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Real Wedding: Caitlin and Mike

This next one is SO FUN. Everything, from the dancing, to the favors, to the photo ops was fun. We cannot get over how every detail of this wedding screamed "party". We wanted to be guests.
Caitlin and Mike chose a gorgeous Saturday in June to tie the knot. The weather definitely worked in their favor, because they had the genius idea to incorporate balloons into their wedding shots. And another genius idea to use the very talented Robin Fox Photography. Robin was the perfect choice to capture the whimsical, fun-loving personality of the couple and of the wedding.  Like yours truly, Robin has won the WeddingWire Couples' Choice Awards for 4 years running, an award only given to the top 5% of wedding professionals nationwide. One look at her photography, and you'll know why. Classic & dramatic, yet modern and fun. 
So, back to the balloons. 
We'd never seen anything like it at Terry Hills, so they made for incredibly fun, unique, and dreamy shots. Not to mention - look at those faces! Clearly Caitlin, Mike and their wedding party enjoyed them too! 
batavia ny wedding balloonsCaitlin and Mike did not disappoint with their reception details either. The favors were bags of homemade popcorn with specialty flavors that had us drooling. 
After dinner service, they really got the party started with not just one food bar, but two. A S'Mores Bar & a Nacho Bar.. Amazing. 
Since not everyone likes to dance the night away after indulging in S'Mores and Nachos, Caitlin and Mike made sure there was something extra to get everyone back in their dancing shoes: large, foam glow sticks. 01033
Too. Much. Fun. We loved seeing the vivacious spirit of this wedding, from start to finish. If all of these fun details weren't enough to unite the wedding guests, it was pretty clear from early on what would. 00479
The groom is a proud firefighter for the North Greece Fire Department. It was an honor for the entire staff at Terry Hills to be able to help celebrate a brave serviceman like himself, and his beautiful bride! Thank you to Caitlin and Mike for choosing us!

Employee Spotlight: Mandy

Continuing our series on the smiling faces of Terry Hills – we’re on to Mandy.

mandy w jimPictured here with the one and only Jim Kelly, after the 30th Annual Celebrity Golf Classic

Mandy is one of our servers in both the restaurant and banquet facility. She’s been with us for almost two years, so chances are if you’ve ever come in for lunch, dinner, Sunday Brunch, or a private function, she’s been the one to serve you.

In the two short years that she’s been here, she’s moved up the ranks quickly and is now our Lead Trainer, showing new servers the ropes. After all, one of our guests once commented, “Hire more Mandys!”, so it goes to show you how knowledgeable and professional she is. But the compliments don’t just end there… our customers are always raving about her.

So it’s time for you to get to know her a little bit better, besides the obvious: that she’s a great server, and a Dunkin’ coffee addict. 

Favorite Item on the Menu:

I try to stay on a low-carb diet, so it’s awesome that Terry Hills has so many healthy options. I stick with the Greek Chicken Salad, or our new addition to the menu – the Black Bean Burger (on a lettuce wrap if I’m being really good). Both are delicious!

Best Meal You Cook:

When I have the time I love to make meals from scratch. My children love my homemade mac-and-cheese, while my husband’s favorite is either my homemade lasagna or chicken & dumpling stew in the crockpot.

When you’re not at Terry Hills, you are…

Spending time with my little family <3 I love to go camping with my 3 boys & husband. I also enjoy playing co-ed volleyball with my husband, and hitting the gym regularly.

All-time Favorite Movie:

I love movies that can make me laugh. “Super Troopers” is probably my absolute favorite… it never gets old!  

We’d love to hear about your experiences with Mandy! Tell us below: 

Guest Blog: Environmental Impact Report

Have you ever wondered how golf courses are kept so pristine? 

If you're like me, than you might have offered bribes to golf course superintendents to come work on your own lawn. 

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As you can probably imagine, a lot goes into course maintenance. But not so much you need worry.

Today's Guest Blogger is our Superintendent, Thad Thompson, who details what it takes to maintain a 27-hole golf course, while being responsible and aware of resources. Especially in times like these, when we are experiencing a drought, it's more important than ever to be cognizant of our environmental impact.


At Terry Hills we have tried our best to become conscious of the impacts that maintaining a 27-hole golf course has on our environment.  We monitor everything from water use to sunlight levels, wind direction and speed as well as the use of pesticides. 

