area eight years ago and also started the camp in 2013.
Rittenburg credited several people with working together to improve the Camp. Rebekah Rittenburg, Terry and Christina Havens, and his father Gary all have put in their work with the camp and encouraging him with the golf course.
The development of the course has been astounding. Playing it now you'll notice areas for improvement, however the course is filling in thanks to the work of the Course Superintendents Russell and Ricky.
If you were going to rehabilitate a golf course, get two guys from Alabama who know a thing or two about landscaping and golf course design. If you notice something wrong in a spot today, it might be fixed in three days, and it will be fixed within the week if you can notice it.
"Ricky and Russell are doing an unbelievable job," Rittenburg said. “We're really excited about the progress the...