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New York State Golf Facts

Published: Feb 26, 2014

The Empire State Is Known For Renowned Courses, Legends of The Sport & Championship Tournaments

ALBANY, NY - I LOVE NY welcomes the 2013 PGA Championship at Oak Hill Country Club in Rochester, Aug. 5 - 11, 2013. The iconic golf event is taking place in New York State which is home to world-renowned golf courses and legends of the sport as well as having been the destination for many PGA championship tournaments over the years.

Below are some golf fast facts in New York State:

Here, There, Everywhere

Here: In its 2013-14 ranking of America's 100 Greatest Golf Courses, Golf Digest named Oak Hill Country Club (East), Rochester, the 17th ranked golf course in the U.S. Oak Hill is the only course in the U.S. to have hosted the U.S. Open, U.S. Senior Open, U.S. Amateur, the Senior PGA Championship, the PGA Championship and the Ryder Cup.

There: Four other New York State golf courses rank among the "Top 20 Golf Courses" in America: Shinnecock Hills, Southampton (4th); Winged Foot Golf Club (West) in Mamaroneck (8th); Fishers Island Club, Fishers Island (10th) and the National Golf Links of America, Southampton (11th).

They're everywhere: The Empire State has nearly 1,000 golf courses to choose from -including little known gems to some of America's best known, toughest and most scenic courses.

The Cradle of Golf? Legend has it that Yonkers, New York, not Scotland is the birthplace of golf. In 1888, John Reid and his Apple Tree Gang of friends played three holes of golf in a cow pasture, establishing what is now known as the Saint Andrews Country Club, the oldest continuously operating golf club in America.

First Resort: In 1890, the country's first resort golf club, Hotel Champlain, opened at Bluff Point in New York.

Conveniently First: In 1895, America's first public course, Van Cortlandt Park, opened in the Bronx. Its location, just off the subway, has made it the most easily accessible golf course in America.

Open to the Public: Bethpage State Park ranks eighth on both the "Top 100 Greatest Public Golf Courses in America" and New York State lists. With five world-class courses including the renowned Black Course, the two-time site of the U.S. Open is one of New York's 29 state park golf courses that rank among the best public courses in the world.

Favorite Sons: Three of the world's most famous golf course designers are native sons of NY:

Legendary golfer Walter Hagen was born in Rochester, NY and learned the art of the sport at the Country Club of Rochester.

Robert Trent Jones Sr. arrived in Upstate New York from England at the turn of the 20th Century. A graduate of Cornell University, Jones Sr. began his career as a caddy.

Robert Trent Jones Jr. followed in his father's footsteps and the two together have created almost 1,000 championship courses around the world.

According to the National Sporting Goods Association, 1.6 million people participated in golf in New York State in 2011. All players counted were over the age of seven and played at least one round of golf in 2011.

PGA Golf Around New York State

Birthplace of the PGA (Professional Golfers' Association): The PGA of America, the largest working sports organization in the world, was founded in New York City in 1916 when a group of New York golf professionals and amateur golfers attended a luncheon at Taplow Club. Prominent golfer and New York native, Walter Hagan was amongst the group.

The first PGA Championship was held Oct. 9-14, 1916, at Siwanoy Country Club in Bronxville, N.Y.

New York has hosted the PGA Championship 11 times - more than any other state in the US.

Golf Through New York State

Adirondacks:

Whiteface Resort Golf Course - one of the oldest resorts in the Adirondacks. In the 1920s, the New York Times ran a front page story with a photo of Rosa Ponselle, a former Met Opera star, who was hit with a golf ball while playing at the Whiteface Inn Golf Course. It was the first time in the history of the New York Times that a photo was used on the front page.

Lake Placid Club - through the efforts of Melvil Dewey (creator of the Dewey Decimal System), the Lake Placid Club was created in 1895. The lower 18-hole course was designed by Seymour Dunn, who spent 21 years teaching members of the club the art of golf.

Malone Golf & Country Club - formally opened in 1939, Babe Ruth played in the first foursome.

Finger Lakes

The Finger Lakes is home to hundreds of courses, with over 70 in the Rochester area (20 private country clubs, 35 semi-private clubs and 27 public/resort courses) and over 40 near Syracuse alone (including ones designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr. and Jack Nicklaus), both gateways to the region. There is even a Finger Lakes Golf Trail, including four of the region's most challenging courses.

Rochester

More rounds of golf played per capita this year were played in Rochester alone than in many other cities twice its size.

Perhaps the most famous Ross-designed private club in Rochester is Oak Hill Country Club, which has hosted virtually every major golf championship since 1949, including three U.S. Opens (1956. 1968 and 1989), two PGA Championships (1980 and 2003), two U.S. Amateur Championships (1949 and 1998), the Ryder Cup Matches (1995), the U.S. Senior Open (1984)and this summer, the return of the PGA Championship.

Syracuse

In July 2013, the LPGA Credit Union Classic presented by Wegmans was hosted at Drumlins Country Club.

Livingston County

Established in 1898, Brae Burn Golf Club is the second oldest golf course in New York State.

Ontario County

In 2003, Golf Digest selected Ravenwood Golf Club as the fifth "Best New Public Course" in America and it was named one of the "Top 35 Courses to Open" by Golf Magazine. Ravenwood is unique in that it is the only course in the Northeast designed by Robin Nelson.

Wayne County

An 18-hole Scottish links course with rolling hills, Greystone Golf Club is home to large undulating greens, Scottish-style grass mounding, tall native grasses and pot bunkers. Four tees on every hole challenge all levels of play.

Wayne Hills Country Club has been rated four stars in the 2008-2009 editions of Golf Digest "Best Places to Play." Throughout the years, Wayne Hills Country Club has hosted many New York State Amateur Tournaments, (Men's, Women's, Juniors and Boys). In 2010, they hosted the New York State Men's Senior Amateur and will be hosting the NYS Women's Senior Amateur in 2013, making them only one of five courses in New York State to host all of the Amateur tournaments.

Greater Binghampton

The B.C. Open was an official PGA Tour event that was held annually from 1971 to 2006 at Endicott's En-Joie Golf Course. (Note that the 2006 B.C. Open had to be played at Turning Stone in Verona, N.Y. due to extensive damage during the June 2006 flooding of the Susquehanna River.)

Conklin Players club ranked second in Golfweek's "Best Course You Can Play" in New York State.

Traditions at the Glen hosted the PGA Tour's B.C. Open Qualifier from 1974-2003.

Oneida

All three of Turning Stone Resort's courses are certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary by Audubon International:

Atunyote - The longest of Turning Stone Resort's three championship courses, at 7,315 yards, this Tom Fazio design was home to the Turning Stone Resort Championship from 2007 - 2010. In 2006 it was the site of both the PGA Professional National Championship and the B.C. Open. Atunyote ranks as one of the "Top 100 Courses You Can Play" in 2012 by Golf Magazine; "Top 50 Golf Ranges" by 2012 Golf Range Association of America and as one of the "Top 40 Best Casino Courses" in 2012 by Golfweek.

Kaluyahat -Measuring in at just over 7,100 yards, this Robert Trent Jones Jr. course was ranked one of the "Top 100 Best Resort Courses" by Golfweek in 2010 and "Top 100 Resort Course" in 2012 by Golf Digest. Kaluyahat is one of the toughest courses in New York due to its setting and surroundings. Kaluhyat is a classic shot-maker's course, where accuracy and strategy are rewarded as much as length.

Shenendoah - Offers 18 holes of PGA-level golf in a spectacular natural setting. The course was built and is maintained to comply with stringent Audubon International standards for environmental protection and preservation. Designed, constructed and maintained to TOUR standards at more than 7,000 yards, the course offers conditions normally reserved for TOUR professionals. In 2006, Turning Stone Resort's Shenendoah Golf Club was host of the PGA National Club Professional Championship and was ranked "Top 50 Courses for Women" by Golf Digest in 2012 and "Top 100 Courses You Can Play" in 2012 by Golf Magazine.

For more information, visit www.iloveny.com.

About New York State

New York State features 11 beautiful vacation regions. New York's attractions span from landmarks such as Niagara Falls, to the wine trails of Hudson Valley and treasures like the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. Whether it's wide-ranging outdoor activities for the whole family like fishing, hiking and boating, culinary wonders and farm-to-table fresh foods, or the rich history and culture of one of the 13 original colonies, New York State offers diverse activities for all travelers. For more information, visit http://www.iloveny.com. Media can find press releases and more at thebeat.iloveny.com.

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About The PGA of America

Since its founding in 1916, The PGA of America has maintained a twofold mission: to establish and elevate the standards of the profession and to grow interest and participation in the game of golf. By establishing and elevating the standards of the golf profession through world-class education, career services, marketing and research programs, The PGA enables its professionals to maximize their performance in their respective career paths and showcases them as experts in the game and in the multi-billion dollar golf industry. By creating and delivering world-class championships and innovative programs, The PGA of America elevates the public's interest in the game, the desire to play more golf, and ensures accessibility to the game for everyone, everywhere. As The PGA nears its centennial, the PGA brand represents the very best in golf.

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CONTACT:

Melanie Klausner
M. SILVER - A Division of Finn Partners
(212)-754-6500, ext. 7310
Melanie.klausner@finnpartners.com

Eric Scheffel
Empire State Development
(518) 292-5274
escheffel@esd.ny.gov



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