  Because Terry Hills is located in New York State we have been required by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to report our water use since 2012.  In an attempt to be proactive, we have been reporting our water use since 2009.  As required by the DEC, Terry Hills has applied for a water use permit.  Gathering all the information for this application required many hours of research and data as well as the hiring of a Professional Engineer to compile and submit all the required paperwork.

  Water is a resource that we are lucky to have in abundance in NYS but it is not an excuse to waste it.  We are employing the use of not only visual scouting to assess our turf quality, but also a moisture meter to have hard data to back up our irrigation strategy.  At Terry Hills we have a single row irrigation system, meaning that there is a single row of irrigation heads right down the middle of each fairway.irrigation
  When the US Open was at Pinehurst No. 2 in 2014 the entire golf course was renovated and the USGA demanded that they go back to a single row irrigation system for water conservation.  I was lucky to be able to attend the Open and see this experiment in person.

 We use an Integrated Pest Management approach to monitor the things that impact our turf quality and management strategy.  This approach includes scouting on a daily basis for disease, invasive turf insects as well as any water issues that may be impacting our turf quality.

We deal with a variety of turf diseases including anthracnose, dollar spot, brown patch, brown ring patch and leaf spot on a daily basis.  It’s my job to know the environmental timing for a multitude of these diseases. The primary insects we are looking for are Annual Bluegrass Weevil, Black Turfgrass Ataenius and Japanese beetle, as well as cutworms, white grubs and ants. We use pesticides based on scouting and environmental timing only, not on a regular basis. These specialty chemicals cost a lot of money and I, as Certified Pesticide Applicator in Class 3A, am responsible to NYSDEC to report any and all pesticide usage.  The bottom line is we only want to use them when we have no other options.

  Our fairways get 2 fertilizer applications in the calendar year, once in the spring and once in the fall. 


I use a 43-0-0 polymer coated urea that releases through osmosis.  The release is controlled by temperature, not by water like a sulfur coated product.  I find this to be a much safer product with a release time of about 14 weeks.  New York State outlawed the use of phosphorous a few years ago and based on the soil tests that we have had sent to a lab, we don’t even require potassium because our soil is rich with it.  That is why we only use the 43-0-0 analysis meaning 43% nitrogen.  In my 9 seasons at Terry Hills we haven’t made a single fungicide or insecticide application, property wide to the 30 acres of fairways.  We have spot treated once in the 9th fairway for grubs because the skunks were tearing it up.  We have made herbicide applications every 3 years for control of white clover and dandelions.

  We spray greens every week with a liquid fertilizer using the Harrels program.  Prior to this, we used to fertilize every 2 weeks but have cut the amount in half and now go out every week.  The advantage of fertilizing every week is that we are now giving the greens the nutrition they need for 7 days.  This makes them much more consistent on a weekly basis.  We found that by going out on a 2 week fertilizer schedule, the greens were using everything up in about 12 days leaving them deficient nutritionally and susceptible to disease pressure.  I was looking for a better health management strategy than a strategy where we were relying on pesticides.  Tees get sprayed once a month with a liquid fertilizer.  We include a long lasting fungicide if we have scouted a need for it or if environmental pressures for disease are extremely high.

  We have implemented a tree removal program the last several years at Terry Hills. 

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We have been proactive in our approach to maintaining optimal sunlight levels and air movement throughout our 27 holes.  We are concerned about our playing surfaces and although trees are beautiful, they can become a hindrance. Overcrowding of trees can affect the quality of the turfgrass, the competition for water and nutrients, and obstruct sunlight. Air flow is vitally important throughout the entire golf course, not only to keep golfers cool but to cool down the turf as well.  The exposed root systems can become a hazard for our golfers as well a costly mechanical concern to our rough mowers.  

he impeccable course conditions at Terry Hills are truly the product of a very knowledgable and hardworking grounds crew, but always remember:


Jim Kelly Celebrity Classic - 30th Anniversary



Photo Credit: Brody Wheeler

30 Years. The 30th Anniversary Jim Kelly Celebrity Classic was held on Monday, June 6, 2016 and let me tell you… it was HUGE.

