Written By MIKE LEBOEUF firstname.lastname@example.org
OSWEGO NY — Hannibal’s Scott Baker and Oswego’s Will Weimer began their friendship as young golfers at Griffins’ Greens many years ago.
“We said back then believe it or not, ‘Boy it would be nice to own our own golf course someday.’ Every kid’s got a dream. We had it,” Weimer said. “Thanks to the Griffins and the community and our work over time, here we are and we own a golf course.”
Baker and Weimer bought Griffins’ Greens, closing on the purchase Feb. 16 after more than two years of negotiations.
The 18-hole course is located at 229 State Route 104A in Oswego Town.
Since the closing, preparations shifted into high gear to get the course — now named Stone Creek Golf Club — ready for the season.
There was much to be done, but both Baker and Weimer didn’t seem to mind.
They are following their dream that began at the course.
“We joined when we were 13 years old,” said Baker, who teaches physical education in the North Rose-Wolcott School District. “We met each other out here. That’s where it all started. We’ve been best friends since that time.
“He chose golf as his path. He is golf in this area. I chose the field of education,” Baker said. “It’s our desire to teach and to improve. That’s what we live for. That’s what we’re looking forward to more than anything. Seeing someone do something right or better for the first time is why I got into the field of education and why he got into the field of teaching golf.”
Weimer, a PGA golf professional, had been working as the assistant pro at Oswego Country Club for many years. He said he has fond memories of his youth golf days at Griffins’ Greens.
“We were very competitive as children. We wanted to beat each other. We had a few other friends that played here,” Weimer said. “All the adults were so inviting. We really learned the game together here. It was a great experience.”
“What the Griffins created here was something special,” Baker said. “The people that they’ve had out here have been members and are pretty keen on staying here. What they’ve done here is given us a chance to really come in and already have some people in place, which is good. We’re looking forward to making some changes to just improve what they left us and move forward with some of the things that we’d like to do to really make this an environment and an atmosphere where people want to come and they want to stay and they want to come back tomorrow.”
The golf course is 40 years old, and it has grown to become an important part of the community, Weimer said.
“Now, to build upon what they did for 40 years, it’s an honor in some regards and it’s an important thing for the community because it is a public hot spot and a hotbed for golf,” Weimer said. “The public has really been supportive. We have 10 leagues currently. We already have some 22 tournaments on schedule for the season. We’ll be introducing some PGA junior leagues. We’ll be doing some get golf ready programs, as well as ladies golf clinics. Everybody’s really been supportive.”
Weimer said he’s thankful to have had the opportunity to work with the staff at Oswego Country Club.
“I had the best education you could have in central New York,” he said. “I was so fortunate to have that atmosphere to learn how a top-level golf course in our county is run from soup to nuts. It is a facility like no other. They treated me like family.”
Both Baker and Weimer said the course had many visitors while they were working to get Stone Creek ready for play.
“The people that have been here will continue to come here. We have two original members that started 40 years ago. The people who have supported the Griffins I’m fairly positive will continue to support us. That’s a huge plus coming in,” Baker said.
Weimer said he believes many of those he has helped through his years of golf instruction in this area will also support Stone Creek.
While the new owners have some changes they’d like to make, they are going to take their time and do them the right way.
“Our plan to get the golf course to a level of high quality isn’t going to happen overnight. We have plans to do that and we will do that. We will do it a step at a time,” Baker said. “Each hole has something to offer to all levels of players. It can be challenging, but fair. Our motto is growing the game of golf. We want everyone to come and to be able to enjoy a round of golf.”
“This is one beautiful slice of heaven,” Weimer said. “It’s a gorgeous land. We purchased 143 acres, 99 and a half acres of which is where the golf course is currently located.
That leaves us 43 acres to maybe explore our imagination down the road with some increased facilities.”
Weimer said one project would be to restructure the tee boxes, getting them to fuller growth.
Another focus will be the greens. “We want to make these as good as any green speed around,” Weimer said. “We want to take a lot of pride in our greens.”
They are exploring some drainage options to remove some of the water, which will allow them to improve the fairways.
Baker and Weimer would like to put in a practice facility to assist them with teaching the game.
“Being both educators and Will being a teacher of golf the past 20 years, that’s the one element the golf course is missing, a practice facility,” Baker said. “That’s something that we really want to do. We have some plans to do some things that hopefully in the near future we can both be out here teaching and allow people to improve on the purpose of coming here, and that’s to play the game of golf.”
“Like anything in life, if you struggle with it, it’s not as inviting,” Weimer said. “If we’re able to teach people and help them improve, they’ll want to be here more.”
Helping young golfers will be another priority at Stone Creek.
“We’ve got a couple of initiatives. He has two young children that are avid golfers. My boys, the oldest is going to Le Moyne to play Division II golf. We’re from golf families. We will have one to two PGA Junior League teams,” Weimer said.
The captain-and-crew PGA Junior League matches are played in a three-hole set with substitutions, and they all wear team shirts. Spectators come out on carts, and there are snacks on the course for the kids.
Baker said he’d like to host a high school golf program. Hannibal used to have a golf team that played its home matches at Griffins’ Greens.
“We’d like to get that back,” Baker said.
The new owners are also looking into the possibility of having a dining facility in the clubhouse.
“We’d like to at some point potentially have some type of dining facility upstairs. That’s something that we’re looking into doing,” Baker said.
Weimer explained how he and Baker arrived at the new name for the course.
“The main feature people are impressed by is that surrounding the perimeter of the golf course there is an original stone wall. Through the middle of the property, Eight Mile Creek runs. Stone Creek seemed to be a natural,” Weimer said.
Their goal is to make Stone Creek Golf Club player-friendly to every golfer in the community. Work continues on the website for the course at www.stonecreekgolfoswegony.com and the main source of information right now is through @ StoneCreekGolfOswegoNY. The phone number for the course is 315-343-2996.
Weimer said that the golf club would employ between 10 and 14 individuals during peak season.
Looking out at the ninth green and beyond, the new owners smiled. They are living their dream.
“This is our office,” Baker said. “You can’t ask for a much nicer office than this.”