The 515-yard par-5 16th hole at Cobblestone Creek Country Club offers a narrow, tree-lined fairway leading to a small green - as well as a commanding view of the nearby Victor hills surrounding the course. On August 11 and 12, Cobblestone Creek hosts the 2017 RDGA Mid Amateur Championship for golfers ages 25 and over.
FOLLOW RESULTS FROM THE 2017 RDGA MID AMATEUR CHAMPIONSHIP at COBBLESTONE CREEK:
Having hosted two RDGA District Championships, three RDGA Match Play Championships and one RDGA Junior Championship in its 26-year existence - not to mention other premier events such as the Western New York PGA Section Championship and the New York State Amateur - Victor's Cobblestone Creek Country Club is anything but a newcomer when it comes to hosting big-time tournaments.
But this year, when the 2017 RDGA Mid Amateur Championship comes to Cobblestone Creek on August 11 and 12, it will mark the first time that the upscale private facility has hosted the District's top 25-and over championship for men.
As a competition created for amateur players past college-age and well into their professional careers, the choice of Cobblestone Creek as the host for this year's RDGA Mid Amateur Championship will be an interesting one - if for no other reason than many of the players will have already had the opportunity to play the course under competitive conditions.
For the staff and membership at Cobblestone Creek - including General Manager Mike Surtel, Superintendent Rusty Madden and PGA Head Professional Neil Reidy - hosting the RDGA Mid Amateur will provide the facility yet another opportunity to shine as one of the top private clubs in the Rochester area.
Born of Excellence; Cobblestone Enjoys a Rich Pedigree
Originally built by local business and real estate executive Bill Wilmot, an avid golfer, Cobblestone Creek Country Club was concieved, designed and built with the purpose of being one of the top private country clubs in the Rochester area, with ajoining properties surrounding the golf course being offered as luxury homesites.
To design the course, Wilmot hired one of the top golf architects in the country, Dr. Michael Hurdzan, who brought in protege Craig Schreiner - who would later head his own firm - to lead the design team and construction began in early 1990. Helping with the construction was James "Rusty" Madden, who later became the club's superintendent.
Built across 412 acres of hills, meadows, creeks, ponds, and forests, Hurdzan and Schreiner designed Cobblestone in the style of a classic Scottish Links style course, with fairways shaped by mounds, bunkers and water features and very few trees. Now more of an industry standard when it comes to new course construction, at the time, Hurdzan and Schreiner's design was somewhat revolutionary.
When it officially opened, during the summer of 1991, Cobblestone Creek offered a 6,800-plus yard championship layout, in which ponds and creeks come into play on 10 of 18 holes - as well as a wide range of elevation changes.
Almost immediately - within the first couple of years of its existence - Cobblestone Creek attracted critical acclaim from national publications, being named as Golf Digest's 10th Best New Course in the Country in 1992, and the 13th Best Course in New York State the following year.
In the years that followed, Cobblestone became more than just a premier golf facility as it grew into a community, with nearly 200 homes being built on the properties surronding the course - many of which belonged to members of the club.
Today, Cobblestone Creek Country Club boasts an impressive 300 memberships - which adds up to nearly 1000 individual members when you count spouses, children and other family members.
A Well-Earned Reputation for Providing Challenging Competition
Along with its championship history, Cobblestone Creek has earned a reputation of producing outstanding champions, born under the pressures of top competition.
The 423-yard par-4 14th hole at Cobblestone Creek features several
fairway mounds and bunkers that shape the hole from start to finish.
Just three years after it opened, Cobblestone hosted its first major championship event - the 1994 New York State Men's Amateur - made memorable by the brother-brother duel of Rochester-area golfers Dave and Paul Bonacchi (won by Dave in the 36-hole match play final).
Cobblestone hosted its first RDGA event in 1998, when Jim Scorse won his first of eight RDGA Match Play Championships to date, defeating Dave Benedict in the final match.
The RDGA District Championship John H. Ryan Jr. Memorial was first held at Cobblestone in 2005, when Scorse won his third title in a playoff. History then repeated itself seven years later, when Scorse won his fourth District Championship title of five to date - again in a playoff.
Hosting its first RDGA Mid Amateur Championship this year, Cobblestone will be a familiar - if not easy - challenge for many of the players in the field.
The shorter front side at Cobblestone has water carry off the tee on three holes - none more dramatic than on the short, 362-yard ninth hole, which requires a precice tee ball to keep it in play for a shot at the green in two.
The back nine is all about length off the tee - being nearly 250 yards longer than the front. All but one of the par-4s on the back side is longer than 400 yards and the two par-3s are both nearly 200 yards.
The 430-yard par-4 10th hole at Cobblestone Creek Country Club is one of the key holes on the course with water features,
requiring the player to plan ahead - both off the tee and approaching the green.
The biggest challenge facing contestants on the back nine at Cobblestone are the three closing holes, beginning with the 515-yard, uphill par-5 16th, which features a narrow fairway and a target green; No. 17 offers the longest par-3 on the course at 228 yards from the tips (195 yards for the Mid Am). The closing hole is another 500-plus-yard par-5, mostly downhill but with an elevated, shallow green.
A Major Championship for the 25-And-Over Golfer
One of the more recent additions to the annual lineup of Rochester District Golf Association championships, the RDGA Mid Amateur Championship is open to all amateur male golfers age 25 and over (as of the beginning of each year's tournament) who are members in good standing at RDGA clubs. All contestants must have a RDGA/USGA Handicap Index supplied by the RDGA.
Patterned after the USGA's Mid Amateur, the first RDGA Mid Amateur Championship was held in 2007 as a way to provide a formal competition for local post collegeiate-age amateurs, for whom the game is an avocation, rather than a stepping stone to a professional career. The format of the event is a two-day, 36-hole, stroke play competition, conducted as two 18-hole rounds held on consecutive days.
To say that Stafford Country Club member Jim Scorse has dominated this championship is an understatement. In 2015, the four-time RDGA District Championship John H. Ryan Memorial winner captured the RDGA Mid Am title for the sixth time in the history of the competition, finishing six shots ahead of runner-up Dr. Jim Mason from Oak Hill Country Club.
The 11th annual edition of the RDGA Mid Amateur Championship visits Cobblestone Creek Country Club for the first time this year. Scheduled for August 11 and 12, competitors will tour the beautifully-maintained, par-72 layout in two, scratch, 18-hole stroke play rounds. In addition to the Championship trophy, the top three finishers - plus ties - receive an exemption into the next year's RDGA District Championship John H. Ryan Jr. Memorial which will be hosted by Monroe Golf Club.
This article was written by RDGA Communications Director Dave Eaton.