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Wanakah Country Club Hamburg, NY

Project Details

In 2019, Chris Wilczynski completed a multi-year renovation of the William Watson designed 18-hole course at Wanakah Country Club, a private club that was formed in 1898 as a summer retreat for Buffalo businessmen. The picturesque property commands sweeping views of Lake Erie and Canada to the North, and downtown Buffalo to the East.

Addressing the course’s lack of continuity and poor drainage were the primary goals of the master plan that was created in 2005 by Wilczynski and former partner, Arthur Hills. The plan was later revised in 2009, and the club hired C.W. Golf Architecture to oversee all phases of the renovation from 2010 – 2019.

General Manager and COO Michael Karnath noted in response to the impressive transformation, “Some good holes became great, and some great holes became spectacular…We have also received a huge increase in demand from state and local golf associations to host events.”

In September 2019, Wanakah Country Club hosted the prestigious 35th New York State Mid-Amateur which marked the club’s first major state tournament since 1999. The club will host the esteemed NY State Amateur in 2023.

Course Enhancements

  • Extensive drainage work to provide more days of playable conditions.
  • New tees to lengthen and shorten the course (7,035 – 4,919 yards).
  • Green expansions to restore the original William Watson design features.
  • New fairway and greenside bunkers.
  • Removal of approximately 500 trees to open the panoramic views of Lake Erie.
  • The renovation work was implemented in the spring and fall shoulder seasons, keeping the course playable for its members throughout the prime summer months.

Wanakah Country Club

5161 Lake Shore Rd, Hamburg, NY
Original Course Architect: William Watson
Renovation Architect: Chris Wilczynski