(WJET/WFXP/YourErie.com) — The snow is gone (mostly). The sun rises later (gradually). And Sunday, March 20 marked the first day of spring. This is bad news for ski hills, but good news for golf courses.
A local golf course in Fairview is looking forward to spring as it ushers in the club’s 10th year of family ownership.
The Arrigo family owns the Beechwood Golf Club in Fairview. They came to collectively own the club when father Matt Arrigo saw it put up for sale.
“My brothers had just graduated from university. My dad saw it for sale and said let’s go,” recalls general manager and co-owner Tony Arrigo. “We have a lot of experience running restaurants, so on the restaurant and banquet side, we knew we could do it. It was the golf course that was the unknown.
It’s not that golf is foreign to them. The family is big on golf. Brothers Pat and Jon Arrigo both played golf in college. They played together as a family while growing up.
“I’m the worst Arrigo,” Tony Arrigo said of his golf game. “I’m fine, but they’re better than me. I have no problem saying it, and they have no problem saying it.
Preparing for the season involves a lot of mechanical maintenance, Tony said, including getting golf carts ready and ensuring mowers are in good working order. Beyond that, much of the landscaping preparation was done in the fall – the greens and tee boxes were protected at the end of last season. ‘Snow mould’ – a fungus and disease of turf – is a real problem, however, the course is protected with chemicals in the fall, and any problem areas will be treated further as the course progresses. dries up later in the spring.
And the drying out of the course is the number one problem, and unfortunately that’s out of the control of the Arrigo family.
“In the winter, there’s nothing to do but protect the greens and the tee boxes. Right now we are at the mercy of Mother Nature,” Tony said. “It all comes down to the drought. It could take another week, or three weeks. Or more.”
Typically, the course opens in mid-April.
“People come in and they ask when they can go out to play golf, and I keep saying, ‘We want you to go out and play golf today, but Mother Nature won’t let me,'” Tony said. .
Inside, preparations continue, relentlessly thanks to Mother Nature.
“What excites me the most at this time of year is all the speculation about what’s to come this summer,” Pat Arrigo said. “I’m excited to get everyone on the course and see everyone.”
The excitement has only been in the past two years. In the first two years, Tony says they were “a little more nervous” at the start of the season.
“Now we’re ready to get back into the season and see some people,” Tony said.
But it’s not that the winter season sees the business completely closed – the club’s indoor activities include a restaurant and golf simulators. Currently, the Beechwood Golf Club has three golf simulators. Golfers shoot golf balls on a screen, and real-time sensors track the club and ball to predict and simulate the trajectory of each shot.
“They’ve been booked since January, and every day we’re open people come to play courses from all over the world,” Tony said. “You can see them and play them. It’s a fun way to learn without having to chase the ball or feel bad outside on the course.
When the family first took over the restaurant, a typical winter crowd consisted of two tables. This is no longer the case.
“When we bought the place, we said if we could have a good golf course, good food and great service, we would have the best golf course around — here we are,” Tony said. . “Now we are aiming for a great course, great food and great service. We will keep trying to improve to be the best we can be.
This year, Pat said Beechwood Golf Club plans to revamp its brunch menu and offer those items on Sundays throughout the summer.
That said, there is one item on the menu that cannot be left out.
“I’m biased, but we have the best burgers in town,” Pat said.
It’s a staple of the club. But don’t forget to save room for dessert. The peanut butter pies are freshly baked by Elaine Arrigo, wife of Matt and mother of the brothers.
“People love them,” Tony said of the pies.
Golf league play begins at the end of April.
“Year 10 has been pretty good so far,” Tony said.
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The Beechwood Golf Club is located at 6401 Gorski Road in Fairview.