Cazenovia Park is one of three Buffalo city courses operated by the Olmsted Parks Initiative. Located in south Buffalo, Cazenovia occupies an interesting albeit small piece of terrain within the confines of Cazenovia Park.
Nice, easy hole to begin, the biggest hazard on number one is a blinding sunrise right behind the green. Trees line both sides of fairway, large pine on right can gobble up errant tee shots. A short iron gets you to the green. Small bunker on left front of large, inverted, pie-shaped green, all of which are muni-course slow. Number two presents a slight dogleg right, larger-than-it-looks landing area center-left. Get it over a slight swale, and a short to mid iron puts you on a flat green.
The third is a short par 3, but over perhaps the largest creek (Cazenovia) on any course in the area. This one bears an elevated green, so a miss off the tee produces a difficult recovery chip. When crossing the creek over the huge pedestrian bridge, check out hole nine on right, and its ominous approach shot back over the water. Number four is a sizeable par 5, with a rolling fairway to an uphill green, tree line on left. Expect to get there in three. As with most of these greens, almost no break.
The fifth is a second, shorter par 5, from an elevated tee box to a raised green sloping back to front, good chance for eagle or birdie. Large bunker on left front….avoid these! No rakes, not kept very well. Number six is the second most difficult hole of the nine, creek hidden by gnarly trees on left, another tree line on right. Stay straight or right center, so approach lessens the effect of green tucked in to left near creek’s edge. Ugly bunker on right, green can be very soft and dewy, as it sits in shade almost all day.
The seventh is a par 3 that plays longer than it looks, going uphill to a bowl-shaped green, bunker on left, more old-growth trees to right. The penultimate eight plays from an elevated tee to a fairway “bowl”, slight dogleg right. A hooked tee shot could end up in a tavern on Potter Rd. A long hitter might be tempted to drive the green when wind is right, but it is elevated and postage-stamp size, so reconsider. Very ugly bunker on right slope.
The closer plays to a very wide fairway from the shaded tee lulls the unsuspecting into a false sense of confidence. Don’t be fooled, this is the most difficult hole. The creek is about 250 yards from tee, and is probably 70 yards wide, framed by high trees left, and the monster bridge right. Banks are elevated, so only the top of the flag shows, hiding a front bunker, a large pine to the right, and a couple trees left. Feast or famine! City residents can go home now, having golfed for nine bucks, everyone else to front of bag line for another nine.
I wrote this review about four years ago for buffalogolfer.com, Ron graciously posted it. I haven’t played Caz much since, but living in the neighborhood, I think the reveiw needs an update. The Olmstead people have done a fantastic job on the course planting dozens of trees the past couple of year, particularly on the par 5s, making them narrow and more difficult. Also, I think there’s rakes in the bunkers! All this is through observation driving past the course, perhaps someone can confirm this.
Thanks, Don. We’ll get on it. We are slowly migrating our course reviews from the old site to the new one. I agree that Olmsted is doing a great job with the three parks courses and look forward to seeing Caz again.