When looking back at last year’s 29th Annual Tournament recap (Part 1 Here & Part 2 Here), I said over and over again how momentous it was. It truly was. The entire Buffalo Bills franchise joined us for the 1st time. Jim had recovered from cancer, was feeling well, and came back to lead the day. Plus, the weather was a fun added element: cold, non-stop rain that proved itself to be a force to reckon with.

With all that said, 29 only leads to one thing: 30.

So for the 30th Anniversary, the Kelly for Kids Foundation could not disappoint. They planned more than ever. The celebrities were huge. The themes were great. The special events were amazing.

In that order – I’ll begin with the celebs.

As always, there are some Jim Kelly Classic “alumni” who return year after year.

Dan Marino

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Chris Berman



Dennis Haskins aka. Principal Belding from Saved by The Bell

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WWE Wrestler Bill Goldberg



Daniel Baldwin. Chris McDonald aka. Shooter McGavin from Happy Gilmore.

There’s always Jim’s former Bills teammates: Andre Reed, Thurman Thomas, Bruce Smith, Fred Smerlas, Steve Tasker, Darryl Talley, Don Beebe, Pete Metzelaars, Scott Norwood, Kenny Davis, Butch Rolle, Phil Hansen, etc.

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Thurman (with so much Terry Hills love!)

scott norwood and pete metzlaars

Scott Norwood & Pete Metzelaars

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 Steve Tasker

With some Bills legends in the mix too: Booker Edgerson, Mary Wilson, Bill Polian.

As it was such a special year, the tournament also attracted some newbies:

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell (pictured with former GM of the Bills, Bill Polian)

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Coach Bill Cowher
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 TV Show Host Steve Wilkos (center)

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And because that’s not enough, as I mentioned before, the entire Bills’ team took a field trip out to Batavia.
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For the team to take time out of their morning to come support the Kelly for Kids foundation was one thing. Then add to that the handful of players who spent the entire day at the tournament- Tyrod Taylor, Eric Wood, Richie Incognito, etc. We couldn’t be more grateful to them for volunteering their time!

Next up, the themes.

Both the theme of the VIP Gala on Sunday night at the Adam’s Mark Hotel in Buffalo and the theme of the tournament were on point. Sunday’s Country Western theme brought out some stellar outfits, but I don’t think you can beat former NFL players & professional athletes in head-to-toe golf knicker outfits.
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Finally – the pièce de résistance – the helicopter golf ball drop. To raise even more money for disadvantaged youth in WNY, the Kelly for Kids Foundation offered the chance to purchase a golf ball to be dropped from a helicopter, in the hopes that it landed closest to the target. The 3 closest balls were slated to win some amazing prizes.

(note: It must be the year of Golf Ball Drops for Terry Hills, because about a month prior to the Jim Kelly tournament, we had done a Golf Ball Drop for another charity function. Why not fly a helicopter overhead and drop 500 golf balls from it multiple times a year?!)

The plan was always to have Rex Ryan go up in the ‘copter to drop the balls, but at the last minute, Jim decided he wanted to be part of the action too. With Jim and Rex strapped in and ready, and helicopter took off to position itself over 1 Fairway where the target was.
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We did not anticipate the 30 mph winds on the day of the tournament, which made it difficult for the helicopter to get as close to the target as we would have liked.  Still, anytime you have a helicopter, hundreds of golf balls, prizes to be won, and celebrities, you can’t really go wrong.

The entire day was a huge success, and it couldn’t have been so without all of the help from the Kelly for Kids & Terry Hills staff, volunteers, golfers, media, sponsors, and of course - celebrities. 

To view the complete photo album from the day - click here or here

BuffaloGolfer.com Interview


1. Please give us a historical timeline for the Terry Hills courses.

In 1930 Parker Terry designed and opened Terry Hills, one of the area’s first 9-hole golf courses. The Rotondo family, under Joe Rotondo and Connie Rotondo Babcock, acquired Terry Hills in 1972. Alongside the 2nd generation owners, Nick Rotondo and Mary Rotondo Brown, as well as 3rd generation, Casey Brown & Danielle Rotondo, the family has continually improved the course, turning what was once farmland into a locally renowned 27-hole championship golf course. The second 9 holes were built in 1986, designed by Geoffrey Cornish, and third 9, architected in 1996 by Edmund Alt, completed our 27 holes. Our latest addition was the modern clubhouse, which opened in 2005, bringing a refined banquet and wedding venue to the community.

