Modified: June 14, 2017 9:31am
The Erie County Department of Parks, Recreation and Forestry, in conjunction with First Tee Western New York and the Buffalo District Golf Association (“BDGA”), has announced that the 6th annual Erie County Amateur Golf Championships will be held on Saturday, July 8 and Sunday, July 9 2017 at Elma Meadows Golf Course. In 2016, the Championships drew many of Western New York’s top amateur golfers to historic Grover Cleveland Golf Course to compete for the men’s and women’s titles and to participate in the first-ever Youth Tournament. The 2017 tournament will debut a Senior Men’s division which is open to seniors aged 50 years and older; the Championships are open to all golfers in the seven WNY counties and to BDGA members in the Niagara Peninsula of Canada.
“Elma Meadows provides a great test of golf, with a mix of holes that place a high demand on precision, accuracy, and length. In 2016, significant county investments brought a new watering system and other improvements to the course, so it will feel and play differently than the last time the tournament was held here in 2015,” said Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz. “I want to thank Dan Rizzo and the Erie County Parks Department along with Mark Rydza and the Buffalo District Golf Association for their help in coordinating and expanding this competition, as well as Andrew Bennett and The First Tee of Western New York for strengthening our focus on youth golf. I encourage interested golfers of all ages to register soon for what is sure to be another exciting tournament.”
Parks Commissioner Daniel J. Rizzo added, “The Erie County Parks Department is excited to be hosting the Erie County Amateur Championships again and to work with our partners to create a memorable event. Elma is 1,000 yards longer than Grover Cleveland golf course, and on a hot summer day it feels even longer than that. This will be a great test of concentration, patience and stamina for the golfers and we are looking forward to another great tournament.”
“Working with the county has enabled The First Tee to reach more youth throughout Erie County, particularly in the City of Buffalo at Grover Cleveland and also in the Southtowns at Elma Meadows. With county support, we have been able to introduce well over 100 new youth to golf over the past two years,” said Andrew Bennett, Executive Director of The First Tee Western New York. “Having an opportunity for local juniors to play in this event is a big win for Erie County and our WNY golf community. Our sincere gratitude goes out to everyone from Erie County and the Buffalo District Golf Association for their support of youth and the game in our community. ”
Elma Meadows Golf Course is a 6,698 yard par 70 golf course situated along Buffalo Creek in the Town of Elma and is laid out on some of the most elevated terrain of any golf course in Erie County. Designed by William Harries and Russ Tyron, the course opened in 1959. Known for its long par 4s, the final three holes at Elma Meadows offer one of the sternest tests in local championship golf, playing 437 yards from the black tee on 16, 187 yards to a small green protected by bunkers on the 17th hole, and a monster 495 yard dogleg left, with the fairway sloping to the right, par 4 finishing 18th hole. In 2016, a brand new $1.5 million automated watering system was installed at Elma, the fairways were completely reseeded, and the 10th hole fairway was completely rebuilt to fix past drainage issues. As a result, conditions at the golf course are the best they have ever been.
“The Buffalo District Golf Association is proud to again partner with Erie County and The First Tee of Western New York to become the administering body for this outstanding tournament. Besides having the top male and female players in WNY participating, the top juniors and now Senior Men will also be taking part,” said BDGA Executive Director Mark Rydza. “It is a great event that really puts a focus on the quality of golf and golfers in WNY, particularly young golfers, and we are proud to help grow the game here in Erie County.”
The 6th annual Erie County Amateur Golf championships will feature the following divisions: Open Men, Open Women, Junior Boys, Junior Girls, and Senior Men. The Championships are a scratch event open to the best golfers in the area. In the event of a tie or ties for Champion in any division, as happened in 2012, a sudden death playoff will determine the Champion. During the tournament, players will have the choice between using a cart or a caddie, but will not be able to use both during play. Players who do not have caddies will be permitted to walk as well if they so desire. All play is governed by the Rules of Golf of the United States Golf Association.
The Championships support and promote Erie County Parks and the majority of funds raised go to support county programs. Registration includes lunch on both days of the competition.
Registration for the 2017 ECAC Golf Championships is completed through the Buffalo District Golf Association at:
For more information:
On the Erie County Department of Parks, Recreation and Forestry, click here
On the Buffalo District Golf Association, click here