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Saxon a family tradition

Golf course expanding pavilion to honor its own
Bob Guzzl of Morningside, a retired Pittsburgh firefighter, tees off on the par-4 No. 10 hole at Saxon Golf Course. Shane Potter/Butler Eagle 5/11/23

SARVER — Saxon Golf Course has been around for 62 years. Its family feel is as fresh as ever.

“This place has been run by family since the front nine was put in back in 1960,” said Andy Olczak, whose mother owns the facility. “More family members are involved here now. It just keeps on going.”

Known as one of the flattest golf courses in the region, Saxon has always been an attractive facility for golfers who enjoy walking a course. The fairways and greens have been upgraded this year and the picnic pavilion is being expanded.

The pavilion will be named in honor of the late Frank Ekas Sr. and wife Francis, and Frank Ekas Jr. The latter — husband of Shirley Ekas — died in July of 2020.

“The golf course suffered a bit after Frank died and we dealt with his passing,” Mrs. Ekas said. “Now it’s as beautiful as ever. My husband would love what’s going on here now.

“That picnic pavilion is going to be three and a half times bigger than it is now. We have a lot of outings and leagues here and we want people to have a nice area to get together during those events.”

Saxon does not take tee times during the week, but strongly recommends them on weekends. Golfers often call the course in advance regardless.

“Because the course is so flat, we get a lot of retirees playing here,” Olczak said. “Because of that, Tuesdays are a lot like Saturdays to us. There isn’t much difference.

“Golfers are coming off the course very happy with the difference in the course. They can’t believe it.”

Olczak serves as assistant superintendent to Joe Haser at Saxon. Haser is a former superintendent at Conley’s. Nathan Olczak serves as a consultant for Saxon and serves as superintendent at Birdsfoot.

“We have a lot of golf course (maintenance) experience here,” Ekas said.

Other family members working at Saxon include Tancie Plutyk, who serves as manager of the clubhouse, and Krystle Ekas, who fills in wherever needed. They are Ekas’ daughters.

Andrew Olczak, her grandson, does work on the course. Amy Signorella is the clubhouse manager.

Saxon lost 14 trees to the recent wind storms and the course’s sprinkler system has been upgraded. New mowers have also been purchased.

“We got 70 new golf carts this year,” Olczak said.

Saxon continues to offer an 18-hole course and a nine-hole East course. The nine-hole course features one par-5 hole at 381 yards. It starts out with three consecutive par-3’s.

The price to play the East course is $13 walking and $20 riding. Playing the 18-hole course is $24 walking and $38 riding. Those prices are $15 and $22 for nine holes.

There are senior discounts available for ages 62 and older. Saxon is still accepting leagues for the 2023 season.

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