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Golf course gets new owner

By Fritz Mayer
April 5, 2011

The former Port Jervis Golf Course comes with a bit of history. It sits on a spot that once housed Fort Van Auken, which, according to a plaque, was the site of an Indian attack that was successfully resisted in 1779.

The course itself was designed by Albert Warren "Tillie" Tillinghast, a noted architect, who created some of the most famous courses in the country, such as the Sleepy Hollow in Scarborough and Winged Foot in Mamaroneck. It opened as a private, members-only club in 1921.

Now, it’s taking a new turn. The course, located on Neversink Drive, is now open not only to members, but also to the general public. The board of the club decided to sell it in November 2010 because of declining membership. Andrew Koch and his wife, Elaine, purchased the club in January, remodeled it, and changed the name to Lynx by River Bend Golf Club.

Koch, a golf enthusiast, said this is his first try at operating a club, and he’s confident it will be successful because of the location. He said, “I think there’s a need in this area because there are no other golf courses around.” He said the closest one is in Wallkill, which is about 30 minutes away.

He added, “We already have more leagues than there are nights available for them to play, so we’re trying to figure out how to serve all of them.”

Not only that but with about 90 percent of the members of the previous club already signed up and a lot of interest from newcomers, the course is well on its way to success. Koch said, “There will be memberships available to people who are serious about golf and want more benefits, and as tee times are available it will be open to the public.”

Koch also owns the Bath & Kitchen Showroom in Hawley, PA. He said he will be splitting his time between the two ventures this summer, “I’ll be doing a double shift.”

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