Black Diamonds aren’t just a Winter Thing
By Dash Hegeman

As the chill of winter morphs into the revival of spring, it’s time to start thinking about warmer days, nine irons, and countless lost golf balls.  And with that in mind, The Double Black Diamond Golf Course at Holiday Valley is ramping up for another summer of fun on and off the green.  So call up your friends, make your plans in advance, and get ready for one of Western New York’s most unique courses. Don’t believe us? Go check out the summer section of and watch the video overview to see the combination of technique and power that are needed to play this course.

If you need further proof, there’s no better person to get the Holiday Valley golfing scoop from than Steve Carney, the Director of Golf and Summer Operations for Holiday Valley.  Carney and his talented crew are preparing to embark on the formidable task of taking a significant amount of land that has been covered by snow all winter and getting it primed for a summer of golfing activities.

“The dry conditions last spring caused our fairway conditions to be mediocre,” Carney stated. “We will give lots of attention to get the fairways in good condition. The greens continue to be very good. And 6 to 8 bunkers will be rebuilt.”

But first comes snow removal.  According to Carney there can be anywhere from two to four feet of compacted snow that he and his team need to get off the course.  The combination of the water and weight takes a significant toll on the ground below it and every season, Carney and his team must work hard and fast to get the greens in top form for the summer.

When asked about his team of PGA golf professionals, Carney replied, “I’m glad Tom Dirito and Kyle Benish are  returning for their 13th years with us. That makes it 100% easier.”

The Holiday Valley Mountain Shop will close this year on April 2, at which point winter merchandise will be taken out, the shop will be painted and the carpets will be cleaned.  By April 7 they will have the summer goods all moved into the store and on display.  Carney estimates about 450 boxes will be opened, tagged, and put on the shelves this year.  Not bad for a less than one week turnaround.

And that is just what takes place in the Mountain Shop.  The rest of the behind-the-scenes work is just as, if not more, intense.  “We just don’t open the door for any season without a tremendous amount of planning,” said Carney.  “Last fall we saw about three dozen golf companies for the coming year. Lots of meetings for pricing, marketing, golf course improvement planning, course equipment, budgeting, golf school, lesson programs, league organizations, events, golf shows, employee hiring, merchandising, etc.”

At the end of the day though, it’s all about the love of the game for Carney, just like it is for any avid golfer.  “My favorite day of the year is always April 1 because myself and thousands of others in Western New York are chomping at the bit to get the golf season started. We’ve been caged up for five or six months and we can finally get out and start hitting the great white ball that is forever testing us.  We love it and at times hate it, but we can’t wait!  Have a great 2017, wherever you are golfing!”


After a day out on the fairways, you’re sure to work up an appetite. Lucky for you, the dining options are plentiful at Holiday Valley.  Between the fantastic full service menu at John Harvard’s Brew House, the beach themed Cabana Bar, McCarty’s Cafe, the Sky High Cafe, and the beer and snack wielding Golf Cart, there is always something at Holiday Valley to satisfy both your hunger and your thirst.

Looking for relaxation? Book a massage, mani/pedi, or facial at the Ellicottville Oasis Spa, located inside the Tamarack Club at Holiday Valley. Spa packages give you the option to add on access to the Tamarack’s indoor/outdoor pool, hot tub and fitness room, making your visit to Holiday Valley Resort ever so rewarding, even if your golf swing says otherwise.

With so much green waiting for you at Holiday Valley this summer, you’d better start planning a visit or two.  And if you’re looking to improve your golf game, Holiday Valley has a trio of qualified and enthusiastic instructors on staff.  Steve Carney is a PGA Master Professional and the 2015 Western New York PGA Professional of the Year.  Kyle Benish is a PGA Class A member and the 2014 Western New York PGA Assistant Professional of the Year.  And Tom Dirito is a member of the United States Golf Teachers Federation.  They also offer video lessons, which have been gaining an immense amount of popularity over the past few years.  For more information, call 716-699-2345.

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