With the return of some semblance of normalcy in 2021, BuffaloGolfer is grateful to feature the golf leagues of western New York. With no sense of regularity, as soon as a league reports in with text and photos, we will feature the league on this fortunate site. We hope that you enjoy this tour of Buffalo’s golf leagues, and that you alert us to fun, interesting, and long-standing leagues that we have yet to feature. We visit the AquaLung golf league at Audubon golf course for our third stop. As we enter Year 11 of the Aqualung Wednesday Night Golf League at Audubon Golf Course, we reflect on its humble beginnings. Aqualung began in 2011 as an offshoot of the Audubon Golf Club. It later welcomed players not affiliated with the Audubon Club. A member of the Golf Club and Course employee, was instrumental in helping get the league off the ground. This individual, for reasons explained or unexplained, had a nickname of Aqualung. He left us a couple of years ago, but, in his memory, we play Jethro Tull’s Aqualung from time to time throughout the Summer. The league’s commissioner also wears a shirt adorned with the inscription “Aqualung, Because Other Leagues Suck”. A former Audubon Golf Club member once told us the league wouldn’t last more than a year. We sure proved him wrong by tenfold.
It’s a low budget league. The Aqualung trophy was sitting idle as a bar league hockey trophy in one of the league member’s basement for years. It was cleaned up, expanded and changed to a golf trophy. 10 league champions are now inscribed on this magnificent Aqualung Cup. Each year a favorite beverage is drunk from the cup. For the majority of the years, Aqualung has 40 full time players (8, five man teams), playing singles match play the majority of the time. To change things up, 2-man best ball takes place twice a year. Usually, similar handicapped players square off against each other. After 6 years of playing without playoffs, playoffs were instituted in 2017. This 3 weeks of playoffs changed the dynamic of the league. Now, everyone had a second chance for redemption. A 6th seed has actually won it all. Over the years the team names have been quite creative. The following are some of the names: The Team Doctor, Sultans of Swing, Old Spice, Team So. Buffalo, Team Control Draw, After Midnight, Team Noonan, Team Patron, Team Johnson and Team Tankers. Every name brings with it, deep meaning. Aqualung is a fun league, but, oh baby, it gets competitive. Many of the matches come down to the last hole and some players let the pressure get to them, whether it’s hitting a tree or missing a short putt on that final hole, costing the player’s team the match or even the Aqualung Championship. Aqualung also gives an award, yearly, to the individual points leader. The lower handicap players seem to rise to the top for this award. An interesting tidbit – after compiling the points for the first 10 years, 2 of our better players are a ½ point apart (338-337.5). Now that’s close! The bottom line with Aqualung is, it’s an enjoyable get together. One of our newer players once told someone that this Aqualung League was very popular and tough to join. I’m not sure that is true, but, it is nice to hear those good vibes, Aqualung, my friend. Mark Cosgrove Commissioner, Aqualung Golf