The land on which the Orchard Creek Golf Club is located is rich in history. The original deed for the course, which sits at the base of the Helderbergs, is dated February 2, 1792; for the lease of the farm to William Ward from Stephen Van Rensselaer.
Since the late 18th century, the course has been leased and sold a number of times.
The first orchard was planted by Dr. Daniel Cook, an Albany physician in the early 1900’s who was interested in Pomology (science of apple production). His son, Daniel Jr., along with a resident manager continued to run the farm as a business from his Albany home until his death in 1952.
Shortly after Mr. Cook’s death, his wife sold the farm to Robert and Elsie May for the purpose of building a housing development on the farm. When this idea fell through in 1956, the original Cook farm of over 250 acres was sold to William C. Paladino, President of Altamont Farms, Inc., Highland, NY, a subsidiary of Hudson Valley Apple Products, Inc., one of the largest growers and packers of apples in the Northeast.
In 1967, Mr. Paladino sold the farm to Joseph and Ellen Abbruzzese. The Abbruzzese family became the first owners to live and work on the farm. In 1969, they built the first Farm Market on the property.
Over the years, the Abbruzzese family added a cold storage, packing house (1971) and additional controlled atmosphere storage. (As seen along the 18th fairway).
In 1978, they purchased the adjacent farm of John Armstrong, which allowed the addition of apples, pears, strawberries, grapes and vegetables to be produced. (Part of the Armstrong farm is located on the 3rd and 4th Fairways).
In 1981, the family built the current farm market, which is now home to their Cider Mill, Bakery, Farm Store, Gift Shop and Greenhouses.
In 1986, Joe and Ellen turned over the day to day operations of the farm to their sons Joe, John, Dan and Jim. This is when Altamont Orchards, Inc., was formed as family held operating corporation.
In 1993, the adjacent farm of Anna Anthony was purchased by the family to further diversify their crop mix and for additional parking for the Farm Market. This purchase has now lead to the development of the Orchard Creek Golf Club.
In 1997, Paul Cowley designed the layout for the course, furthermore, all local and state permits were acquired to begin development of the golf course. In the spring of 1998, our first superintendent Peter Cure and the Robinson Brothers were hired to shape the course into its present layout. The Robinson Brothers have worked for some of the finest golf course designers in the country. The list of names include Davis Love III, Arnold Palmer and Greg Norman.
On July 13, 1999 Orchard Creek Golf Club opened to the public.
The cider house opened for business in the spring of 2000 and is owned and operated by the Abbruzzese family. The family soon expanded the food and beverage operation in 2008 with the construction of the helderview pavilion capable of seating more than 300 people. With kitchen and bathroom facilities incorporated in the construction, the pavilion host many golf outings, weddings and corporate events throughout the season. The word quickly spread about the fine fare and beautiful vistas at Orchard Creek.
In 2002 and 2003, Orchard Creek hosted the Futures Tournament, some of the best new talent in women’s golf played during the month of July.
Orchard Creek awards:
“2001 Best New Bargin in the Country” Golf Digest Magazine
2004 One of the top 15 Public Golf Facilities in New York State 4 1/2 stars by Golf Digest Magazine.
2008 New York State Golf Course of the Year by The National Golf Course Owners Association.
2011 Most Scenic Golf Course by the Times Union Golf Guide Survey.
We wish to thank all the people involved in making Orchard Creek the finest public golf course in the Capital Region. Our pledge is to give our customers outstanding value and service, and to make your golfing experience truly memorable.