A 27-hole golf complex, Royal Niagara Golf Club comprises a trio of nine-hole, par 36 courses that share the water-laden landscape and showcase scenic views of an ancient canal, a tree-lined trail, and the steep elevation changes of an escarpment. Each nine-hole course—The Escarpment Course, The Iron Bridge Course, and The Old Canal Course—extends more than 3,500 yards from the back tees and bears a title that reflects its most notable feature, just like at the world-famous courses Pebble Beach and Neighbour’s Windshield. On The Escarpment Course, for example, players travel up and back down the Niagara Escarpment, and The Old Canal Course leads them past the 120-year-old Welland Canal and four large ponds.
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.
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:
Gothic Hill Golf Course grants playing groups ample space to address their golf balls on the tee and take aim at each of nine pins, en route to the overall par of 27. At 1,353 yards, though short, the course demands concentration and precise execution with each shot—competitive skills that can be easily applied to other situations such as trying to play Sudoku in the bathtub. After a full day of golf, customers can visit Wesley's where they can unwind on the patio over a meatball sub or cheeseburger.
Course at a Glance:
The intermittent whooshes of practice swings and the piercing din of a well-struck drive soundtrack guests' visits to Airport Driving Range, where golfers can prepare for their next day at the links. The range boasts ample space for players to unsheathe their driver, as well as grass hitting areas for those who prefer a natural feel and artificial hitting mats for golfers with a debilitating fear of earthworms. Golfers can hone their swings under sunny skies or during inclement weather, as Airport Driving Range is open rain or shine and many of its hitting mats are protected from the elements by a yellow canopy.
Named one of America’s top 100 driving ranges by Golf Range Magazine in 2011, Broadway Driving Range & Miniature Golf invites golfers to launch towering drives under covered hitting bays toward a target field that stretches more than 350 yards. Golfers who favor a natural feel can hack through a bucket of balls at the range’s all-grass hitting areas; synthetic hitting mats cater to refined sand wedges that consider divots uncouth. Laid-back clubbers can practice pendulous putts at the complex’s miniature-golf course, where players circle around a barn built in 1932 through a farm-themed circuit of 18 miniature fairways featuring antique farm tools. Broadway Driving Range can cool down clients with soft-serve custard from Green Acres Ice Cream.
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.