2013 Daily Fee Golf Courses in Westchester and the Hudson Valley, Upstate, NY
No membership? Not a problem! Here are daily fee courses that welcome — and challenge — every golfer
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Osiris Country Club
Walden, 845-778-5309, osiriscc.com
6,373 yards • Par 72 • Greens fee: $48
Osiris Country Club in Walden has a quite pleasant split personality. The bifurcation occurs on the golf course itself, which was designed by Francis Duane on two distinct topographies. The front nine plays much like a golfer-friendly resort course, with flat terrain and small but moderately contoured greens; as long as you don’t insist on hitting a driver off every tee, it’s not too much trouble. The biggest problem you’ll face is if you hit a hook—seven of the holes on the front have out-of-bounds left.
Make your birdies while you can on the front: the back nine has some teeth. As soon as you make the turn, you’re in a different world. The 10th hole is a short (368-yard) dogleg right, where the blind tee shot plays downhill and the second is up a steep climb. Whatever you do, keep your approach below the hole—a theme that plays throughout the back side. Both the 10th and 11th holes have wicked greens where putting off the edge of the green carpet is entirely possible.
The signature hole on Osiris is the 15th—a strong dogleg left that features the only water on the course, which happens to be a picturesque pond in front of the green. Stay in the right half of the fairway, off the tee, or you’ll be forced to lay up.
The Monster Golf Club
Kiamesha Lake, 845-794-9700, concordmonster.com
7,650 yards • Par 72 • Greens fee: $75
Everything you’ve heard about the Monster is true. It’s longer than long. It’s hard. It will test every part of your game and make you cry for your mama. It’s one of those courses you need to play at least once in your life.
Course conditions are excellent, and the layout hasn’t changed since the day Gene Sarazen walked off the course and declared it a monster while warning the owner not to change a thing. The moniker was well earned. From the tips, the Monster plays an astonishing 7,650 yards with a course rating of 76.8 and slope of 137. Move up to the blue tees and you’re playing 7,471. The whites are almost manageable at 6,989. Two shorter tees (green at 6,068 and red at 5,442) are available for sane golfers. Length notwithstanding, the layout itself is challenging and fun.
Water is in play on half the holes, there is a good mix of short(er) and long holes at all three pars, and you’ll see enough elevation changes, bunkers, and contoured greens to keep you from being bored. There are even a couple of reachable par 5s—depending on which tees you play. The front-side par 3s are all killers. The back nine on the Monster is a little shorter than the front, but plays tighter and rewards good strategy.
A big part of the fun of playing the Monster is imagining what it would have been like to take it on using a persimmon driver, forged blades, and a balata ball like the golfers who tackled it in 1963 when it opened. The legendary course has gone through some rough times, but the current owners have preserved the most important part of the facility—the golf course itself— and are preparing a major overhaul of the amenities and other attractions to reestablish the property as a major golf destination.