Q. Describe your business and when did you start?.
A. French’s Hollow Fairways is a 9-hole, par 36, family owned and operated golf course that opened in 1971.
Q. Where are you located?
A. Our address is 4681 Hurst Rd., Guilderland Center, NY. We are a half mile past the entrance to Keenholts Park and the Guilderland Transfer Station just off Route 146.
Q. What is your phone number and website?
A. 861-8837 – www.frenchshollowgolf.com
Q. How and why did you get into business?
A. My father, Dr. Z John Betlejeski, wanted to keep the natural setting and open space of the family dairy farm in tact, while changing to a more viable business enterprise. A golf course was the “Natural” solution.
Q. When did you start at the course?
A. I helped my Dad as far back as I can remember. As a prerequisite to getting my learners permit I had to learn how to drive a tractor. I started cutting fairways with a 7 gang mower when I was 16. My sister Mary started at a young age as well. Her first job was whipping the greens. We have run the course together for the last 20 years.
Q. Do you have many regular customers?
A. Most of our business is from repeat customers including several weekly leagues. We have one league that has been with us since we first opened; 45 years ago. We have openings in existing leagues and tee times available for new leagues – my General Manager; Tom is very accomodating.
Q. Are you known for anything special?
A. We believe we are in the entertainment business competing for our customer’s time and hard earned dollars. We do our best to provide a friendly, laid back atmosphere so golfers of any skill level can have fun and an enjoyable experience. We promote our course as the best golf value in the Capital Region with very reasonable rates. We are also one of the few or only women-owned courses in the area. While we offer golf carts, our course is very walkable.
Q. What other amenities or services do you offer?
A. We keep it simple; no swimming pool or tennis courts; just golf, carts, snack shop and golf supplies.
Q. What do you love about your business?
A. Preserving the natural setting and open space. The trees and wildlife on the course are awesome.
Q. What is your biggest challenge?
A. The declining number of golfers and the time commitment it takes to play; especially 18 holes.
Q. How have you responded to that challenge?
A. By providing a good product at a fair price. You can play our 9 hole course in less than 2.5 hours for $14 (weekdays and weekends after 1:00 pm). That’s less than $6 per hour.
Q. Do you offer any specials?
A. Absolutely! Our Free Rewards Club lets you play for free on your birthday, a special member discounted rate for the entire 2016 golf season and the chance to earn a free round of golf after 7 paid rounds. You can enroll on our website: www.frenchshollowgolf.com Also, every Tuesday is Ladies Day – $12 for 9 holes.
Started Our Towne Marketing in 2005. In addition to publishing Our Towne Guilderland each month we also provide print and web design services. Serves as a Board Member with the Guilderland Chamber of Commerce and a Member of the Ethics Board for the Town of Guilderland.
Lives in Guilderland with wife Kristen, son Ryan and daughter Kyra.