The 18-hole championship golf course measures 6391 yards from the black tees, 6170 from the gray, 5441 from the bronze, and 4948 from the green. Elevation changes make the course play longer than the distances would suggest. Par is 70 for men and 71 for women.
The course was built in three distinct phases, resulting in a unique combination of holes with some that should be attacked and others that must just be survived. The original 9 holes were built in 1910 on a plot of land running from Main Street (Old Route 16) and the current boundary of the city of Olean . The original course lies on a gently sloping hill that results in most greens breaking southwest or, as locals say, “towards the post office.”
The property runs west to east. The original holes have parallel fairways and smallish greens and are relatively short by today’s standards: most par 4s are in the 325 – 340 yard range, though the 4th hole is over 400 yards long and the 2nd hold, thanks to a redesign in the 1930’s, is over 560 yards long. The original holes constitute the first five and last four of the current layout and are referred to by locals as “the loop”.
Five additional holes were built east of the original holes in the 1940’s. They now play as holes 10 through 14 and are marked by wide, open fairways and large, relatively flat greens. The three par 4s are each over 420 yards.
The final four holes were added in 1957 and are perhaps the most interesting on the course. They surround the inner five holes, making holes 6 and 8 of necessity be right doglegs. Greens 6, 7 and 9 are also quite undulating, placing a premium on approach shot placement.
The defense of the course has been historically the pace of the greens. In the summer the combination of speed and slope of the greens make the course a challenge. Prior to irrigation, which was begun in 1997 and finished in 2002, the course was altered significantly by climate as well.
A tree-planting program headed by Frank Higgins IV and begun in 2002 has tightened up the course: trees have been added to off-fairway landing areas to reward more accurate shot-making.
Two sets of men’s tees, blues and whites, were introduced in the late 1990’s. New ladies tees were designed and built in 2007, making the course much more playable for women. Senior tees were added in late 2008.