Used to be, a trip down route 16 to Chaffee guaranteed a stop at Earl’s. There’s a better reason these days, just off the main drag, on Genesee Road. Spruce Ridge Golf Course offers an intriguing nine-hole run across the hills of Wyoming County. The balanced track of 2 par 5s, 2 par 3s and 5 par 4s traces a 3,131-yard path over a rambling, sometimes-wild stretch of hillside and provides an enjoyable and memorable golfing experience.

%%wppa%% %%slideonly=3%% %%size=400%% %%align=left%%Tim & Laurie Berger head the ownership contingent that took over Spruce Ridge in 2010. With their four children helping to run the show on the Ridge, Berger details with a smile and a firm handshake the plans his family has for the course. “To us, the most important aspect of the golf course is conditioning. We want you to enjoy your round and remember a well-groomed, fair golf course.” To that end, the staff treat each green with tender attention, ensuring a receptive putting surface with consistent roll.

The golf course begins with two mid-short par fours. The second, all of 333 yards, is a fun slide down a hill to one of the lower points of the course. You’ll be tempted to take in the natural beauty of the view that permeates all nine holes, but stay focused! Long hitters might threaten the green with their tee balls, but a tricky pitch to a small and well-sloped target awaits. You might miss the smallish greens at Spruce Ridge with your approach shots, but a fine skill set around the greens will return a number of pars to your scorecard.

The third hole is an enjoyable trundle across the ridge. The fairway bisects the slope, slanting right to left and increasing in angle as the green nears. The place to miss on the approach is low left, leaving a pitch back into the hill. Throughout the round, Spruce Ridge does a fine job holding the golfer’s interest; holes run parallel and perpendicular to the hillside, but never more than two holes at a time.

The Spruce Ridge team has a vision for the course and 2012 brings complete delineation of fairway and rough, along with care for the fescue stands that border each hole. “The fescue gives a look to the golf course that we like and also provides an escapable hazard. You’ll find your ball in there, but it might cost a half-stroke along the way.” New tee decks for champion and senior golfers alike are in the middle phases of construction. “We listen to our customers and if enough of them make the same suggestion, we act on it. We want to have at least three tees on our par 4s and 5s,” adds Berger.

A consistent and satisfied clientele is high on the Bergers’ list. The open Wednesday evening Scramble Golf Night welcomes one and all. Call the course or just show up and join in the fun. With its bucolic patio and fine, inexpensive food and beverage offerings, Spruce Ridge is just the place for an organization to bring league play. “We currently have no leagues on our tee sheets, but we would love to speak with anyone from Springville, Chaffee, Lime Lake, Arcade and East Aurora about hosting their league with us,” offers Tim Berger.

The most important development at Spruce Ridge, bar none, is the arrival of The First Tee. The international organization that promotes golf and a principled lifestyle for youth makes Spruce Ridge its third area headquarters in 2012. Tim Karches heads the program and golfers may register on-line by emailing Mr. Karches at The first Tee of Spruce Ridge will hold classes on Tuesdays for three separate achievement levels (Target, Player and Player Advanced) for six weeks in July and August. Berger explains, “Youth golf represents an opportunity for kids and their parents to share an experience, as well as the future of the game at all levels. We are honored to partner with The First Tee.”

If your idea of an enjoyable morning or afternoon is a pleasant round of golf in an astonishingly-natural setting, with the gentle tones of the Arcade-Attica railway whistles in the background, Spruce Ridge is the spot for you. Visit on the web or call (585) 492-4122 to learn more.

Wildflowers at Spruce Ridge