Majestic Hills Golf Course: Breathtaking scenery, nine holes

Loujane Johns
With a vista like this, it's easy to see where the name Majestic Hills came from. The golf course, located near Naples, is situated on land previously used for vineyards.

It may be hard to keep your head down and your eye on the ball when you play a

round of golf at Majestic Hills.

The scenery is breathtaking. Surrounded by rolling hills that seem to touch the gorgeous blue sky dotted with puffy white clouds

the setting is picture perfect.

The 85 acres was once part of a farm owned since 1954 by Duane and Mary Shay. When the vineyard business was not so good, Duane decided to do something entirely different. He built a golf course along with his son Duane “Butch” and his wife Chris. The four have been in the golf business ever since.

Butch and Chris’s son, Michael, now works on the course, making it a three generation enterprise. In the beginning, father and son did “double-duty,” working the farm and clearing land for the course. Duane designed

the course lay-out with the help of some Cornell consultants and, according to

Mary, hauled tons of sand and dirt to get it just the way he wanted it.

“It was a little rough the first year or two, but with some changes, it’s good now,” Duane said. Butch said it is not unusual to see deer, sometimes with their

fawns, on the course early in the morning.

One day while doing early hour maintenance he saw large tracks, which he identified as a good-sized bear.

“There are all kinds of creatures up here,” he said. In this beautiful

woods-lined setting, that’s not a surprise. On a tour around the nine hole

course, Chris pointed out where two new holes were added last fall. “Before, she

said, the holes were too close to adjoining holes. It got pretty scary

sometimes. But this year we haven’t heard ‘fore’ so much.”

Discussing the upkeep of the course, Butch says, “I like to keep it environmentally friendly. Unlike other courses, which are sprayed overall whether they need it or not, I like to spot spray.” Instead of using more pesticides, he puts up more bluebird boxes.

He uses natural products to deter pesky critters. Duane claims they use less

pesticide on the course than when they grew grapes.

“Majestic Hills is open for as long as the weather allows,” Chris says. From 7 a.m. until dark seven days a week, players young and old can enjoy the course. One can imagine what this place must look like on a warm fall day. The atmosphere is friendly and casual - no strict dress codes - the Shays want people to be comfortable.

Being family-oriented themselves, the Shays welcome youngsters just learning the game.

Butch and Chris’s 14- year-old daughter Ashley and her brother Michael are both good golfers. There are 2,759 yards of golf from the longest tees on the par 36 course.

Holes one and nine border a five acre pond, home to a flock of Canadian


Holes five and eight wind through a wooded area. When you reach number nine back at the clubhouse, you may be greeted by “Ranger,” the Shay’s border collie. He is just as friendly as the rest of the family. The course hosts leagues and tournaments.

A practice green and a four station driving range are now open. Majestic Hills, located at 3275 Shay Road in the Town of Italy is a pleasant drive from anywhere in the Finger Lakes Region. For more information, call 585-554-3609 or visit majestichillsgolfny. com or majestichgc@

Golfers of all ages and all skill levels are invited to visit Majestic Hills and enjoy the relaxed atmosphere.