(Fifteenth in a Series)
CANASTOTA — The Rome Sentinel Golf Tour took a trip to Canastota this week and visited Casolwood Golf Course.
“My family bought it 33 or so years ago,” Rob Quick said. “It was nine holes with a driving range at first.”
Quick said that they rearranged some holes on the front side and then added the back nine.
“It’s kind of a shorter golf course,” Quick added. “It’s fun. There are some short par 3s on the back, and there’s a lot of water.”
From the white tees, Casolwood comes in at 5,942 yards. The course has irrigation for the greens and tee boxes.
“We have two pump houses and we irrigate through all of our ponds,” Quick said. “We’re going to be moving to city water once we get all of our permits signed.”
Quick said that when it comes to signature holes, number 9 comes to mind.
“It’s the longest hole on the course, at almost 600 yards,” Quick said. “Fourteen on the back is kind of surrounded by water. It’s a short hole, but it’s fun.”
Par for the course is 71.
“It’s kind of a little shorter,” Quick said. “People come here just to have fun on the golf course. There’s a lot of birdies available.”
He also added that there have been small renovations going on at the course and inside the clubhouse.
“We’ve renovated the inside (of the clubhouse) a little bit over the years,” Quick said. “We have a small restaurant here on the inside and a full bar.”
Casolwood is home to many leagues and tournaments throughout the year too.
“We have a lot of Casolwood events during the spring and fall and a lot of tournaments come in to here during the summer,” Quick said.
One tournament that comes to Casolwood is the Tournament of Champions during the International Boxing Hall of Fame induction weekend.
“We’ve had the Tournament of Champions here for as long as I can remember,” Quick said. “We obviously didn’t do it this year because of the coronavirus, but we’ve done that. We’ve had a lot of the boxers come out. A lot of the famous guys.”
Quick said that through the years, the likes of Evander Holyfield, Oscar De La Hoya and Marvin Hagler came to Casolwood for the event.
Another tournament that’s known in Canastota is the big member guest that happens at Casolwood.
“We have about 120-140 guys come out for that event,” Quick said. “We have a strong membership with about 300 members here.”
Quick also added that Casolwood “Has been doing better than some businesses” during the coronavirus pandemic.
“We can still be open,” Quick said. “Obviously it’s no where near our best year, but it’s enough to get by. People are off so we get some more open play, but obviously a lot of tournaments did get canceled. A lot of banquets got canceled, clam bakes got canceled. From the food serving and social distancing standpoints, some of our bigger events got canceled. But hopefully that all resolves itself for next year.”
Quick said that Casolwood will be open as long as there’s no snow.
“If we get a nice weekend or day in December, January, February or March kind of deal, we’re open,” Quick said. “So we get a lot of people that come down from up north that kind of want to get their swings in for the month or get those Christmas presents going.”
Here’s a little bit about the course.
Teeing off of the first hole, it’s a short par 4, 292 yards from the white tees. It’s a downhill tee shot with a slight dogleg to the right.
The second hole is another par 4, 340 yards from the white tees with a slight dogleg to the left. The New York State Thruway runs behind the green of the second hole and it’s right behind you when you’re teeing off the par 3 third hole.
And when you’re teeing off of the third hole, there’s a little pond that sits right in front of the tee box. This par 3 is 165 yards from the white tees.
The fourth hole is a short par 5, 445 yards from the white tees and it’s a straight shot off of the tee. There’s a ditch about 150 yards away from the green, so either drive over it or lay up if you’re not confident you can make it over.
Hole 5 is another par four. It’s a straight shot off of the tee, but there’s water to the right of the fairway beginning at about 150 yards.
Hole 6 is a straight shot off of the tee and that’s followed by the par 3 seventh hole. Other than a pond right in front of the tee box, this is a straight shot off of the tee.
On to hole 8, another straight shot off of the tee, with water sitting down the fairway on the left side about 30 yards away from the green.
And to wrap up the front nine is the long par 5 that runs next to Perretta Drive. It’s a straight shot off of the tee. Trees line the fairway to the right and the road is on your left. The green sits above the fairway.
Onto the back side. Hole 10 is an elevated tee box with a slight dogleg right. There’s water to the right side of the fairway at the base of the downhill.
Hole 11 is a short par 3 with water to the left of the fairway. Power lines are also above you so don’t send your ball too high.
Hole 12 is a par 4 that has the Thruway running right by the hole. It has a dogleg right when you get toward the green.
Hole 13 is a sharp dogleg left right off of the tee box, but after the dogleg, it’s a straight shot.
Hole 14 is a very short par 3, 100 yards from the white tees. Water is on the left side of the green. Fourteen is followed by a 535-yard par 5, that has you shooting uphill off of the tee box. You’ll come back downhill on your second shot then back uphill to the green. But watch this green because it’s a tough one.
Hole 16 is a 120-yard par 3, shooting uphill off of the tee box.
Hole 17 is another par 5; 510 yards from the white tees. Again, you’re shooting uphill off of the tee, then back downhill. There’s water that sits right in front of the green.
Hole 18 is another uphill tee shot, then back downhill and the green sits above the fairway.
Overall, this course lived up to it being fair to all players. I had my chances at birdie and pars throughout the round.