Driving range keeps on truckin’
MILLERTON — The Millerton Driving Range on Route 44 was set to close before James Hosier decided to rescue it and take responsibility for its upkeep.Hosier began renting the property and business on July 1 from the owner, Robert B. Trotta, who found it difficult to maintain the property since moving to Florida.Trotta had planned on closing the driving range and letting the grass grow wild before he entered talks with Hosier.“We’re going to see if we can save the place. We don’t want the grass growing up,” said Hosier, whose wife owns and operates the Talk of the Towne deli that recently relocated to the Lotus Plaza where the driving range is located.Hosier believes that letting the property go to seed could negatively impact the town, particularly the businesses in the eastern part of town, along the Boulevard District. He also said that the property’s inherent beauty was another reason why it should be maintained.Since Silo Ridge Golf Course closed down in Amenia, the Millerton Driving Range is one of the last places to practice golf in the area, said Hosier, who mentioned that the driving range serves the patrons of the Undermountain Golf Course and the Copake Country Club Golf Course.“We’re just trying to keep it going,” he said. “It’s the place people come to straighten out their swing. Where else are you going to go to drive a ball?”Hosier said that the first thing he did when he took over the business was to fix the token machine, whose reputation for eating money deterred golfers from visiting the driving range.Hosier said that if he enters a contract with Trotta regarding the business and the property, he plans on beginning renovating and expanding the business.For now, the driving range will remain open from roughly sunup to sundown seven days per week. Golfers can purchase a bucket of 40 balls for $5.