You have to love a guy whose email includes the moniker Golf Czar. That’s Brian Williams, member at 18-Mile Creek in Hamburg, board of directors member for the Buffalo District Golf Association and enthusiastic follower of BuffaloGolfer. Brian is very outspoken regarding what he likes and dislikes about the site, and often communicates his preferences via email. His latest communique moved me to think, what about a reverse interview? By definition (my own) a reverse interview is one where the copy is present, and the interviewer crafts questions based on the responses. There’s always a first, and here it is.

1. Brian, what do you think about this year’s Public Golf Course poll?

My beef with your list is the title – “Top 25 Public golf courses of Buffalo-Niagara”.  If you called it “The Top 25 Designed Courses of Buffalo-Niagara, I might agree with most of your list.  But you simply can’t exclude 4 of my 5 criteria for ranking golf courses when you put together a TOP 25 list.  

2. We’ll bite. Can you expand on your criteria?
Even if you exclude conditioning, value, aesthetics and ambiance, your list still has a few courses that don’t belong.  Caz over the Peak Lower because the Peak lower is flat?  So is virtually every golf course in the State of Florida. There aren’t any well designed courses in Florida?  You specifically mentioned the two par 3’s at Caz – do you seriously think they stack up against The Peak Lower’s #8?  And Ironwood?  You like #1 and #10?  The Bob-O-Link 2nd Hole?  How about the 11th?
3. Can you give an example of a course we missed?
In a few years Hamburg (18 Mile Creek) will be finished with their flood control project.  I invite you (and I will remind you) to be my guest for a round there when it is finally finished.  There’s a reason 18 Mile Creek enjoyed an increase in rounds played and revenue last year while other area Municipal courses were all down.  18 Mile Creek is a well maintained (flood control issues notwithstanding) course that offers a challenge for all handicap level golfers from five different sets of tee markers.  The greens last year were as smooth and fast as any course I played all year.  I know you have an issue with our #3 hole, but I submit that it offers a unique risk/reward opportunity from the back tees for players who hit 200 or 300 yards off the tee.  In our club events we see the widest disparity of scores on this hole than we do on any other hole-everything from eagles to double digits.
4. We won’t lie. Our rankings are based on our golf course architecture aesthetic. Is this correct?
Most of us play this game because we enjoy playing with our friends (or spouse) and the venue doesn’t really matter.  How else would you explain the thriving Men’s Golf Club at South Park?  But if you were to ask the average Public course player which factor determines where he plays on a regular basis, price and location will probably be at the top of the list.  We also consider conditions, particularly the greens, very important.  The design will never be more than 3rd in terms of importance but I understand where you’re coming from with your list.
5. Can you sum up your thoughts in six words?
I just don’t like the title.
Thank you, Brian. Don’t ever change and don’t ever stop offering your opinions. We are a better site for them.