Originally developed by local Home Leasing entrepreneurs Norman and Nelson Leenhouts – and designed by noted local golf course architect Pete Craig and former Oak Hill superintendent Dick Bator – Blue Heron Hills opened during the spring of 1987. The Macedon, Wayne County, course was soon billed as one of the area’s top private country clubs.
One of the first official events hosted by the club was a sold-out exhibition round played by Hall-of-Famer Jack Nicklaus and his son, Jack Jr.
The “Golden Bear” — a rather noted architect in his own right —made several mental notes about how the course played. Nicklaus made several design suggestions for the Leenhouts brothers, who then turned over the project to then-superintendent Dick Bator, who had been superintendent at Oak Hill Country Club when Nicklaus won the PGA Championship there in 1980.
The result — a hybrid of design styles — is both challenging and unique in that the course has no common fairways and each hole presents its own set of challenges.
In the 1990s, Blue Heron Hills hosted the annual Hillside Skins Challenge – an all-star charity fundraiser that drew some of the biggest names in the world of golf to the area. Organized by hometown Rochester favorite Jeff Sluman, along with Horseheads resident Joey Sindelar, the event attracted golf greats such as Greg Norman, John Daly, Gary Player and Arnold Palmer during its 10-year run.
Through the years, Blue Heron Hills has hosted many amateur championships featuring the best local golfers including the RDGA Match Play and Senior Match Play Championships – honoring current and past local club champions.
Like many other formerly private country clubs, Blue Heron returned to a semi-private status in 2010 to bring in more play.
Now fully open to the public, the new ownership group has given the facility a fresh new name: Blue Heron Hills Golf.
Portions of this content written by Golf Week Rochester.