If you are an avid golfer and live in the New York metro area, I implore you (strong, I know) to immediately book a tee time at Pound Ridge Golf Club. It should be on the bucket list. If like me, and until now, you haven’t played it, you are missing out on one of the most stunning, immaculate and intelligently-designed public golf courses residing right on our doorstep.
Situated only 40 miles away from the bustle of Manhattan, this Pete Dye designed course left me breathless with its picturesque views and private club level manicured fairways and greens. As I walked off the 18th green, it felt like I spent the last four hours within a nature preserve. The experience provided a glimpse into the genius that is Pete Dye, as I tried to match my skill with his wits to successfully navigate my way around the layout.
Don’t let me fool you into thinking this is going to be a harmless walk in the park with your golf ego being gently massaged. This is a Dye course, and he will take you down a peg or three immediately if you don’t have some forethought or your ‘A’ game in your back pocket. For this is a course that penalizes wayward tee shots via its narrow-but- gorgeous fairways.
And certainly do not expect a flat lie, even if you do keep to the short stuff for your approach into the tight, fast, subtly breaking greens. Be sure to arrive early to take full advantage of the fantastic range, short game area, and putting green facilities. You'll want to take the free course notes hand-out when you sign in with the friendly staff in the golf shop. It saved me a number of shots when after five holes of playing double-bogey golf, I thought I better read it.
To continue talking egos, I strongly recommend taking advantage of the PGA of America’s ‘Tee it Forward’ intiative on this course. Believe me, I take the game personally, and even after the 10-minute emphatic-pep talk from the passionate, proud and amicable starter, I was still champing at the bit to tee it up from the tips and ready to take on the challenge of the 7,165 yard tees recommended for the 0-4 handicappers. But then I saw the 76.1/146 course rating, and humbly moved down to the 70.4/140 granite tees that still tested me immensely as a five-handicap with .
But enough with all the warnings. This is a top-notch facility and golf fans should feel privileged to have this affordable daily fee track so close to the city. Yes, Pound Ridgewill test you and your game. You will gamble on the reachable Par 5ss, such as the 13th hole, home to “Pete’s Rock,”and the short par-4 6th hole. For me, this is THE golf course that encapsulates all we love about the game. It challenges our skill level and our humility due its toughness, but if intelligently played, you will respect its fairness. The course brings us close to being out with nature knowing that Pete Dye and owner Ken Wang set out to build and maintain an environmentally-friendly golf course. We get to enjoy a team of staff who will do anything to ensure we enjoy the experience,making us feel like VIPs. Perhaps most importantly, you will have stories and tales of hero and woe of your golf shots to share together with your foursome and your golfing brethren. This IS the best course I have played in the U.S. (I have seen a few!) and can’t wait to face the challenge again!
About Pound Ridge Golf ClubThe Pound Ridge Golf Course is an 18-hole facility designed by legendary golf course designer Pete Dye in Pound Ridge, New York. It features 7,171 yards of course from the back tees, spanning 172 acres. The course is a par of 72 is rated on of the top golf courses in the State of New York. For more information, visit Pound Ridge online at: www.poundridgegolf.com
About the Author
The above article was written by Eat Sleep Golf team member Kevin Dudleston. Having recently completed his PGA Playing Ability Test, Kevin has a clear passion for golf and for contributing towards growing the game.
* Photos in this article were taken by Jim Krajiceck