4 Best Daily Fee Golf Courses 2012 in the Hudson Valley, Upstate NY
Stunning vistas. Tour-speed greens. Critical club selection. Sounds like one of the region’s many great private country clubs, doesn’t it? But surprise, you can find all this and more at one of these fine daily fee courses
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Putnam National Golf Club
• 6,804 yards • Par 71
If you haven’t been to Putnam National since RDC Golf Group took over management of the Putnam County-owned course, you’ve missed a much-improved golf experience. Greens are fast and true; fairways are in the best shape they’ve ever been thanks to a new irrigation system; and all the amenities you’d want — including a full range, short game area and putting green — have been upgraded in recent years. Best of all, Putnam National’s greens fees yield some of the best golf value in the region.
The golf course is the thing, though, and at 6,804 yards, Putnam National has plenty of it. All three of the par fives are well over 500 yards and three of the par fours are over 450. The course also passes one of my personal tests of good architecture: variety in the par threes. At 152, 180, and 215 yards, the one-shotters at Putnam National will keep you on your toes.
The accommodating nature of Putnam National is revealed in the course rating and slope. From the blue tees, the rating is 72.8 — high enough for just about anybody. The slope, though, is an entirely manageable 128, meaning that it’s not particularly punitive for the bogey golfer. There are also three other sets of tees, too, ranging from 5,789 to 6,365 yards, so there’s no reason not to have a good time with a course that fits your game.
The three finishing holes at Putnam National will put some starch in your socks. The 16th is a 530-yard par five that rewards a power fade off the tee with a chance to reach in two. The 17th, a 470-yard par four, calls for just the opposite, a precise draw that catches the downslope and puts you in position to go pin hunting. The closing hole is shorter, only 454 yards, but plays longer since it’s uphill. Oh, and it helps to shape your shot here with a slight fade, too.
Weekday greens fees $40, weekends $69, with substantial savings at non-peak times or with a season pass.
» Next country club: The Links at Union Vale, Lagrangeville, NY