You may note that I left out the word “Glaring” from this edition’s title, as I think our nominees are pretty stout. We’d love for people to leave some comments as to why they enjoy their particular holes. But more importantly, let us know which holes we may have overlooked or under-appreciated.
So far, it looks like a battle of Par 5s between Ironwood and Transit Valley, but here’s a few worthy Par 4s for your consideration:
Peek n Peak – Par 4 – 345 yards
This one may have been overlooked due to its distance from downtown Buffalo, but since it’s a mere 5 miles from the Pennsylvania border, it surely qualifies as Western NY.
Of course, this hole features the jaw-dropping “hill & valley” aesthetics that bless our region, but it’s more than just window dressing. Played from the appropriate tees, this is a drivable par 4, offering a range of options from the tee. You can experience the thrill of watching a perfectly launched drive hang in the air for an eternity, then landing for a rare Eagle putt. Or you can enjoy the satisfaction of a well conceived lay-up, followed by the execution of a deft wedge to an elevated green.
Byrncliff- Par 4 – 423 yards
Yes, I know that I have included Byrncliff in both “Omissions” listings so far. But if Crag Burn can be nominated for the past two holes, I feel justified in highlighting Byrncliff’s exclusion.
This is yet another example of Harries & Tryon maximizing the use natural slopes in the drive zone. If you hug the high, left side of the fairway, the kick is more forward and leaves you a great view of the downhill approach. As you move away from this ideal, the kick becomes more rightward and leaves a less favorable angle on the second. Anything landing on the right half of the fairway will kick to the rough. The large swale short of the green skews the distance judgment of many golfers, and collects numerous underclubbed approaches.
Lockport- Par 4 – 411 yards
After easing you in with a reachable Par 5 and a short Par 3, Lockport Town & Country Club begins to show a little teeth once you reach the 3rd tee. I love the natural movement of this hole as it descends down to the right. But the serene beauty of the hole belies the challenge in finding the tree-lined fairway. If you are able to manage the tee shot, you are rewarded with an inviting look at the green below.
The 3rd is just one of many quality holes at this “hidden gem” in the Northtowns.