Best 18 Places to Play Golf in 2012 in Westchester and the Hudson Valley, Upstate NY

Our panel’s dream course consists of 18 holes that stand out at the extreme ends of the yardage scale

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Driveable par fours. Par fives so long that even the pros lay up. One-shotters you can barely reach with a driver. Extreme golf holes are the ones you remember, the ones you laugh (and cry) about over beers at the 19th hole. How is any mere mortal supposed to make par on a hole so long your second shot requires a howitzer? Whose bright idea was it to put the hole within half-wedge distance downhill over water? When you par a 600-yarder, you crow about it for days. When your scorecard shows a double bogey on a hole even your grandmother could par, you hang your head in shame.

We chose 18 of the longest and shortest holes in Westchester, just to see what kind of golf course they would make. On the surface, our course looks pretty standard at 6,764 yards and par 72 from the blue tees. But we ended up with a monster front nine that stretches for almost 4,000 yards. The back nine is probably harder, even though it’s well under 3,000. Both are guaranteed to challenge every facet of your game.

One thing we proved, by the way, is that long doesn’t necessarily mean better. You can have just as much fun — and heartache — trying to make par by teeing off with a five iron and approaching with a delicate wedge as you can pounding driver, three wood, nine iron. In fact, the mental challenge of short holes adds a whole different type of excitement to the game. Golf, after all, isn’t about who can swing the hardest, it’s about who can get the ball in the hole in the least number of strokes. That’s the long and short of it.

» See how we put together this dream course
» See to our 18 favorite holes
» Honorable mentions — our other favorite long and short holes




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