Make no mistake this is top class course which takes no prisoners, Pete Dye must have really moved a lot earth to create this masterpiece of golf architecture. The course is carved from forested rolling hills on the New York- Connecticut border, with its remoteness and peace it’s hard to believe you’re only an hour’s drive from Manhattan. I played on warm and muggy day early in May; the course was still waking from winter which meant the rough wasn’t quite as tough as it could be but still costly for any careless shots you hit. Any player coming here should be very mindful of the tee they choose, the club helpfully suggests the appropriate box by handicap, you’d be advised to follow that advice, there are some very big forced carries and narrow landing zones, if your ego rather than handicap made the decision ensure you have plenty of balls in your bag. You need to drive the ball well here; punishment waits on most holes in the form of thick rough, huge rocks, deep bunkers or swampy waste areas, all too easy to rack up a big score from tee even before you have to thread your approach onto the well protected greens. The opening hole is great, a good drive needed into the right position for a blind approach to a green surrounded by sand and swamp, it sets the tone for the course and there is no let up on the SI1 2nd either, if you can walk off with no major damage to your card you’ve done well. Most of the greens have plenty of undulation and slope, tricky to read even when not especially fast and there are places where flags can really be tucked away. Even after heavy rain the night before the tees, fairways and bunkers were all in great condition, only a few places where water had collected. The final 3 holes are a real test; I’d been playing only a shot off handicap until I stepped on to the 16th tee, finished the round 6 off without losing a ball and finding the fairway with my drives!
I normally prefer to walk but a buggy came with the green fee, given some of inclines I’d advise taking that option unless you like a workout while you’re playing. As you’d expect service was great, small but fully equipped club house although a little disappointing the kitchen closes early (1700) so anyone hoping for a post round snack/meal should plan to go elsewhere. The early season fee of $141 was good value but now its $235 for eighteen at the weekend before 1300 which I think is expensive given the options in the tri-state area. Would I go back, absolutely because it’s tough but enormous fun , rewards and punishes you in equal measure. I'm giving it 5 a ball rating because its rare to find such a quality course in the New York area that's open for visitors, not just guests of members.
Date: May 06, 2019