Musings are trending on BuffaloGolfer.Com. First that Rico’s Rants looked back at 2011, followed by The Mouth That Roars, who peered forward into 2012. Call me a plagiarist, call me unoriginal, call me a visionary…I’m doing both. I’ve gathered four salient issues of local interest and am tackling the leads-up and the fall-outs.

First…Westwood Country Club. For years it was an enclave enjoyed by an enthusiastic membership. The NYS Mid-Amateur was held there one year, along with many local championships. Now, it is known as The Golf Club at The Westwood. The Westwood what? Is there a wood? I don’t understand the name change. I didn’t like the decision to rename Hunters Pointe in Welland as LochNess Links and I don’t like this one. Golf Club at Westwood would have been just fine, in my estimation. The second (unfortunate from my perspective) decision is to remain completely private. It was suggested that the avant-garde approach would have been to open the first tee to restricted public play (say, 10-15 minute tee times) 2 days per week. A revolutionary new business model? Guess not. If you are interested in TGCATW membership opportunities for 2012, click here.

Second…The King is Dead, Long Live the King. Jake Katz is now a professional. He advanced to the second stage of PGA Tour qualifying and will embark on the calloused road of professional mini-tours in 2012. This means that the BDGA Individual championship will not be defended and will have a new (although not necessarily first-time) champion in 2012. Who might it be? The fellow listed 2-6 on the BDGA points list for 2011 are Matt Stasiak, Billy Hanes, Raman Luthra, Chris Covelli and Nick Morreale. Could the new throne-squatter be one of the youngsters (James Blackwell, Mike Boss, Austin Nowak) or one of the older bears (Tony Hejna, Ken Riter or John Gaffney)? We’ll know this time next year.

Third…OnCore Golf’s The Omen golf ball. One of the first yucks I heard about this ball was, you mean Damian is the spokesperson? Then I heard, what numbers are on the ball, 6, 6 or 6? It reminded me of the locker room. You know the guy that gets the needle from everyone? He’s the guy that everyone loves and respects. The guy that no one talks to? There’s another name for his kind! Well, the yucks mean that people like The Omen enough to kid it. I played it when it first came out and if it was shorter than the top of the line balls, I didn’t notice more than five yards on the drive, even less on the irons. What it is, and what will ultimately be its selling point, is that it doesn’t miss the target for spin’s sake. The thing is straight!! In the last two months, OnCore used Kickstarter to create a funding campaign and it worked. The boys in charge, both Buffalo lads, have the necessary cash to move to greater production and promotion.

Fourth…Club Closures. The rumor mill is abuzz with suggestions that the saturation point of golf in western New York has been reached and that one or two privates will open their doors to public play (not Westwood…see “First” above) and that a well-known public might make some drastic changes. Will we see a total shutdown and redevelopment into housing? Not in 2012, but perhaps in the future. Land is precious, especially land found in the heart of a community.