Devereux Emmet extended the 9-hole course at Mahopac Golf and Beach Club to an 18-hole track in 1913. Today, this engaging layout measures just over 6,500 yards from the tips, featuring fescue-fringed bunkers and captivating greens.
Mahopac is a layout worthy of a visit. The holes are quite varied but the main shortcoming is a routing that features holes mainly from south/north and north/south. Only the 3rd and 4th holes go differently. The bulk of the course plays down and up a hillside. The uphill par-4 2nd is a gem of a hole. Out-of-bounds is on the left side and the fairway tilts that way. The smallish green is well-protected and the internal green movement are challenging.
The club does feature a beach club but none of the golf actually touches it.
It's too bad that type of hole is not on the agenda for much of the layout.
Kudos to Ken Dye for the very deep greenside bunkers. They are to be avoided at all costs especially when the pin placement is near them.
The long par-5 7th is also a treat to play. This time you start from an elevated tee and descend into a fairway that moves left. Pity the hapless player who loses the tee shot to the left. The par-3 8th is also a nice touch. The single large bunker to the green's right is exceptional. Too bad the putting surface lacks any serious riddles to discern.
The uphill dog-leg left par-4 9th concludes the outward half in fine fashion. Here you encounter a hole with plenty of character. The green sits above the fairway and puts a premium in securing the right position in the fairway.
The inward half follows the same formula -- heading downhill before going through a few holes on flattish land before reversing course and heading upwards back to the clubhouse area for the final two holes.
Mahopac is well-served by the bunkering that Dye improved but it's too bad the routing could not have been a bit more inventive.
M. James Ward