May 10, 2016

CONTACT: Peter Anderson /

Phone: (716)858-8500 / Mobile: (716) 270-7842


5th Annual Event Showcases Top Local Amateur Talent in 36-hole Competition June 25-26

Partnership with The First Tee WNY, Buffalo District Golf Association brings Youth Tournament to Competition 

ERIE COUNTY, NY— The Erie County Department of Parks, Recreation and Forestry, in conjunction with The First Tee Western New York and the Buffalo District Golf Association (“BDGA”), has announced that the 5th annual Erie County Amateur Golf Championships will be held on Saturday, June 25 and Sunday, June 26 2016 at the historic Grover Cleveland Golf Course in Buffalo. In 2015, the Championships drew nearly 60 of Western New York’s top amateur golfers to Elma Meadows Golf Course to compete for the men’s and women’s titles. New this year, the Championship is open to all golfers in the seven WNY counties and to BDGA members in the Niagara Peninsula of Canada.

“Grover Cleveland has been the site of many great moments in golf, including sudden-death playoffs in both the men’s and women’s brackets during the inaugural ECAC in 2012. This is not a long test of golf, but distance, accuracy, and putting will be at a premium and will separate the contenders from the pretenders,” said Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz. “I want to thank Andrew Bennett and The First Tee of Western New York, as well as Mark Rydza and the Buffalo District Golf Association, for their help in coordinating and expanding this competition. I encourage interested golfers 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. Historic Grover Cleveland Golf Course hosted the 1912 U.S. Open, and the course is ready for more high-level play as the top amateur talent in Erie County comes here for the Championships.”

The site of the 1912 U.S. Open, Grover Cleveland’s subtleties and diabolical green complexes held their own against the area’s best amateur golfers when the Championships were last held here, in 2014. The historic course was designed by two legends of golf course architecture; first, Walter Travis at the turn of the 20th Century and then a redesign of the course greens by Donald Ross, the architect of Pinehurst No. 2.

Through the partnership with The First Tee of Western New York and the BDGA, the 2016 Championships will also include junior divisions for Boys and Girls of high school age.  If a boy or girl has graduated this year, he or she must play in the open division.

“We are proud to continue and expand on our partnership with the County Executive and Erie County Parks and grow this great tournament.  Working alongside the County has enabled The First Tee to reach more youth throughout Erie County, particularly in the City of Buffalo at Grover Cleveland and in the southtowns at Elma Meadows.  Through County support, we were able to introduce over 60 new youth to the game in 2015 and anticipate doubling that number in 2016,” 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 County Executive Poloncarz, Commissioner Rizzo, Superintendent Shelby and the Buffalo District Golf Association for their support of youth and the game in our community. ”


“The Buffalo District Golf Association is proud to have partnered with Erie County, Mr. Shelby, Mr. Rizzo and Mr. Poloncarz to become the administering body for this outstanding tournament.  Besides having the top male and female players in WNY participating, the top juniors will also be taking part,” said BDGA Executive Director Mark Rydza. “Since one of the main purposes of the BDGA is junior golf and growing the game, this will enhance the tournament greatly, as does the involvement of Andrew Bennett, Patty Jordan-Smith and The First Tee of WNY. “

The Championships support and promote Erie County Parks and the majority of funds raised got to support county programs. Registration for the Championships or the Youth Tournament is $75 and includes lunch on both days of the competition. Registration can be completed at , where participants will need to log in to register. First time visitors should go to the log in page to create a username and password.


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 either the men’s or women’s 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.

For more information:

On the Erie County Department of Parks, Recreation and Forestry, click here

On the First Tee of Western New York, click here

On the Buffalo District Golf Association, click here