WNY’s Top 6 Public Golf Courses
We only get a few months of beautiful weather in Buffalo, so if you're going to spend the summer days golfing, you may as well head to a course that's worth your time. In my opinion, each of these six courses is beautifully landscaped and offers very well maintained fairways and greens that set them a step or two above many of the area's other public golf courses.
Located in the hills of Wyoming County just outside of East Aurora, Byrncliff is a brilliantly designed course. With the hills, creeks, ponds and a ravine, each hole is unique and challenging yet still open enough to recover from a wayward tee shot -- no boring back and forth holes on the same terrain here! The blind approach shot on the par-5 15th hold is especially fun.
Tri-County Country Club
Another wonderfully designed course, TCCC is sculpted into the hills of Southern Erie County on Route 39, south of the thruway's Silver Creek exit. Much of what I said about Byrncliff can be said about TCCC: It's got hills, creeks, ponds and woods, and each hole is unique and challenging. It's also got the best front nine anywhere, in my opinion -- a bit tighter, and the greens are super fast.
The Links at Ivy Ridge
The Links at Ivy Ridge, on Route 5 in Akron, is the most beautiful links course around, featuring stone bridges, a stone clubhouse that has a Scottish or Irish feel to it, rolling hills, ponds and woods. There’s lots of tall heather just off the fairways, but it’s not so thick that you can’t recover from a wayward shot.
This Orchard Park course offers ponds, creeks, woods, sand and a layout that makes each hole memorable. Thick, rough heather woods and strategically placed bunkers make you think about every shot in order to keep your ball in play. Accuracy is the key to a solid round here.
Another terrific links course, Diamond Hawk in Cheektowaga has a pond and wetlands to swallow up errant shots. It also has flatter terrain than the previously mentioned courses, but it's still very challenging, with mostly tight fairways and, again, very strategically placed bunkers. This course is a thinking player's championship course, and accuracy is key.
This beautiful suburban course out in East Amherst is accented with ponds, woods and some challenging greens. The terrain is very flat, but every hole is well laid out. Again, accuracy is the key on this course -- especially on the front nine and the serpentine-like 18th hole. The GPS on the carts is a plus, too.
Contributed by Chris Nichter