Westchester County operates six fine golf courses open for daily fee play. Each one is unique, so there’s a course to suit everybody’s game. Rates are reasonable, too, especially if you hold a county park pass.
Look for fabulous views and some pretty challenging holes on the premier course in the county’s lineup. Hudson Hills stretches to nearly 7,000 yards with large greens and some muscular par 4s. There are also several blind shots, so players who aren’t familiar with the contours of the fairways may want to check the landing area before they fire away to avoid running off the short grass into trouble.
Vertigo sufferers may want to think twice before tackling Dunwoodie, the shortest course in the county’s lineup. Others, though, including juniors and women, will enjoy not only the many shots from elevated tees but the views from them, as well, including several of the Manhattan skyline. A recent upgrade to the irrigation system brought Dunwoodie back to fine turf conditions and a pace of play that tends to be a respectable four hours or less.
Many golfers consider Mohansic the most difficult, if not the best, course in the county rota. It earned that reputation with a series of challenging holes of varied length laid out over a series of rolling hills. It measures not quite 6,600 yards and plays to a demanding par 70. Blind shots are the hallmark of several holes, while steeply contoured and very slick greens dot the entire course. Local knowledge is helpful on Mohansic, as is a long, accurate driver.
A multiyear renovation has done nothing but make this good short course even better. The county has made major progress in easing the slopes on several greens and in the process turned Sprain Lake from somewhat quirky to purely entertaining. Like most really good short courses, Sprain Lake rewards solid course management. You can hit the driver, if you like, on many holes, but a better choice is often lying back to full short-iron distance, to avoid stroke-heavy trouble.
At 6,300 yards, Saxon Woods is long enough for serious players yet manageable for shorter hitters, especially from the forward tee boxes. There are only a couple of forced carries, and even those aren’t particularly threatening. One of them is off the tee on the 150-yard par-3 16th hole, a challenging short hole. It plays downhill over a stream that fronts the green, which is also protected by bunkers on both sides.
Maple Moor is a fine walking course and one of the favorites for moderately skilled players who can keep the ball in the fairway. The 6,400-yard course can play a bit tough for slicers or hook hitters, but the mostly gentle greens keep scores respectable. Your drive on the first hole is pretty typical of the challenges you’ll face all day. An overwrought fade (aka slice) will leave you on the wrong side of a line of trees, while an over-strong draw (aka a hook) flirts with out-of-bounds. •