Future of Amherst golf course remains up in the air following discovery of mass gravesite

Amherst

AMHERST, N.Y. (WIVB) — The future of an Amherst golf course may no longer be par for the course after town leaders say they found evidence of mass graves under the property.

Town Supervisor Brian Kulpa said officials are in the early discussions about the future of the Audubon Golf Course following the discovery that holes 14 and 18 sit on top of a mass burial site.

Kulpa said it’s from the early 1960s when University at Buffalo still owned the property.

At Monday night’s Amherst Town Board meeting, dozens of golfers spoke out against closing the course for good, but Kulpa said it’s still in early discussions.

“What we’ve said basically is look, we’re going to keep golf operations going this year,” he explained. “We’re going to make 18 par three, shorten the distance to get away from the area where we think is impacted by the discovery, and we’re going to spend a year with a task force.”

That task force will be made up of golfers who use the course regularly to come up with ideas to keep golf in Amherst. At the end of the year, they’ll report to a rec commission that will ultimately decide what to do with the course.

John Leising currently runs Audubon Golf Course. He said he plans to work with town officials moving forward, but he would be disappointed to see the course close.

“We understand that they have difficult decisions to make in the future,” Leising said. “I rode my bike there when I was 14 to play the golf course, so it’s a part of me, also, and it will be a sad day if it does close in the near future.”

In the meantime, the course will open for the season on April 15.

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