Many of you probably already know today’s featured employee- our Head Golf Professional, Casey. This is a golf course, afterall.
A little background on Casey: Casey is a graduate of the Professional Golf Management Program at Penn State University with additional minors in business and economics. Prior to graduating, he completed internships in Chicago, New Jersey, and Las Vegas. He’s also a certified class A member of the Professional Golfers Association of America and oversees all special events, tournaments, and daily golf operations here at Terry Hills. His total involvement with the business: over 12 years!
If you’ve ever golfed a round, played in a tournament here, or were passing by, you’ve probably run into Casey. He’s the face of our golf and we’re lucky to have such an experienced Pro.
You may think you know him, but we took it upon ourselves to help you get to know him even better.
Favorite Hole to play at Terry Hills:
#9 (Par 5, 504 yards)- It’s unique and challenging.
If you had to pick one food to eat for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Spicy Chicken Fingers
Favorite brand of golf shirt:
What are you looking forward to for the 2015 Golf Season?
Playing golf, of course!
What is your favorite hole to play at Terry Hills?
In case you hadn’t heard amidst the social media & news explosion, Monday was the 29th Annual Jim Kelly Celebrity Classic, held here at yours truly, Terry Hills. And in case you couldn’t guess, it’s easily our biggest event of the year. With 300 golfers alone, plus countless volunteers, staff, & media, let’s just say it’s nothing short of crazy. This year, I guess everyone wanted set the precedent for the tournament to really explode, so they invited the entire Buffalo Bills franchise, players & coaches, to attend as well.
I think I’m getting ahead of myself though. Before we can dive into the madness & excitement of the day itself, we have to first get into how we even go about setting up the course and the facility for an event with over 400 attendees. Granted, I’m not even close to the one responsible for everything. You’re hearing this from the perspective of Terry Hills’ Director of Marketing, who believe it or not, takes a very backseat role in the production of the tournament. Aside from Jim Kelly himself (and his amazing staff), who obviously without, there would be no tournament in the first place, there’s a few key Terry Hills’ players (pun intended?) that allow this event to happen.
Our Superintendent, Thad, is in my opinion, one of the major celebrities of the day. Especially this year. And I quote, “I put in 36 hours the past three days” leading up to the tournament, getting the course in PRIME shape. That in itself is no small task on a regular day. This year, Mother Nature decided to play a little joke on us, knowing that the event was set to be bigger than ever with the inclusion of the Buffalo Bills. It down poured the entire day leading up to the tournament. Rain, rain, go away, come again another day, like maybe not a day surrounding our biggest event of the year.
Thad once again proved his golf course superintendent super-stardom. Despite the 36-hours of straight rainfall (it seemed like), the course was inevitably wet, but completely still playable. Considering my backyard was 50% underwater and flooded, I was truly amazed that the course remained as functional as it did. Might I just add that not only were we faced with a LOT of rain this year, but my personal favorite weather of all time: cold rain. Temps in the 40s and low 50s graced us for the tournament, so it was nothing short of a true Western New York weather experience- wearing gloves, hats, and boots on the first day of June.
As always, our Head Golf Pro, Casey, and Restaurant & Banquet Manager, Danielle, put in countless hours to get this tournament underway as well. Simply because I can't even begin to fathom ALL of what they do to plan, organize, and execute the day, I will leave it at: they too are superstars. Really. They've both been organizing this tournament for so many years, that they almost make it look easy. How you make something of this magnitude look easy is beyond me. And let’s not leave out Gene, our Executive Chef. As someone who cannot cook to save my life, I cannot imagine readying breakfast AND dinner for over 300 people. Heck, I struggle readying meals for my small family of 3. So truly I am amazed at how effortlessly, it seems, that Gene and the kitchen staff are able to prepare that much food.
So the rain also threw a wrench in the plans for Casey, Danielle, and Gene as well. Normally, as one would expect from a summer day in June, being outside is not only no biggie, but it's preferable. Because our banquet room only seats 200 people, we normally utilize our outdoor patio for extra seating and space. Which works out perfectly, because as previously stated, who doesn't want to be outside on a beautiful summer day? Well, that beautiful summer day is not even close to what we got. So what we did get was a bit of a scramble trying to rearrange the seating & food set up to accommodate Mother Nature's little hiccup. Again, because I can't stress enough, Terry Hills management and staff are just that good, and made it happen like it was nothing.
So after that extremely brief, and I mean extremely, brief summary of how Terry Hills preps for the big day of the Kelly tournament, I’m sure you are more than ready to hear about the juicy stuff. As in, the celebrities. And the Buffalo Bills.
