Both new and experienced golfers can have a good time at Inness, the two-year-old, nine-hole golf course at the Hudson Valley resort and club of the same name in Accord. Newbies will enjoy the club’s casual approach to the game while more serious golfers will test their shot-making skills, especially around the greens. For either golfer, Inness is a 90-minute drive from Westchester that’s well worth taking.
“We’re going after a relaxed vibe,” says Inness head pro Jeff Massa. “No dress code, dogs on a leash are welcome, and if your significant other wants to just to walk along and enjoy the great outdoors, we love to have them.”
The vibe is very similar to local courses away from the tourist-driven British Open rota in England and Scotland. From the welcoming staff in the cozy pro shop/snack bar to the casual lineup at the first tee, the atmosphere is anything but stuffy, the golf nothing but a day to be enjoyed on the links. The golf course at Inness is one of those very rare places to play where filling out your scorecard is optional, but having fun with friends and family is guaranteed as long as you don’t take yourself too seriously. Sure, you can play competitive golf at Inness, but be prepared for a few laughs along the way.
Architect King Collins, known for his norm-shattering creation of Sweeten’s Cove in Tennessee, built the course by combining treasured features of traditional design with a few extreme modern elements. Fairways are generous, with adjacent ones often shared to make them exceptionally forgiving for golfers who are directionally-impaired—or who desire to create their own path to the green. There are just enough fairway bunkers and water hazards to keep you focused. Length off the tee is good, but not crucial, with only one par-four measuring over 400 yards from the tips.
Four sets of tees stretch the course from 4,652 to 6,722 yards for a double loop. Going around the nine holes twice isn’t repetitive; the greens are so large you can play to a different flag each time, providing completely different approach angles and distances. And don’t feel obligated to play the prescribed routing. If you think it would be fun to play from the third tee to the first green, feel free to do it as long as there are no other golfers in the way.
Where things get interesting at Inness are around the greens, which are like none other you’ll encounter anywhere in the metro area. The greens are massive in width, depth, and wildly contoured. It’s no exaggeration to say that you could face a 100-foot putt that breaks in three directions as it rolls up, over, and around four humps that rise and fall six feet before finding the cup. A 10-foot putt could easily have five feet of break. A three-footer that slips by the cup could end up off the green. The carpet rolls true but greens are kept in the 9-10 range on the Stimpmeter to accommodate the strong contours.
As Massa points out, “It’s not your normal, traditional parkland course. If you are a bomber, you may not find the course as score-able as you think. Knowing the green complexes is key, and you need patience. If you can score well here, you’re going to go to some of the more traditional courses with flatter greens and eat them up.”
Walking the course is encouraged and highly enjoyable, although golf carts are available. Other amenities at the course include a driving range, expansive practice green, retail shop, and bar serving beverages and light snacks. PGA professionals provide lessons, and memberships are available along with daily fee play.
The Inness golf course is part of an intimate resort and members club that opened in 2021. It includes 40 rooms in 28 cabins and a 12-room farmhouse, a restaurant and lounge, sports outfitter, swimming pools, tennis, hiking trails, events barn, and three-acre organic farm. Ground has been broken for a wellness center set to open in spring 2024. The development was founded and is operated by restaurateur and architect Taavo Somer in partnership with Post Company, CBSK Ironstate, and Lee Pollock.
10 Banks St, Accord
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