Golf, I love golf – playing it, talking about it, everything! Finger Lakes Visitors Connection was the guest of VisitRochester in Toronto where we participated in a PGA of America event at the University Club. This year Rochester has the unique distinction of being the venue for both the 95th PGA Championship and the Wegmans LPGA Championship. Never before have both major championships been held in the same city.

The golf world is focused on the Finger Lakes next year and with good reason. We learned that there are over 15,000 golf courses in the United States. We learned that about 750 of these are in New York State. With all the representatives there from the Finger Lakes and the Niagara Frontier – we had the golfing interests pretty well covered and piqued for sure!

I was pleased to be able to share details about Bristol Harbour’s wonderful accommodations and Robert Trent Jones 18-hole championship golf course. Ravenwood Golf Club, I shared, was honored with the Best Public Golf Course award by Golf Digest in 2003 – and most recently held the 2012 American Junior Golf Association Junior-Am. What was the most fun? Sure, we were there on a sales mission, but this had to be one of the easiest sales of all.  We also learned that 20% of Ontario, Canadians are active golfers! And, they can’t wait to get here. I want to encourage them to come and take the Finger Lakes Golf Trail and test out some of our best courses.  We even have a Spring special to tease them to come early!

What made our sales efforts even easier was the testimonials offered up by some of the distinguished Canadians at the podium. 

Most impressive was Councillor Grimes who gave out solid information on “Lake Canandaigua”, as he called it.  He talked about his annual trip to the area – and how he comes both in the summer and in the winter. He praised Bristol Mountain for its fabulous skiing and Bristol Harbour. He endorsed his wife’s side trips to Eastview Mall and Main Street, Canandaigua. He even admitted that he “borrowed” an idea for a city square by looking at Canandaigua’s Commons park, right on Main Street.  “I just have to finish up the archway,” he said. “Then, he continued, “We can have a simulcast concert.”  I love the way that man promotes and thinks. A concert?  “We’re in,” I thought, “right after the next round of golf!”

Golf can’t start soon enough, and one of the fun things that we’ve done this year is promote a package for golf in the Spring. Get a Free Mulligan for your Drive offers two days of unlimited golf at Bristol Harbour or Ravenwood – plus an overnight at either the Holiday Inn Express or Bristol Harbour and a $50 gas card per twosome!

Even non-golfers have to be excited about the attention that our area is going to get as a result of these big events being in Rochester – just 20 minutes from us! And, our residents have a lot to be proud about. If there’s something that I heard over and over and over again – it’s “what a beautiful area the Finger Lakes is”. I agree and I’ll make sure that I tease you over the next couple of months with a few golf stories and some great pictures taken from my exploits.

Maybe this will be the year where I golf all the holes of golf in Ontario County?  Watch out Big Oak, Reservoir Creek, Seneca Lake Country Club, Winged Pheasant, Bristol Harbour, Ravenwood, Parkview, CenterPointe, Victor Hills … the challenge is on!