That part is coming. Stay tuned for Part 2 of our Jim Kelly Celebrity Classic recap (including the appearance of celebrities with a selfie stick)!
Now that the restaurant is in full swing for the season, the exciting, special events we have to offer are endless!
Coming up tomorrow is our 2nd-ever Wine Dinner, appropriately named "Taste of Spring", as it falls in the first week of May. Our first Wine Dinner was held last November, so we went with a "Harvest" theme. Tables decked with gourds and squash, rustic Fall colors, and a hearty menu accented by Fall flavors made for a great evening of wine and food.
We were pleased to partner with some local New York State food producers to add in an element of "eat local" as well. We featured food products from Yancey's Fancy, Deb's Bakery, & Harrington's Produce- all of which are Genesee County natives, plus Wine Ice Cream from Northern New York-based Mercer's. This wine dinner was such a hit, that we wanted to keep a similar format going forward for our second time around.
Our Taste of Spring Wine Dinner will highlight 5 courses, all of which are expertly-paired with their own wine. In keeping with the "Spring" theme, we chose a lighter, more delicate menu than what was served in the fall, and of course 5 new wines. We made sure not to repeat any wines for those dual-offender diners. We also, again, wanted to feature some local favorites, so we'll start off the evening with a cheese course provided by Yancey's Fancy, and finish with a delectable dessert from Buttercrumb's Bakery in Corfu.
We are suckers for a theme, so in going forward, we'd love to plan each of our wine dinners around a particular theme. And luckily, this world has a lot of different wines, so the theme possibilities are endless: NYS Wines, Italian Wines, All Reds, All Whites... and let's not stop there. We're also toying with the ideas of a Bourbon Tasting, a Craft Beer Tasting, and so on. Feel free to let us know what theme you'd like to see for our future spirits dinners!
If you don't have reservations for tomorrow night's wine dinner, there is still time and room.. albeit both are limited. Give us a call as soon as possible to make a reservation, or simply keep it in mind for this autumn when we host our next one!
Welcome to the Terry Hills blog! We bring you our first post on a day that is not exactly what anyone would have in mind as golfing weather, or weather condusive to any events, really. The balmy temperature outside reads 3 degrees, with a wind chill of -13. Western New York winters are notoriously harsh, but the cold spell and constant snow we've been experiencing here in Batavia over the last few weeks has us really anxious for Spring to come sooner than later. Temperatures above freezing, sunshine, the prospect of golf on the horizon.. any of the above would be preferable to the conditions of late.
But it got us to thinking- in the midst of a frozen tundra, most of you probably think that because the golf course and restaurant are closed, we have nothing to do but twiddle our thumbs until the snow melts. Come on, admit it, you were thinking "What does a golf course do in the winter?" Contrary to popular belief that we're all just taking a glorious, 3-month long vacation to warmer climates, anxiously awaiting an April thaw, winter can be one of our busier seasons! The closing of course and restaurant give us a lot of time to work on various projects that we couldn't otherwise tackle in the hustle and bustle of our busy summer season.
First things first, to clear up any confusion: the Banquet Facility IS still open for Private Events of 30 or more! I know... shameless plug, but it has to be said! If you were wondering what we do from January-April, banquets make up a large chunk! Besides hosting Private Events, the winter months provide an opportunity to get a lot of maintenance and upkeep accomplished for the coming season. Cleaning, repainting, redecorating, fixing... it all has to be done, and what better time than now! We're also busy planning and strategizing for the 2015 year- from formulating marketing efforts, to hiring and training staff.
For the golf side of things, our Superintendent is also busy with course maintenance, or at least he was until the snow piled up... For now, there's plenty to do off of the fairways and greens, for example painting tee markers and signs, recovering flag sticks, servicing mowers, continuing education, and pesticide reporting to the NYSDEC. Who knew?!
Lastly, January and February are extremely busy months for wedding planning. Couples that got engaged from November and December (think: holidays!), and also all of the Valentine's Day engagements are now starting to hit the ground running with their planning, and one of the first steps is to secure a wedding venue! That's where we come in to play (duh!). We need to make sure we are available to those couples to give them tours of the facility, and sit down and talk with them about their dream weddings, which we obviously hope will be at Terry Hills! Shameless Plug #2.
With that all being said, we are crossing our fingers for a short winter, along with the majority of WNY residents. The arrival of golf couldn't come sooner, and we can't wait to return to our normalcy of seeing golfers, diners, and events in and out every day! Or hey, if Spring really is going to drag it's heels, at least give us a few days like this past Christmas Eve mixed in. We'll leave you with the good ol' days of 50 degrees, thawed snow, and most importantly, GOLF: