For more than 40 years, golfers of all stripes have swung golf balls through the arboreal alleyways of Fort Erie Golf Club’s 18-hole par 57 course. Stately oak and willow trees frame the emerald fairways and provide shade over interspersed ponds and shallow bunkers placed greenside on multiple holes. The front nine finishes on a peanut-shaped green characterized by dramatic breaks, a treacherous sand trap, and a flagstick with dreams of becoming an Olympic javelin. The driving range and putting green invite swingers to hone their form, and the clubhouse’s patio invites guests to relax with a beverage from Parskey’s Pub as they count the dimples in each of their golf balls and discard any with frown lines.
Originally sculpted into the rolling terrain of western New York in 1920, South Shore’s 18-hole course invites golfers of all stripes to conquer its pristine fairways. The grassy monolith stretches across 150 acres of scenic, parkland terrain, where players must shape their shots around babbling creeks, mature trees, and lakes where discontent golf balls live out fantasies of becoming submarines in search of Atlantis, the Utopian land responsible for the Arnold Palmer drink. A pro shop and clubhouse sit on the scenic hillsides, beckoning players with post-round beverages, upgraded golf accessories, and slice-prone spirits yelling “fore” at one another.
Three branches of a winding creek intersect at the very center of 18 Mile Creek Golf Course, spreading out in a wishbone pattern along the layout's fairways and greens. Along with four small ponds, the creek supplies the bulk of the course's hazards, as golfers must steer their drives, approaches, and thirsty golf carts away from water that comes into play on 10 holes. With a total distance of 6,081 yards, the par 70 layout caters to clubbers across the handicap spectrum. After rounds, golfers can replenish energy sapped from crushing drives or disciplining misbehaving wedges at the clubhouse, which serves burgers, hot dogs, beer, and other grill food and refreshments.
Beaver Island State Park stretches out over 950 acres at the southern end of Grand Island, on the shores of the upper Niagara River. The park's sandy half-mile beach welcomes swimmers and boaters. Nearby, an 80-slip marina with a boat launch lets mariners set sail in boats, kayaks, canoes, or origami yachts made from newspaper. Landlubbers swing clubs at an 18-hole championship golf course, venture down biking and hiking trails, and unpack picnic baskets on the park's scenic grounds. Guests seeking a break from the sun can visit a nature center with interactive exhibits on local flora and fauna. Guests also can drop by the River Lea house and museum, home to the Grand Island Historical Society and constructed by Grover Cleveland's cousin. In the winter, the park hosts snowmobilers, skiers, and snowshoers willing to brave the frigid air and rabid snowmen.
Course at a Glance:
The 18-hole Audubon Golf Course stretches along the southeastern edge of the University at Buffalo's North Campus. The quiet pop of clubs against golf balls has drifted across the green fields since the town of Amherst opened them to players in 1942. The 6,635-yard test is characterized by slim fairways and dry, punishing waste areas that work to keep golfers from shooting the par of 71. Though course designer William Harries did not make water hazards a prominent feature, two holes do force players to fly their golf balls over Ellicott Creek.
Course at a Glance:
Brisk breezes from Lake Erie and nearby Niagara Falls waft across Emerald Pines’ 6,200 yards of manicured greens and oak-lined fairways, gently eddying past a rustic clubhouse that embodies the club’s homespun charm. Golfers can launch balls across the course’s 18 holes and driving range with name brand products found in an on-site pro shop, where a holographic projection of Mike Weir reenacts his most celebrated putts. The club’s rustic sensibility extends to the fully staffed kitchen’s menu, which comforts tummies with barbeque platters, jumbo hot dogs, and 8-ounce new york strip steaks.:m]]