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Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Sports > Sports Columns >> Golfing Highlights

Bowers Jr. is new superintendent at Oneonta Country Club

Sep 13, 2019

By Ed Townsend - columnist

By: S. Townsend | Democrat
Taking part in a photo op at the Oneonta Country Club were from the left Club PGA Professional Matthew Schulte, golfer Rodney "Taylor" Jester from Liberty, Oneonta Country Club Golf Course Superintendent Jim Bowers Jr. from Roscoe, Sullivan County Democrat golf columnist Ed Townsend from Livingston Manor, golfer Dean Winters from Liberty and golfer Ed Guthrie from Narrowsburg.
Thirty-nine year-old James Bowers Jr. of Roscoe is the new golf course superintendent at the Oneonta Country Club, the area's premier golf course in nearby Oneonta NY.
Named to that position this year Bowers has previously worked as the general manager, golf course superintendent and assistant greens superintendent at the Tennanah Lake Golf & Tennis Club, formerly was golf course superintendent at Kutsher's Golf Club, has worked as Irrigation tech and foreman at the Villa Roma Resort Golf Club and as the golf course superintendent at The Traditions at The Glenn in Johnson City.
Being born into a golfing family James has been around the game of golf for many years, introduced to the game at an early age by his father well known Roscoe golfer Jim Bowers Sr.
A graduate of Roscoe Central High School in 1999, James has received golf course maintenance (greens superintendent) training from SUNY Cobleskill College and received his Turf and Grass Management Certificate including his NYSDEC 3A pesticide license from Cornell University.
He also completed studies from Penn State through Internet studies to become a member of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America.

Bowers was individual champion of the former Western Sullivan League in 1996 and 1998 and was Most Valuable Player (MVP) in 1999.
James father, Jim Bowers Sr. coached the Roscoe Central golf teams for a number of years and was instrumental in getting a girls varsity golf team started. His mom, Cheryl Bowers, also has served as the golf coach at Roscoe Central.
Jim Bowers Sr. is presently working in the greenskeeping department at the Oneonta Country Club this summer.

Ed's Outlook
In meeting James Bowers Jr. at the area's premier golf course, the Oneonta Country Club, I immediately knew that this 18-hole championship golf course would provide my foursome with an exciting round of golf.
The course was masterfully designed by William Edward Harries, a prolific landscape architect whose unique vision influenced many of the public works in New York, Canada and England. As a golfer, he helped to shape the sport in western NY and it is said if you've played much golf in western NY, chances are you've played on a course crafted by Mr. Harries.
Originally the first nine holes of the course was laid out by Orlo Epps, himself a noted architect. The original 9 hole course was expanded to 18 in late 1928 and opened in June of 1929.
The Oneonta Country Club Golf Course you see today has a distinguished lineage, graceful lines and challenging greens that provide a rewarding experience.
The open fairways and meticulously groomed greens grace this mature course.The fast greens take a little while to get use to. Two of the real interesting holes were No. 10 which is a 130-yard par 3 and your tee takes your shot sharply downhill to the green. The signature hole is No. 17 and is a 586-yard par 5 and the fairway runs in a horseshoe shaped design with water hazard to the right.
I became somewhat cautious when I noticed this gopher following us from hole to hole but were assured by Golf Course Superintendent Jim Bowers Jr. that he was not related to Gemmy, the Caddyshack movie dancing gopher that blew up the golf course.
This course from the blue tees runs a total of 6,374 yards and is definitely a well maintained facility.
Stop by and meet Class A PGA Head Golf Professional Matthew Schulte, and no he is not related to Roscoe's Ron Schulte.
Schulte announced to us the club's fall 18 holes with cart special which is $35 anytime Mon-Fri and after 11 a.m. weekends and $29 twilight after 3 pm on non-league nights.
The Club is located at 9 Country Club Road, Oneonta and tee times can be made at 607-432-8950.
Our foursome made up of Sullivan County golfers Ed Guthrie from Narrowsburg, Dean Winters from Liberty, Rodney “Taylor” Jester from Liberty and myself truly enjoyed the wide-open fairways, challenging greens and attractive layout of the Oneonta Country Club.

It's Wrapup Time
For Golfing Highlights
With most of the Sullivan County golf league season over we will transition from the sport of golf to the sport of bowling for next week's column. Golfing Highlights will resume next May. Congratulations to all 2019 golf league champions and our sincere thanks to Bob Menges and Geoff Walsh for the golf and putting tips.
Also remember that there is plenty of time this fall to enjoy the game and many golf courses are offering special fall rates.

Golfing Tip
By Robert Menges
To start your downswing you want to feel as though your hands stay at the top of the back swing and your front leg starts the downswing. Of course this won't happen but that's the feeling you should have.
You should also experiment with different parts of your front leg to start your downswing. I recommend using either your front knee or your front hip.So simply swing back as normal and then feel as though your hands do nothing because it should be your front knee or hip that pulls your downswing into action.
A good drill to get this feeling is to swing back as normal but pull your front foot in so it touches your back foot at the top of the back swing. And then to start your downswing simply move your front foot into its normal position and swing through.
This will help to teach you the correct chain of events for the downswing.
Robert Menges is the head golf professional at the Swan Lake Golf & Country Club, Mt. Hope Road, Swan Lake. He is available for private lessons and if you have a question or subject you would like covered, he can be reached by phone at 292-0323 or via email at

Putting Tip
By Geoff Walsh
To become a great putter, and any golfer can be that, practice with purpose, develop a routine, and trust your technique.
Practice putts from 4 feet, on as level a spot on a green as possible. Strive to be automatic from four feet and in. Develop a routine that is repeated for all putts...determine the line...feel the distance...set up...stroke with confidence.
The most important factor when putting is to strike the ball with the "sweet spot" on the putterface. Our brains are hardwired for distance control based on a solid strike. Experiment with hand position, shaft length, and grip size to find and develop a consistent hit on the “sweet spot.”
Geoff Walsh is a Class A PGA Professional at Tarry Brae Golf Course located at 387 Pleasant Valley Road, South Fallsburg and is available for private lessons and if you have a question or a subject you would like covered he can be reached by telephone at 845-434-2620.

Golf Calendar
Sept. 13 - Sullivan Sector Golf Outing, Lochmor Golf Course 9:30 shotgun, Call 845-434-1257
Sept. 14 - A.O.H, Swan Lake Golf & Country Club 11:00 start, Contact J.P. Graham 807-7980
Sept. 23 - Sam & Clam, Swan Lake Golf & Country Club 11:00 start, Contact Bob Menges 866-5567

Ed Townsend is a Public Relations Consultant to the sport of golf and brings over 60 years of sports journalism experience in writing and compiling the information for this column. If you have league or tournament information or you shoot a hole-in-one, let Ed know at 845-439-8177, email at or fax at 845-205-4474. View this column and Ed's photos at We are also on Facebook and Twitter.

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