2. If you could summarize in one line, what is the goal/purpose for Terry Hills?

To provide an exceptional public golf experience for our guests by combining our pristine course conditions with affordable greens fees, thus creating an outstanding value.

3. Which holes are the most special at the course? They don’t have to be the jaw-droppers, but the ones that golfers mention, time and again.

#14, a par 3, is our signature hole. People call it the “island hole” even though it’s not completely surrounded by water. 3 out of 4 golfers hit it in the water here!
#9, a par 5, plays back to our picturesque clubhouse. We’ve had some close calls with rampant shots, but so far so good.
#18 is a totally wooded par 5 with an elevated green and the original barn (1861) as a back drop – a rural picture post card especially in the spring.
#23 is called the “cemetery hole.” One of the harder par 4’s on the course.
Terry Hills Golf Course

4. What element of the golf courses might be missed by golfers during their first or second playing?

If your first playing is a round of 18, you’ll miss an entire 9 ;)

5. What are the secrets to playing the golf courses successfully?

Stay below the hole on 1-9- meaning leave yourself an uphill putt if possible. It’s not a long course so focus on keeping the ball in play as opposed to hitting it far. Position yourself properly and you can score.

6. Does Terry Hills have any plans to alter the courses, to enhance their playability or make them more challenging?

We don’t plan on altering the course, but we did just implement the PGA’s “Tee it Forward” tees in 2015. These orange tees are designed to make the course more player-friendly and enjoyable.

With “Tee it Forward”, golfers can speed up play and score better by playing off a set of closer tees more appropriate to their skill level. More amateur golfers can now hit an iron into the green instead of a longer club, putt for birdies and pars more often, and have more fun!

We will also continue on our tree management program (350 removed over the last 5 years). Our goal is to keep the spacing at a needed distance so that all our machines can operate easier and the soil will not erode under them.
Terry Hills Golf Course

7. Talk a little about the outings and events that Terry Hills hosts. What makes them unique to western New York golf.

We could be here all day talking about all of our fantastic events! We are proud to host hundreds of great charity, corporate, and social events throughout the year – both on the golf course and in our banquet facility.

Our most notable though, is the Jim Kelly Celebrity Classic. It is easily our largest tournament, topping out at 300 golfers, with 40 or more celebrities. To add to the mix, the entire Buffalo Bills franchise joined us for 2015’s event. We thought that this tournament couldn’t get any more exciting, but between a returning & healthy Jim Kelly, and all of the Bills’ players & coaches, we were wrong. Batavia is still part of Bills country, after all, so this definitely helped give us a little edge in the WNY golf world!

In general, our 27 holes allow our tournaments to expand into larger numbers (140-200) to speed play up. Time is so important and using all 27 does the job.

8. In addition to the golf, what brings people back to Terry Hills?

Our Staff – friendly and consistent and will do the little extras to make your day!

Our Snack Shop – specifically the Zweigles hot dogs (yes, seriously)! Golfers and diners alike rave about them, and you really can’t beat a delicious, quick meal while soaking up the sun on our beautiful patio.

Our Restaurant – from great sandwiches, burgers, salads, and entrees, we’ve got something for everyone. Our Seafood Bisque usually takes the top mention, though. We’re always hearing that it’s the “best bisque ever”.

Sunday Brunch – easily the best Sunday Brunch in the area. Breakfast & Lunch favorites such as Belgian waffles, Eggs Benedict, Seafood Stuffed Cod, and so many more. Even better: golfers save $2 off brunch before or after their round!

9. What question haven’t we asked, that you wish we had? Ask it and answer it, please.

What is Terry Hills’ best kept secret?

Our Superintendent – Thad Thompson. It’s no secret that our course is expertly maintained, or that we’re always one of the first courses to dry up after the winter thaw or a large rainfall. The secret behind all of that is Thad; irrigation expert, course maintenance guru, and recent recipient of the Melrose Leadership Academy scholarship for the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America. Thad was just selected as one of only 16 other golf course superintendents nationally to receive this award. We are very proud of him and grateful for the amazing work he does for the course.

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