4-26-13golf-cover-spring2013By Ed Racich

Ellicottville is a golfer’s dream! With a dozen courses within a 30-60 minute drive from downtown, all you have to do is pick your poison.

At the center of this golfer’s world, the world famous Holiday Valley Double-Black Diamond Course is a true gem. Each hole at Holiday Valley provides a game of its own, combining a stern test of golf with a uniquely blended atmosphere of outdoors and people.

Meticulously groomed greens and fairways, nestled into the foothills of the Allegheny Mountains are presided over by Holiday Valley Course Manager Steve Carney, and are maintained by Superintendent Mike Wagner. As is customarily the case, all of Holiday Valley’s equipment and facilities are ready to go for the season, thanks to Wagner’s close attention this past winter.

The Holiday Valley Golf School and the full-service Pro Shop are anxiously awaiting the season’s first foursomes. According to Carney, the front nine holes are open for play and the back nine are scheduled to open May 4, pending the cooperation of Mother Nature.

Carney has prepared a terrific lineup of men’s, women’s, and mixed leagues, and is also planning a number of interesting golf outings, including the annual Ed Szpaicher Memorial outing on July 17, The Italian-American Club outing June 6–8, and Play Golf America Week on Father’s Day, June 16.

Play Golf America Week will feature free mini lessons by a PGA, USGTS and possibly LPGA  professional instructor, as well as fun golf challenges to pique your interest. There will also be a ladies-only beginner league on Wednesdays for women who are too shy or don’t think they have enough skill to play in a league. This will give them a chance to play golf with others who think the same way they do, and give them all a chance to improve both their golf game and their confidence. Go get ‘em, ladies!

Holiday Valley golf attracts players from all over, much the way skiing does. Each year, its leagues and outings are filled with golfers from all over New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Canada.

Bob Honda, a Canadian who is a Holiday Valley skier and an avid golfer, said that Holiday Valley golf is a challenge he looks forward to every year.

“My friends and I play here regularly because the course is always in good shape, and because it is one of the friendliest places around to play. The front and back play so differently that it’s like playing two completely different courses,” said Honda.

When you have finally mastered the links at Holiday Valley, trek on over the ridge to Elkdale Country Club for a nice change of pace. Elkdale, another of western New York’s golf gems, provides a well laid out course that will help you to hone your skills for your next attempt at beating the course at Holiday Valley.

After you’ve had your fill of Holiday Valley and Elkdale, you can venture out further to courses like Cable Hollow, Chautauqua Lakes or one of several other courses beckoning you to come try your skill.

When golf is done for the day, don’t forget to stop at Holiday Valley’s rooftop Cabana Bar above the Pro Shop, to cool your heels and wet your whistle. You might even get to join in one of the many games available or just enjoy the entertainment provided.

If that sounds like just a little too much, stop at McCarty’s Café for coffee and a pastry, just the thing to tide you over until evening. You could also visit beautiful downtown Ellicottville for lunch or dinner at one of the many local restaurants or bars and maybe even stop at one of the unique shops to find a pacifier for that person left at home while you came out to play.

Now, sit back, relax and enjoy.  As we like to say, here in Ellicottville, “No need to hurry, you’re already here!”

For more information, call (716) 699-2345 or visit www.holidayvalley.com.

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