Tim Miller is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist at Sports Performance Academy in Blasdell and is himself an avid golfer.  He has a degree in Exercise Science from SUNY Fredonia; and most evenings you can find him at Grover Cleveland or Elma Meadows.

With Labor Day passed and the 2012 Ryder cup approaching, this golf season is winding down for many people.  Club championships have been played and soon the courses of the area will be sparsely populated.  Welcome to Fall golf.

Fall golf gives the more dedicated players something we all yearn for during the year: wide open golf courses.  This leaves us time to practice a little more, try some shots we might not normally try when we are playing against others, and try a little cross country golf.

Cross country golf is playing holes that are not on the scorecard, do not necessarily have to make sense, and may have an unconventional number as par.  Some courses even have tournaments that feature made up holes that stretch double and triple the length of conventional holes.

Disclaimer: Cross country golf should only be played when the course is empty enough to not get in anyone’s way and so that no one gets hurt. Keep a lookout to see if anyone is coming up on or playing on  a “hole” before you play it.  Please use good judgment and be courteous to others on the course at all times!! 

Since Elma Meadows is the home to high school cross country championships and the course that I am most familiar with, I will outline 9 potential xc golf holes there.  Keep in mind that if you have not played Elma this year, the back and front have been flipped so the 365 yd par 4 10th is now the 365 yd par 4 1st.

The holes were “measured” using the America’s Running routes feature on usatf.org so I am not sure how accurate they are.  I kept it to par 4’s and 5’s but these are merely suggestions.

1st hole-  Tee off from the far left tee of the 10thnear the practice green hitting up 9 fairway.  This gives you the option of going to the left or right of the pines to the right of the 17th and finishing at the 17th green.  This is a par 5 that measures 470 yards.

2nd hole- From the 17th green head to the 11th tee and tee off just as you would on this hole playing a right to left to the fairway.  Left of the trees would be considered out of bounds.  The second shot would be played towards the fairway/green of the 14th hole.  This measures 590 yards and is a par 5.

3rd hole- From the 15th tee, play up the hill to 11 green for a very short par 4.  This measures a driveable 284 yards but beware of uphill lies.

4th hole- From the red tee of 16, play back up 18 fairway to its green for a 590 yard par 5.  A drive that reaches the fairway on this one is a pretty good one (ok, if you reach the fairway; you pounded it.  If you are past the hill in the fairway; sign up for long drive.)  This one doesn’t really feel like an xc golf hole but more like an actual monster par 5.

5th hole- Walk to the 9th tee from there and you are presented with an xc golf hole with some very interesting options.  Long hitters can try to hit a driver over the trees behind the 9th green while most will either lay up or hit their drive left towards the 5th tee.  From there the play is down the first fairway to the 1st green.  This amounts to a 633 yard par 5 that is a formidable challenge.  A layup on the tee shot will make for a long 3rd provided you get over the trees.

6th hole- From here the next hole plays from the 4th tee up the 3rd fairway to the 2nd green. This is a 510 yard par 5.

7th hole- From the 15th tee play over the trees or up 2 fairway(but not too far) for a short par 4 ending at the 16th green.  This short hole measures 284 yards  and is a par 4.

8th hole- A little bit of a walk away tee off from the 5th hole and hit to the 6th green.  This measures 470 yards and should be played as a par 4 or 5.  The OB to the right of the green makes somewhat of a risk going for this one in two, but the easy bailout to the left makes this a par 4 for better players.

9th hole-  The only sort of traditional par 4 on the “course” begins from the forward tee box of the 7th hole and plays up the fairway of the 9th hole.  It is about 220 yards to the fairway on this one, and it adds something that Elma lacks which is a forced carry off of the tee(other than 16).  This par 4 measures 382 yards.

Ok, so there you have it.   One thing this group of holes does is give Elma Meadows a few stronger par 5s than the two on the course. Elma is a pretty decent test of golf but the par “4.5”s that exist there are two of the easier pars on the course and represent 3 shotters from the days of persimmons and forged blades being the only options.  Aside from a few long walks between holes, some xc golf could be a few chilly fall afternoons well spent.

1              470         5

2              590         5

3              284         4

4              590         5

5              633         5

6              510         5

7              284         4

8              470         4 or 5

9              382         4

4213       41/42

BuffaloGolfer.Com Disclaimer: Before undertaking any physical activity, please consult your physician to determine if the activity is appropriate and safe for you. BuffaloGolfer.Com presents this information as a public service and does not pretend to be, nor promote itself as, a medical expert or qualified medical personnel. Before undertaking X-C Golf, be certain that it is legal or that you and the head pro are tight.