IS ‘COMING HOME AGAIN’
By Bob Weiner
SCHENECTADY – Jack Madej’s career in the golf industry is coming full circle. He’s finally coming home to Stadium Golf Club.
Born and raised in Scotia, Madej washed dishes and served as a cook at the former minor league baseball stadium when he was only 15-years old. He turned pro at age 19 and finished a 10-year stint at the facility owned by the Hennel family before taking a position as an assistant golf professional at Mohawk Golf Club under head pro Rick Wolcott.
Madej later worked as Glens Falls Country Club head pro Tom Haggerty’s assistant pro for 15 years. Announced earlier this month, Madej returns to Stadium GC as its new head pro.
“I learned a lot from the Hennel family when I first worked there,” Madej said. “They taught me how to treat people. Stadium has always been a great facility, and I don’t plan on making any drastic changes. It feels great to finally be coming home again.”
Madej replaces John Souza, who left at the start of this past season to join Ballston Spa CC as the Director of Instruction. Click here for more.
MENTORS SHAPE HIM AS PEOPLE-PERSON
Madej picked up the game from his father, Jack, when he was only two-years old by tagging along and watching his dad play. Later, he learned the basics from the late longtime Schenectady Municipal Golf Course head pro Bob Haggerty Jr. Madej eventually became good enough to earn a spot on the Scotia-Glenville varsity golf team.
“I picked up a lot of information about the game from Rick Wolcott at Mohawk, and I really learned all the ins-and-outs of the job from Tom Haggerty at Glens Falls CC,” Madej said. “Tom and the Glens Falls CC family were a huge and wonderful influence on my career.”
Madej considers himself a people-person first and foremost. He plans on splitting his time between giving lessons, coordinating tournaments and running the pro shop: “I’m starting to build up the pro shop right now. What I want to do is revitalize everything I can. The place is always in fantastic condition. I’ve always been confident in my playing ability and my ability to teach. I can’t wait to get started.”
Madej has a large family, including four siblings. Most live in the greater Schenectady area.
“This is 100-percent my dream job,” he said. “My hope is that I can serve all of Stadium’s members and patrons for years to come.”
HISTORY OF STADIUM
Stadium was the former home of the Eastern League’s Schenectady Blue Jays. When the Blue Jays folded in 1957, owner Pete McNearney built and ran a 9-hole golf course until 1965, when the Hennel family purchased the facility and ran both the 9-hole course and a pitch & putt course until the 1970s. The Hennels closed the pitch & putt, converted it into a driving range and then began plans to add 9 more holes. An 18-hole course opened in 1987, with only 2 of the original 9 holes remaining.
Course improvements over the years included a 7,200 square foot warehouse for the automated club car golf cars, an irrigation system in 1995, a new maintenance building in 1999 and a new banquet facility and clubhouse in 2004.
Stadium Golf Club has one of the longest playability factors in the Capital Area because of its sand base and quick drainage.