Jerry Martin Superintendent of Black Diamond Course at Holiday Valley Resort in Ellicottville

Black Diamond Course at Holiday Valley Resort

First, the name “Double Black Diamond” comes from the rating of ski slopes, with a double black diamond being the most challenging ski slope! Some of the holes become ski slopes in the wintertime, making the spring opening challenging for Jerry, but he handles it well.

The front nine of the course was opened in 1963, and the back in 1987. The course was redesigned by Paul Albanese in 2005. As a resort course, we offer golf packages with our on-course lodging. Golfers visit Buffalo, Rochester, Western New York, Southern Ontario, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. Holiday Valley also offers a large pool complex and Sky-High Adventure Park that contains 13 aerial adventure courses, a mountain coaster, gem mining, and chairlift rides.

One of the changes we’ve made over the past couple of years is to incorporate more native grasses in the roughs to reduce our environmental impact.

Black Diamond Course at Holiday Valley Resort

1. How did you get your start in the golf industry?

I was born into it. My father Harold Q. Martin was a Golf Course Superintendent for 51 years.

2. Can you tell us a few things about your early life, where you were born, what high school, first jobs?

I was born in Olean, N.Y. while living in Coudersport, Pa. My father was the Superintendent/Golf Professional at The Coudersport Golf Club. It was quite common back in those for a Golf Course Superintendent, or Greenskeeper to wear 2 hats as my father did. My dad taught me to play golf at an early age, and I became a competitive player by the time I was 13, and we won many Father Son Tournaments together.

We moved a lot as my father took Superintendent. positions at various courses as he bettered himself. 

Related: Kevin Malloy, Superintendent, TPC Colorado

Black Diamond Course at Holiday Valley Resort

3. Can you tell us a little about your family, how you met your wife, and the kids’ names?

I met my wife while working as Golf Course Superintendent at The Wellsville Country Club in Wellsville, N.Y. She lived behind the 6th tee, and I couldn’t help but notice her. We have been together for 40 years, all the while working together as well at 4 different golf courses. Our Children’s names are Eric, Jonathan, Adam, Andrew, & Tyler all of whom worked for us on the courses.

4. Where did you go to school for turfgrass management?

I was accepted to Penn State.

Related: Mike Bellino Golf Course Superintendent at Heathrow Country Club talks with Golf Course Trades

Ellicottville, NY. JUL 10, 2015: Scenes from the Holiday Valley Golf photo shoot. (c) Craig Melvin/2015
Ellicottville, NY. JUL 10, 2015: Scenes from the Holiday Valley Golf photo shoot. (c) Craig Melvin/2015

5. Who was your earliest mentor in the industry and how did he inspire you?

My Father of course was my mentor.

6. What is your favorite part of the job, least favorite?

My favorite part of the job is Tournament Preparation. My least favorite is fighting the elements.

Black Diamond Course at Holiday Valley Resort

7. Do you collect anything? Hub caps, license plates, signs?

I do not collect anything but grass clippings {lol} No really am not a collector of anything specific.

8. What do you like to do away from work? If you have time to yourself, what do you like to do?

Away from work I enjoy, hunting, fishing, and shooting sports.

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