Turning Stone’s Kaluhyat Ranked High

The Oneida Indian Nation’s Turning Stone Resort and Casino in Verona, N.Y., continues to attract the attention. The latest honor comes from Golf Digest, which ranks Kaluhyat Golf Club as one of “America’s Best New Upscale Courses” in its January 2005 issue.

Kaluhyat, the Oneida word for “the other side of the sky,” was designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr. “The Nation is pleased by this recognition from Golf Digest magazine for Kaluhyat,” said Ray Halbritter, Nation Representative and CEO of its business enterprises. “This is a tribute to Robert Trent Jones Jr., his organization and the hard work of our golf management team at Turning Stone. It also is important industry recognition of our goal to make Turning Stone the destination for golf in the Northeast.”

Golf Digest has been selecting America’s Best New Courses since 1982, and Turning Stone has risen to national acclaim each time it was eligible. The Shenendoah Golf Club was perched on the list in 2001. Nearly 150 new golf courses – which opened between May 1, 2003 and April 1, 2004 – were considered for this year’s ranking. Kaluhyat opened on August 1, 2003.

In compiling its list, Golf Digest relies on more than 800 low-handicap golfers. The judges evaluate each course on a scale of one to 10 in five separate criteria, including shot values, variety of design, resistance to scoring, memorability and aesthetics. Kaluhyat earned an average score of 44.109 out of a possible 50.

“This is wonderful news,” said Jones from Portugal, where he was receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Association of Golf Tour Operators. “I’m glad that the major golf magazines, and others, are acknowledging the value of our efforts. I hope it will encourage people to come play Kaluhyat and enjoy what the course has to offer.”

The layout also appeared on Golf Magazine’s “Top 10 New Courses You Can Play” and Celebrated Living’s “Top 10 List of Best New Courses.”

Kaluhyat, an Audubon International Certified Signature Sanctuary, was carved out of heavily wooded areas, wetlands and wide open spaces. In addition to the Jones design team, the team included Landscapes Unlimited and several departments within the Oneida Nation, including Golf Courses and Grounds, Telecommunications and Golf.

“It was a pleasure working with all of the talented people involved in creating Kaluhyat,” said Joe Baidy, director of Golf Courses and Grounds. “It was hard work, but the end result is a fabulous golf course that we can all be proud of.”

Although relatively new to golf, Turning Stone has managed to rack up a host of awards. In addition to its inaugural showing on the Golf Digest’s list of Best New Upscale Public Golf Courses a few years ago, Shenendoah – designed by Rick Smith – was recently given four-and-a-half stars in “Golf Digest Best Places to Play 2004-2005,” where it earned particularly high marks for conditioning. It’s also listed in Golfweek’s list of best courses in New York.

Atunyote, the Tom Fazio creation that opened this past summer, was named to Travel and Leisure Golf’s “Hot List.”

“The men and women who rate golf courses for major magazines are among the toughest critics in the industry. They expect challenging, but fair, golf courses that are maintained to tour standards,” explained Turning Stone director of golf, Bob O’Brian. “These rankings send a message across the country that we provide our guests with a world-class golf experience.”

Turning Stone also offers two nine-hole layouts, Sandstone Hollow and Pleasant Knolls. Its Golf Academy is staffed by PGA professionals armed with state-of-the-art instruction tools.

The Oneida Indian Nation’s Turning Stone Resort and Casino is the premier four-season, destination resort in Upstate New York, conveniently located about 30 miles east of Syracuse. The resort offers guests a variety of choices including gaming, golf, entertainment and fine dining. Turning Stone also has nearly 100,000 square feet of meeting space and banquet facilities.

In early 2004, Turning Stone opened The Lodge, a 98-suite luxury hotel. More recently a 19-story, 287-room tower hotel was added to the complex. The resort’s 5,000-seat Event Center opened in early December with the sold out performance of country star Tim McGraw. For more information and reservations, call 315/361-7711 or 800/771-7711. Visit the resort’s websites at www.turningstone.com and www.oneidanews.net.