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.
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:
It’s a common sight, even among the pros: a golf ball soars cleanly off the face of a mid-iron, seemingly on track to hit the green and trickle up close to the hole for an easy birdie putt. However, instead of bouncing forward when it lands, the pitch of the green’s front lip causes it to roll backwards onto the fairway. This feature of the green is called a false front, named for the way it tricks golfers into thinking it’s a safe landing zone, when in fact it returns golf balls back toward the player like an industrial-grade pop-a-shot.
Players at Rondout Golf Club, situated deep in the Catskill Mountains, should be wary of this course feature when they line up their approaches at the each of the 18 undulating greens. A strategic play is to aim several yards ahead of the nearest fringe, and then feign surprise while opponents’ shots are sucked back into the fairway or nearest black hole. Off the greens, the course showcases a stunning layout of frequent elevation changes, mature tree-lines, and intersecting waterways.
After challenging rounds on the picturesque course, players can retreat to Ivan’s Restaurant to enjoy drinks, burgers, sandwiches, and salads while gazing out at the Shawangunk Ridge and the Mohonk Mountain House tower.
Course at a Glance:
Looking to put a new spin on a classic family activity, the minds behind Glowgolf decided to give the game a phosphorescent update. Incandescent courses place friends and family amid a tropical-fantasy golf world of neon orange, green, and violet surroundings. Players putt luminous orbs through vibrant treasure chests and glimmering windmills while negotiating tricky obstacles near walls portraying black-light-lit aquatic scenes. With more than 20 locations spread over 10 states, Glowgolf's fluorescent labyrinths challenge human players and traveling gnomes.