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5 Reasons to Play Rochester

There’s no better place to play golf right now than the country clubs and golf courses in Rochester, New York.

As golf fans tune in today for the 2013 PGA Championship at Oak hill Country Club, the idea of playing along the Finger Lakes and taking in the sights and sounds of the waning summer months among beautiful gardens is as sweet as it gets.

Here are 5 reasons to enjoy ‘The Flower City” not only for it’s golf, but its beauty and great personality.

Hickory Ridge Golf Resort. Photo by Trip Advisor

Hickory Ridge Golf Resort offers a different, golf-outdoor experience combined as you can park and stay in your RV on-site. Photo by Trip Advisor

1. Great Golf Courses

Little known fact about this golf mecca – Rochester is home over 90 resort, semi-private and public courses for novice and scratch golfers to enjoy.

No matter which course you choose, there is something for everyone. Find three sets of tees at Brockport Golf Club which is just six miles from Lake Ontario and provides a serene layout, frequented by deer and other wildlife, as well as an exceptional round of golf. Give Salmon Creek Country Club a look as its 18 holes lie in a beautiful setting of mature trees, rolling fields, ponds, and pose a great challenge for advanced golfers.

Hickory Ridge Golf Resort offers something a little different for the family looking to make this a true end of summer vacation. You can park your RV on the resort site and enjoy some great golf at the same time.

For a full list of the great courses you can easily browse and book online, visit

Walter Hagen. Photo by

Walter Hagen, PGA TOUR legend and winner of 16 majors is one of many famous golfers who’ve called Rochester home. Photo by

2. Deep-Rooted Golf History

Some of the best ever to have played the game hail from Rochester. Names like Walter Hagen, winner of 16 majors; Dottie Pepper, a recently retired NBC Sports commentator and 17-time LPGA TOUR winner; and even Robert Trent Jones, known as the “father of modern golf-course architecture,” have called Rochester home.

Other PGA TOUR players with ties to Rochester, include Jeff Sluman, Dudley Hart and the Harmon family. Local Craig Harmon, golf professional at Oak Hill Country Club and the 2004 PGA Golf Professional of the Year, is the son of 1948 Master’s Champion Claude Harmon Sr., and his brother is world renowned golf instructor Butch Harmon.

Rochester is also home to several championship courses that echo the rich golf history of tournaments past. Oak Hill Country Club has played host to 11 major tournaments, including the 1995 Ryder Cup and the 2013 PGA Championship taking place this week. Also nearby, Monroe Country Club is home of the Monroe Invitation, one of the most prestigious amateur tournaments in the world. And there’s Locust Hill, which has hosted the annual Wegmans LPGA Championship since 1977.

Rochester's annual Lilac Festival Photo by Examiner

Rochester’s annual Lilac Festival brings in vacationers from far and wide each year. Photo by Examiner

3. Extraordinary Places & Views

Of the eight regions of New York, Rochester rests at the foot of the Finger Lakes, a series of narrow lakes that provide amazing views. It’s also been ranked by Forbes as the third-best city in the United States to raise a family.

The Lilac Festival is an annual event vacationers come to witness each year in the Flower City. With no shortage of activities, visitors can take scenic tours of the beautiful city skyline in the Mary Jemison ferry boat, visit Ontario Beach, or day trip it to the Watkins Glen speedway, host of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Watkinds Glen International.


Rochester views

Rochester sits at the middle of what has been called the “100 Must-See Miles” of the Erie Canal and offers visitors amazing skyline views.

4. The City’s Rich History

According to Visit Rochester, Rochester is a vibrant city featuring an eclectic mix of history, beauty and culture. Rochester sits at the middle of what has been called the “100 Must-See Miles” of the Erie Canal. Today, the historic Canal thrives as an active and recreational waterway with towpaths, shops and charming towns telling America’s story.

The George Eastman House/International Museum of Photography and Film is a major visitor attraction, as is the National Toy Hall of Fame.

Garbage Plate. Photo by

Rochester is home to several great eateries and dishes, including Nick Tahou Hots’ Garbage Plate. Photo by

5. Great Eats

Last but certainly not least are the amazing eats Rochester has to offer. For example, it’s the birthplace of the “Garbage Plate,” a most unusual dish created at Nick Tahou Hots fast-food restaurant more than fifty years ago. Aptly named, this one-plate meal includes just about everything the kitchen could cook — meat and potatoes with a few other things thrown in to really stick to your ribs.

There is also the Pittsford Pub Restaurant owned by Brad Sluman, brother of PGA tour player Jeff Sluman. The walls of the pub are decorated in golf memorabilia from famous golfers such as Ben Hogan, Payne Stewart, Walter Hagen, Greg Norman, Byron Nelson, Sam Snead, Arnold Palmer and Jeff Sluman, and this is surely one of the best places in town for a burger and a beer after a day on the links.

Each course, eatery and road seems to tell a great tale, and anyone who visits the area is bound to swept up in the aura of western New York’s best-kept secret.


Featured image of Oak Hill Country Club courtesy of Oak Hill CC.

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