The subject of a recent, aggressive overhaul to improve course conditioning, Hales Mills Country Club challenges golfers with a 6,100, par-71 layout. The course shares the green landscape with an all-grass driving range, where golfers can warm up their swing or test out the efficacy of their new camouflage golf bag. After rounds, golfers can unwind at the on-site restaurant, which serves dinner specials and classic pub fare.
Framed by the distant peaks of the Helderberg Mountains, Western Turnpike Golf Course's 27-hole layout blankets 250 acres of scenic terrain stitched by pine trees. Though the three nines connect to form three distinct 18-hole courses, the presence of multiple ponds, streams, and small, well-fortified greens act as a unifying feature across the entire grassy labyrinth. The horticultural haven is also peppered by a relatively sparse population of 37 sand bunkers, their scarcity due to the abundance of water hazards and previous issues with disoriented sunbathers. With three courses offering various levels of difficulty and five tee options on each course, Western Turnpike presents a sound golf challenge for bona fide aces, mid-handicappers, and those trying to play with a croquet mallet.
Barnyard Swing Mini Golf's 18-hole mini golf course and indoor-outdoor laser-tag game send cheers of jovial competition wafting across a water sluice for gemstone mining and faux barn loaded with frozen treats. Putters step up to the landscaped course to aim shots through drop-down holes, navigate the curves of a rickety watermill with turning wheel, and avoid the distractions of squirrel hecklers. Following the game, golfers strap on their imaginary spurs for a 25-minute laser-tag battle. Cowboys and cowgirls chase each other through the Western-themed indoor and outdoor battlegrounds, aiming harmless light beams towards each other while romping as joyfully as a tumbleweed off its leash.
Along the main stretch at Hilltop Paintball, one recalls the Old West while spying the silhouettes of two cowboys leaning against wooden structures and dangling signs swinging in the wind before a camo-clad anachronism emerges from behind a wagon wheel. The stranger locks and loads a paintball marker before hightailing it to one of seven terrains with scenario games, such as Alien Planet and speedball. In order to win matches, he and his teammates must navigate obstacles, including stacks of logs, hay bales, and clones of Barney Fife. In airsoft matches, they play a paint-free game with similar principles to paintball, and an onsite target range gives them a chance to hone their aim. To shake it up, they can practice putting at an 18-hole mini-golf course, try their hands at Nerf Dart Tag, or refuel at the barbecue and picnic area. The facility also accommodates larger groups for special events such as corporate outings and birthdays with custom packages, and a private party tent is available with advance reservations.
The 18-hole course at Rainbow Golf Club takes players careening across a 6,287-yard layout carved into the foothills of the Northern Catskill Mountains. Players rip tee shots from one of five sets of tees per hole, allowing for an enjoyable yet challenging round for greenhorns to green-jacket holders. As rental carts transport players across the well-manicured landscape, they must take care to avoid tree-lined fairways, undulating greens, and feral caddies looking to stock up on golf balls for winter's hibernation. The course's signature hole is the 13th, a 135-yard, par 3 that forces golfers to carry their tee shot over water onto an island green, the only known island in New York. A pro shop, practice facilities, and a restaurant with an outdoor patio overlooking the course all provide entertainment when golfers aren't practicing their postputt struts.
Course at a Glance: