If you are anything like me, I think your impression of Batavia Country Club may well be one of surprise. After getting off of the NYS Thruway and traveling a short distance through the Village of Batavia, you will soon find yourself on Batavia-Byron Road which is smack dab in the middle of farm country. As you head down the road, almost out of nowhere the course appears on a slight rise with the two nines neatly bisected by this road.
The biggest surprise is just how hilly this course is, especially the back nine. With only a handful of relatively flat holes, this is definitely not a walkers-only course. One could accurately call this a hill-and-valley course.
For a public course with very reasonable rates, this course is in average to above average condition. The fairways are generally wide although there are quite a few trees that come into play. The greens are mostly on the medium size (with a few larger greens on some holes) and are firm but not overly fast. There are subtle undulations on most of the greens, but very few of the severe variety. The course is not heavily bunkered and most greenside bunker placements leave a generous amount of room to get on the green. There are some water hazards on the course, but only a handful actually come into play.
Aesthetically, I quite enjoyed this layout. There are some really nice vantage points around the course that afford one a great panoramic view of the surrounding country side. Throw in the trees, marshes, ponds and abundant flower beds and it is easy to feel like you are at a much higher-end course than you really are. One has to give kudos to the management who have obviously made course aesthetics a priority.
The course has the standard hole distribution of four par 5’s, four par 3’s and ten par 4’s with quite a bit of variety in each grouping.
The first two holes on the front side are par 5’s. A bit unusual, I guess, but, it does get the round off on a bang. The first par 5 is a gently, up-sloped long hole with a wide fairway and a smattering of trees; its length makes up for any lack of hazards. The 2nd par five is a very short down hill hole with OB on the left and a sizable pond in front of the green. Two decent shots will put you in position for a short wedge to the green with a reasonable chance to make birdie. On the back, the two par 5’s are both on the longish side. Number 12 goes straight up the hill and requires three well-struck shots. Unless you have exceptional length, a par is just fine on this hole. The final par 5 (#16) is another long hole that sweeps off the top of the hill down to a green tucked near the edge of the tree line. This was my favorite hole on the back side. The wonderful view from the top of the hill can easily be tempered by OB on the left or a severe side-hill lie on your approach shot yet the scenic nature of this hole somehow easily mitigates these impending obstacles.
The par 3s are also quite varied. The best of the lot is the first one on the front (#3). This hole plays in the 165 yd range; with a pond in play on the right and a rather large bunker hugging the left side of the hole, it requires both accuracy and the correct club selection. The 2nd par 3 on the front (#7) is a straight away, mid-distance hole that lacks any visual oomph and almost feels like an afterthought to me. This was definitely my least favorite hole on the course and probably needs the most improvement.
The two pars 3s on the back are average holes. While they certainly aren’t awful, they are just OK holes.
The par 4 holes run the gamut from average to really good. Holes 4, 5, 6, 9, 10, 11 and 14 are all fairly straight away holes of average length. The best par fours are 8, 15 and 18.
Number 8 is my favorite hole on the front side. It plays 400 yards from the white tees and has a pond in front (this shouldn’t come into play), ample trees and a meandering, small creek on the left that requires you to make the most of a blind tee shot. Once you have cleared the approach area, there is a large bell that announces to the next group that they are free to tee off. I have to admit, I am a sucker for little idiosyncrasies like this on a course.
Hole #15 is probably the hardest hole on the course. It is a relatively long par 4 with plenty of trees to stymie errant tee shots. Hole #18 is another hole that I enjoyed as much for its visuals as its playability. Tumbling down the hill, this short par 4 requires an accurate tee shot and a well placed approach shot.
The course has a driving range, putting green, a pro shop and a bar/restaurant. They have both men’s and women’s leagues and have facilities for golf outings.
If you decide to make the drive down the NYS Thruway to Batavia CC, I think you will come away as pleasantly surprised as I was.