Golfer’s Diary visits Rose Brook Golf Course

Course spotlight

The opportunities for the ‘Average Joe’ to play 18 holes of golf at an affordable price are indeed few and far between. For my money, it’s hard to beat Rose Brook Golf Course in Silver Creek.

Last year, to the best of available records, was the 50th anniversary of Rose Brook. The clubhouse side is the original side. The holes across the street were added in the early 1990s. The course, located just off Rt. 20 up behind the Burger King and Tim Horton’s, is scenic, challenging and just a whole lot of fun.

Not only that, but the owners — Gary Cerne and Myra Pinker — are two of the nicest people you’ll ever have the pleasure of meeting. This will be the couple’s fourth season as owners of the course and they continue to knock it out of the park.

“It’s hard to believe it’s already our fourth season,” Cerne said. “Time flies, but we’ve enjoyed every second.”

So what makes someone want to buy a golf course?

“I never even thought of it,” Cerne, retired from his position as superintendent of the Dunkirk School District, admitted. “It never crossed my mind. I don’t even golf. Myra said, ‘You’re going to go crazy without something to do. We have to find something for you to do.’

“Well, she found it,” he added with a laugh.

They have indeed stayed busy in their short time as course owners. The improvements to the course are both numerous and noticeable. Irrigation was a huge project from the get-go with three new pumps houses being built. All of the machinery has been replaced, as well.

“We went with Toro, which is top-of-the-line,” Cerne noted. “We joked that we should buy some used mowers now because our new ones are too pretty to take out there.”

Cerne is out there every day, personally tending to his course, but he’s the first one to thank all the people whose knowledge and skills have made Rose Brook such a wonderful place to golf.

“The best thing we did was we got hooked up with a guy named Todd, who is a Rutgers University graduate in turf management,” Cerne explained. “He’s become part of the family here. He worked on the PGA Tour right out of college. He’s been an incredible resource. I don’t do anything without picking up the phone and talking it over with him.”

One thing that seemingly every course has is a signature hole. Yet finding one at Rose Brook is a challenge because there are several that stick in a golfer’s head after playing. It just so happens that most of them are par 3s.

No. 4 has golfers hitting from a raised tee box, over a massive pond and onto an enormous green. The hole is simply beautiful. Personally, I hit one of the best tee shots of my life there only to flub the birdie putt, but that’s pretty indicative of my game.

Nos. 10 and 16 are fairly similar, but they feel completely unique. No. 10’s tee box is right by the clubhouse. The green is raised way up on the other side of the creek. To make it even more difficult, there’s a bunker directly in front of the green. For as many times as I’ve played this hole, I still don’t know which club to use. No. 16 crosses the same creek, but this time over a giant gorge. It’s shorter and (theoretically) easier than No. 10, but I’ve seen that ravine get in people’s heads to the point where they hit some of the worst shots of their round right there.

No. 17 bears mentioning if only on a personal level. If you’ve ever driven up Beebe Road, it’s the tee box that first comes into view as you round the bend. I played Rose Brook three times last year and birdied No. 17 all three times. That’s the biggest fluke of all time, but the hole will forever hold a spot in my heart for that.

The other personal note about Rose Brook is that it’s the site of my first (and only) career sub-80 round. I put together a 40-38-78 there in 2017. The course was beautiful. The weather was amazing. I was hitting the ball great. Where else would you rather be?

Another aspect of Rose Brook that draws people in is the restaurant and bar, which is a fantastic place to enjoy a meal after a round of golf.

“It’s a lot of work but Myra loves to cook,” Cerne said. “She does a great job. She makes this fried bologna sandwich covered in cheese and onions and peppers. It’s out of this world. And she makes the best chicken wings in the area.”

Cerne summed up just about everything about his course in one profound sentence.

“If you can’t have a fun time at Rose Brook, I don’t know where you can.”

As always, golf is great. Go get some.

Stefan Gestwicki is an OBSERVER contributing writer. Comments on this article can be sent to golfersdiary@gmail.com.

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