BATAVIA — Best known for its plush greens and as a true test for an avid golfer’s long game, Batavia Country Club, constructed in 1964 remains one of the top-public country clubs in all of Western New York.
BCC is equipped with two par 3’s on each side, while, from the blue tees measuring 3,750 yards on the front nine and 3,444 on the back nine, making this a bear for any level of player. The fairways, which are well kept and offer a distinct variance from the rough, are lined with vegetation which makes golfers pay for errant tee shots, but not enough to make a recovery impossible.
With only nine sand traps on the front and back nine combined, trees and fescue are more of a concern than potential hazards. There are also four bodies of water on the course, including on the signature No. 8 hole which requires a tee shot over a pond and around a willow tree which sits before a ravine about 100 yards from the green. After clearing the raveen golfers must ring a bell which is placed along the cart path to alert oncoming golfers that it is ok for them to tee off.
The par four No 8, which measures 461 yards from the tips, is handicapped as the fourth toughest hole on the course and features a steep downhill green, with the par-4, No. 9 hole being handicapped as the toughest hole on the course.
The ninth is a straight shot up a fairway surrounded by trees, measuring 433 yards from the tips, uphill toward the clubhouse. The hole finishes with a hilly green that is surrounded by two of the course’s nine bunkers, one of which sits just before the green on the right side, with fescue beyond the hole to the left.
Another hole which will test your skills from tee to green is the par-3, No. 7 hole, which measures a stunning 235 yards from the blue tees, requiring many golfers to pull the driver from the bag. The seventh has a sizeable trap at the front left side of the green, with surrounding fescue about 20 yards from the back of the green and along the right side.
One bit of advice for the seventh — don’t miss right, where a 10-foot hill drops off as soon as you step off the right side of the green. If you do miss right, it will take a heroic effort to get up and down for a potential par save. You would almost rather end up in the sand on this hole.
Handicapped as the second most-difficult hole on the course, No. 15 measures 410 yards from the back tees and forces golfers to consider keeping their drivers in the bag. Lined with thick trees just feet off of the right side of the fairway, an accurate tee shot in the fairway is of the utmost importance if one hopes to score well on this par-4. There is plenty of room to the left, however, and if a golfer is to miss anywhere off the tee on this hole, it’s best to miss left. If one is to miss left, it is important to miss well enough left, however, in order to provide enough distance from a line of trees separating the fairways on No. 15 and No. 14. If one is able to approach safely in two a par is anything but guaranteed, as a bear of a green is waiting for you. With slopes abound, the green on No. 15 is among the most-difficult on the course.
Finally, capping off your round is a beautiful par-4, No. 18 hole, which measures a slim 384 yards from the blues and runs along a sizeable driving range.
The finishing No. 18 hole is a dogleg left with trees influencing even a straight tee shot, as with a heavy cluster of trees to the left of the start of the dogleg, this hole requires one to be accurate off the tee. Though, if hit well, tee shots on No. 18 have the opportunity to roll within 100 yards of the green, providing golfers with a reasonable birdie opportunity.
Once a round is finished, golfers are tempted to enjoy a full bar, grill and patio that sits about 10 feet from a full pro shop which features top-class clubs and equipment for sale.
Also, before the current times of COVID-19, BCC offered one of the most extensive clubhouse facilities that you will see at a public golf course. The clubhouse, which offers a massive banquet room and outdoor deck that has hosted hundreds of weddings and other big-time events over the years, is the crown jewel for what is an all-around fine establishment owned by the Pompa family, who bought the club in 1972.
When the Pompas originally bought BCC, it was a wide open course with very few trees and even fewer hazards than it has today.
“We’ve definitely changed that over nearly 50 years of ownership,” said owner Chris Pompa, who says upgrades have continued almost consistently throughout his family’s five decades of ownership, and continues even today. “We’ve remodeled both the upstairs and downstairs of the clubhouse over the years and put a new irrigation system in on the course and are currently working on more cart paths, fixing some tee boxes and other upgrades.”
A course that is proud to offer some of the most-reasonable rates for a course of its quality, BCC is always welcoming new members.
“We definitely give people their moneys worth,” added Pompa. “We also have a great, friendly staff that is always ready to assist (golfers).”