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Native-Owned Golf Courses Earning Topflight Honors: Turning Stone and Hickory Stick Play Through


Native-owned golf courses and facilities are not only growing in number across the U.S. but scoring praise from the sport's top organizations. The operations of the Seneca Nation and the Oneida Indian Nation are the latest to garner recognition.

Three golf facilities at the Oneida Nation's Turning Stone Resort Casino in upstate New York were recently honored with prestigious industry awards. The Shenendoah and Kaluhyat Golf Shop was honored by the Association of Golf Merchandisers as one of the “best of the best” in the country. The Golf Range Association of America named the Atunyote driving range one of the Top 50 Public Facility Golf Ranges in the nation, and the indoor Golf Dome was named among the Top 50 Stand Alone Golf Ranges.

All three awards were presented to Turning Stone at last month’s PGA Merchandise Show, held in Orlando, Florida.

Offering the latest in custom apparel and equipment from the likes of Titleist, Ping, Callaway, Nike, and Ogio in a 1,782-square-foot setting, the Shenendoah and Kaluhyat Golf Shop is one of five located at Turning Stone Resort Casino.

 Oneida Nation Enterprises CEO Ray Halbritter said, “Rarely a day goes by that we don’t change our shops in some way, whether it’s displaying new inventory or fine-tuning the presentation of our displays. It’s an honor for our Shenendoah and Kaluhyat Golf Shop to be recognized by the AGM, and moving forward it will only serve to enhance our dedication to providing our customers with a first-class experience.”

 Turning Stone’s Director of Golf Robert Todd heads the golf shop staff, which also includes PGA Professional Andy Myers, as well as seasonal team members.

 Atunyote’s practice facility includes three teeing areas totaling 82,000 square feet facing five elevated target greens at distances of 50, 100, 150, 200, and 250 yards. The practice fairway provides a variation of difficult lies to simulate the course terrain and a fairway bunker that faces the target greens. A short game practice area has two pitching and chipping greens at 5,000 square feet each, protected by two greenside bunkers with powdered white sand. Two putting greens, one at 7,700 square feet and the other at 11,000 square feet, are cut each day to provide green speeds identical to the greens on the Tom Fazio designed Atunyote course.

The premier year-round golf-training center in central New York, the Turning Stone Sportsplex – home to the Golf Dome, the Golf Academy at Turning Stone, and the Golf Superstore – provides an indoor, temperature-controlled learning environment for clinics and lessons from PGA-certified instructors or personal practice time. Offering a full-service golf shop, the staff at the Golf Dome also provides professional club fitting and club repair services.

Open daily, the Golf Dome has a two-tiered hitting area with 40 separate hitting stations, plus two practice greens and a chipping area. Two full-swing golf simulators – featuring a library of the world’s greatest courses - offer the opportunity for virtual reality golf. The computerized system provides players with instant feedback on swing speed, launch angle, carry and distance total, while mats are colored and textured to best simulate fairways, rough and bunker play.

For more information about golf at Turning Stone Resort Casino, click here. And to receive golf updates, follow Turning Stone Golf on Twitter @TSGolf.

Also in New York, the Seneca Nation's Hickory Stick Golf Course has announced its selection as the host course for the 2013 Western New York PGA Section Championship on August 19 and 20. The prestigious regional event comes to the Robert Trent Jones II–designed course in just its third full season of existence.

“The Western New York Section PGA is excited to bring its 2013 WNYPGA Coors Championship to Seneca Hickory Stick Golf Course, as we seek only the finest section venues to provide true championship-caliber tests of golf,” said Joe Bertino, executive director, Western New York Section PGA. “Seneca Hickory Stick will provide unique challenges to our golfers, and we look forward to crowning our newest champion at such a beautiful course.”

The 257 acres of challenging terrain includes picturesque Scottish-looking heather grass that accentuates fairways and greenside bunkers, as well as five sets of tee boxes that provide golfers a choice in length and difficulty from 5,395 to 7,026 yards. Seneca Hickory Stick is open to the public but has the feel of a private club, with “member for a day” service levels and pricing that includes golf carts, greens fees and use of the practice facility prior to play.

“This selection is another testament to the high-quality guest experience and “Tour” quality turf conditions that Seneca Hickory Stick provides to its golfers every day,” said Fran Roach, PGA general manager, Seneca Hickory Stick Golf Course.

 For more information about Seneca Hickory Stick Golf Course, click here or call 716-754-2424.

Also, for a wealth of information on golf in Indian country, including a full list of Indian-owned golf courses in North America, click here.