The Birdsfoot StoryThe name of the golf course is derived from the birdsfoot trefoil, which you will find throughout the course, as a lush, green ground cover with small yellow flowers.
Trefoil meaning three-leafed, belongs to the pea family, specifically the lotus group. Birdsfoot trefoil is so-called, because it bears clusters of seed pods resembling a bird's foot.
The golf course is located on a part of Buffalo Creek Farms, which was owned by the late Alexander H. Lindsay and his wife Betty G. Lindsay. Alexander H. Lindsay was a practicing attorney and was active in a number of civic causes, including the promotion of the Allegheny Valley Expressway. He was also a farmer and was fascinated with agronomy. When it came to raising hay, his favorite was birdsfoot trefoil, not only because it produced green, high quality hay, but also because it was a perennial performer, that would return year after year, often having a life far beyond the two or three year span of other forage crops, such as clover and alfalfa.
In the late 1950s, he planted thirteen acres which now comprises the number three and four holes of this course. The crop in that area lasted for over twenty years. Parts of the birdsfoot trefoil on the course are remnants of the original hay field planted by Mr. Lindsay. The hay was transported across the farm to the barn which was located on what is now the eighteenth green. Over the years, seeds falling from the hay wagons left a trail of yellow flowers from the hayfield to the barn.
Don't be fooled by the plant's fine stem, delicate leaves and flowers. Birdsfoot trefoil is a hearty, resilient and very durable plant. Although we treat it with respect, our trefoil can take whatever you can dish out. For this reason, feel free to walk on it, drive on it, and if you hit your ball into it and are fortunate enough to find it, hack your way out of it. By all means, enjoy it!
The Buffalo Creek ValleyAs you approach Birdsfoot Golf Club from the south on Pennsylvania Route 28, you will pass Exit 17, which is the Freeport / Butler Exit, and then cross over a deep gorge. The bridge that you are crossing is America’s third highest bridge, east of the Mississippi River. Far, far below are the swirling waters of the Big Buffalo Creek.
In the nineteenth century, industry moved through the valley carved out by the Big Buffalo Creek, but by the 1970s, the mines had been closed, the mills shut down, and the railroad tracks were removed. Over the years, nature has been taking back the Valley of the Big Buffalo. The once timbered slopes have become verdant with the new growth of evergreens and hardwoods. The valley is now as lush and green as it must have once been when the Senecas, Shawnees and Delawares lived in the shade of its hemlock, oak, and maple trees.
The valley that now presents itself to you, our guest at Birdsfoot, is one of the most beautiful in the American Northeast.
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