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Cardinal Hills Golf Course: Randolph, NY
By Megan Sorokes
Gentle rolling hills, old growth maple trees and beautiful scenic views make Cardinal Hills Golf Course a premier golf destination in Western New York.
“It has a classic feel to it,” said Eric Brown, general manager of Cardinal Hills, located in Randolph. “We have some major change in elevation, so when you get to the top (of some hills), it’s almost a 360-degree view and it’s pretty panoramic.”
E.A. Keith opened Cardinal Hills in July 1928 with a nine-hole layout. In the late 1960s, Sam Abbott developed it into the 18-hole, par-72 course that exists today. Yardage ranges from 6,109 at the back tees to 5,605 at the front tees.
“All the holes are rated by handicap. The number one handicap is usually the hardest hole, and ours is a par 5,” Brown said. “The hole is number two with 490 yards. A lot of people comment that it’s a beautiful hole to play.”
Jared Mazzant, an Aero-Thermo engineer at Dresser-Rand Company in Olean, NY, said the layout of the course is one reason he enjoys golfing at Cardinal Hills.
“The layout is great,” Mazzant said. “There are a good multitude of different types of par 3s, 4s and 5s as in short, long, tight, open, straight or dog-legged. There is a good mix of hazards and bunkers.”
Guests at Cardinal Hills welcomed a few changes at the course last year, with more expected for this upcoming season. According to Brown, after management changed a few years ago, they began remodeling the course to enhance its reputation.
“We went through a stagnant stage and nothing was improved,” Brown said. “Now we’re trying to change things around. We made a few changes to some of our holes. We’ve tried to pick up a few - two to three - projects a year to improve the course as much as possible.”
In addition to improvements, guests of the course can look forward to several annual events at Cardinal Hills. Brown said two of the biggest events are at the end of July and beginning of August: the Cardinal Hills Member/Guest and the Bettie Alexander Open.
“Bettie Alexander was a member [of Cardinal Hills] as long as she has been able to,” Brown explained. “Her father is E.A. Keith. We have this tournament for her. She was a good golfer and knows the area. We turned the women’s member/guest into the Bettie Alexander Open.”
Cardinal Hills hosts its men’s member/guest tournament the last weekend in July. It begins on Thursday and ends on Saturday with a formal dinner for teams and their wives at the clubhouse.
“We have between 45 and 50 teams in a year,” Brown explained. “For members, it’s the event they look forward to most.”
Cardinal Hills Golf Course, its clubhouse and amenities are open to the public. While the course does not maintain a driving range or offer adult golf lessons, Brown said a junior course is available in July for a variety of ages. A member of Cardinal Hills and four or five other adults oversee the lessons.
“It’s every Tuesday in July and we have between 60 and 70 kids. It’s pretty impressive,” Brown said, noting that the youngest participants are four to five years old and the oldest are 16 or 17 years old. On the first Tuesday in August, the young golfers play in a tournament against their age group.
Additional amenities at Cardinal Hills include pro shop merchandise, dining at the clubhouse and a relaxed bar atmosphere. Weekend, weekday and senior rates are available. Cardinal Hills also offers special spring rates for a limited time. For more information, please call 716-358-5409 or visit the course website at www.cardinalhillsny.com.