Sunday, June 10, 2007
Golfing at Diamond Hawk - Cheektowaga's new jewel
We've been wanting to try out the newest golf course to hit the Buffalo area since they opened the back nine last fall. So with my dad and my brother in town, Andrew arranging for the VIP invitation, we were off for a day of golfing at Diamond Hawk.
Now fully open for business, this golf course is still a well kept secret, nestled next to an office/industrial park in the northeast end of town. To get there you have to pass the airport via Genesee Street, turn right on Sonwil Drive and you will see it on your left.
Any preconceptions you have about "Cheektovegas" and its alleged pink flamingoes and bowling alleys goes right out the window as soon you get here - the facilities are first class and opulent, the clubhouse and dining room almost swank; everything done with a flair.
Since my dad is an avid golfer and my brother John is right behind him, we asked them for a critique of the course after our rounds, as we enjoyed a post golf meal in the Diamond Hawk clubhouse restaurant. My dad replied, "This is nothing like your typical municipal golf course or some par 3 facility. This is a really difficult and challenging course to play."
Continuing on, "With the tight fairways, plenty of bunkers and such, your shot off the tee has to be a good one or else you're in real trouble right away. Then there are the greens - they are massive and spacious and that makes things a real adventure on the putt."
John made note of the quality of the course, now in only its first full year of operation. "The course is in great shape for being so new. The lawns look mature and the attention to maintenance is superb."
In addition to the quantity of bunkers, sand traps and other hazards, the roughs here are, well, rough. "It's easy to lose balls here" said Dad. "The roughs are especially thick and high to add to the challenge."
The course itself winds through a number of housing subdivisions, is adjacent to a municipal park and an office park, and the airport control tower is easily visible from a distance. But pay special attention to the 16th and 17th holes - they pass through an actual environmentally protected wetland, with water hazards, thick reeds and dense foliage. It is the coolest and most unique feature here at Diamond Hawk.
While we were golfing, Andrew, who was a Cheektowaga Councilman when the bond issue was executed to buy the land for this course back in the early 90s, gave us a historical background of all the difficulties and false starts that happened before the dream of a Cheektowaga golf course finally happened. He was beaming with pride all afternoon long. "This place is so awesome. Another superb amenity here in our great town."
Our special thanks to proprietor Sam Tadio for hosting us today. Suffice to say we will be back. Oh, and check out the Diamond Hawk website for everything you need to know about the place.