Cognizant Classic in The Palm Beaches

PGA National (Champion Course)

Winter's Coming

Historic Christmas snowstorm topples two different Buffalo-area golf domes

December 27, 2022

Buffalo, New York is certainly no stranger to snow, but this weekend the city experienced one of the most catastrophic winter storms in its history as a powerful system that battered the Plains earlier in the week blew in over Lake Erie. Picking up moisture from the lake and mild temperatures, the storm began as rain early Friday, dumping a daily record of 1.98 inches on the city in a matter of hours before turning to snow as temperatures rapidly plummeted. Zero-mile visibility was reported for 16 consecutive hours on Friday as Buffalo International Airport received 22.3 inches of snow, followed by an additional 17.9 inches on Christmas Eve.

The storm forced the closure of the airport Wednesday morning, as well as the train station and I-90, which remains closed between Henrietta and the Pennsylvania border as of Tuesday morning. At the time of publication, the storm had claimed 27 lives in the Buffalo area. Simply put, it is a human tragedy and logistical disaster the likes of which the city hasn't seen for decades, perhaps ever.

We don’t want to make light of the suffering the citizens of the city have endured—my own partner has been stranded there for several days after visiting family for the holidays, unable to travel to a grocery store let alone to home or work—but the record-breaking storm also claimed two other fixtures of the Buffalo skyline. Two golf domes, to be exact, which were literally swept away in the high winds that accompanied the storm system.

Truly apocalyptic scenes. On the scale of human concern in Buffalo right now, this hardly rates, but it is certainly a gut punch for golfers in the area, who relied on the year-round domes to enjoy the game they love. Whether or not the domes will be rebuilt remains to be seen, but first things first: Clear the roads, plow the runaways, and open the stores. Then we can worry about golf.