4 Best Daily Fee Golf Courses 2012 in the Hudson Valley, Upstate NY
Stunning vistas. Tour-speed greens. Critical club selection. Sounds like one of the region’s many great private country clubs, doesn’t it? But surprise, you can find all this and more at one of these fine daily fee courses
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The Links at Union Vale
• 6,646 yards • Par 72
It’s not Ireland, but it’s close. Darn close. Not only is the Links at Union Vale an excellent approximation of a true links course, it’s 3,000 miles closer to home — and available for daily fee play at quite reasonable rates.
Great swaths of the course are links-like, with wide-open treeless vistas, rolling fairways dotted with pot bunkers, and fescue rough that will teach you to keep your ball on the short grass where it belongs. Many holes, though, are laid out in traditional parkland style with trees and elevated greens. The result is a great mix, where you may play a bump-and-run approach on one hole while flying a wedge into the next.
Regardless of how you get to the green, you’ll want to pay attention when you take the cover off your putter. The Links at Union Vale may be a daily fee course, but the greens rival the best of the Hudson Valley private courses. They are not only huge and well contoured, but typically run around 10 on the Stimpmeter, so careful, precise strokes with the flat stick are a must.
The front nine is the shorter and easier of the two, although shot placement is crucial: there are several blind landing areas and many fairways are littered with pot bunkers. The course turns cruel after the turn. The 14th hole is a brutal 587-yard par five where bunkers line both sides of the fairway and there’s a hazard 350 yards out that forces either a strategic lay up or a heroic second shot. The green is a monster, too. Watch out for the shelf that falls away from front to back — it’s not very receptive to long, hot approach shots.
Weekday greens fees $49, weekends $76, with substantial savings at non-peak times or with annual membership.
» Next country club: Spook Rock Golf Course, Suffern, NY