In 1982, Mark Crane opened the first Mark’s Pizzeria on Main Street in Palmyra. Over four decades later, the franchise now boasts dozens of locations scattered across the region. While many would simply sit back and enjoy the dough, Crane has decided to delve into a brand new venture.
Crane has purchased the former Crooked Pines Golf Course in Macedon, an acquisition that he says has been a long time coming. While he only closed on the property a few weeks back, the pizza mougul says it’s a project he has had his eye on for nearly 20 years.
Living just a few miles away from the 137 acre property, Crane says he has always loved the course, but recognized the grounds and the club needed a little TLC. “I’ve fixed a lot already,” Crane said, adding “I can’t have idle hands.”
Nearly 200 dead or dying trees have already been groomed from the property, with plans to plant new trees around the course over the next few years. Bunkers are being fixed. Cart paths will be re-stoned. Ponds will be cleaned. It’s a seemingly herculean task, but Crane is simply taking it day by day. “I don’t have firm dates or deadlines. This is a fun thing for me.”
A fan of the many sycamore tress that pepper along the pines on the property, Crane has renamed the club Sycamore Golf Course and Brewery.
Renovations to the clubhouse have already begun, with plans to add a new indoor bar as well as a large outdoor seating area that will welcome live entertainment and activities such as corn hole tournaments. Crane says he wants Sycamore to be place for families to come and enjoy a round of golf, simple, delicious food, and good times.
“It’s going to be a happy place. Nobody comes to a golf course in a bad mood. I just want to create a place for people to come and have great experience.”
Having spent many years in the kitchen himself, Crane says he’s excited to experiment with different foods in the restaurant
There is currently a staff of 15 at the club, many of whom have been at the facility for years. Crane says he’s not trying to re-invent the wheel, just improve upon what’s already there. “The response has been overwhelmingly positive. If you’re doing anything to help folks are happy.”
While he’s still unsure of when things will be completed, he indicated that they’re aiming to have the new pro shop and restaurant open by Memorial Day 2024.
While he admits he only golfs a few times a year, you’ll likely find Crane out on the course for the foreseeable future, as he takes a hands-on approach to further improvements around the property.