Now is a Perfect Time to Visit and Play Golf in Ulster County, N.Y.
At a recent golf show in Pennsylvania, many golfers who couldn’t wait for the long and hard winter to end were curious to know where Ulster County was located when they stopped by the booth to talk golf. Although most of them were less than a two-hour ride from Ulster, which is situated in the heart of New York’s scenic Hudson Valley, many wore a curious look when they were told it was just 90 minutes north of midtown Manhattan.
But whether they were fans of rock music or not, most nodded knowingly when they discovered Woodstock was one of Ulster’s most recognizable towns. Though the Woodstock Festival landed 60 miles away in Max Yasgur’s farm in Bethel in neighboring Sullivan County in 1969, the town is famous for lending its name to the festival.
Over the years, scores of folk and rock acts such as Bob Dylan, the Band, Paul Butterfield, Richie Havens and Van Morrison have either lived in or performed regularly at Woodstock.
The sprawling county, which is geographically the size of the state of Rhode Island, is also known for having a dozen of the best and most picturesque daily-fee golf courses in New York. Golfers from all over New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania come to play a variety of courses that are in excellent shape, are very affordable and offer little or no waiting to play.
One of the truly amazing success stories is what has happened in Saugerties with the course built by Dr. Anthony Bacchi. Lazy Swan Golf and Country Club Village expanded from nine holes to 18 holes in spring of 2012 and has become a regular stop for golfers who enjoy the 6,400-yard course with magnificent views of the nearby Catskill Mountains.
“We’re located just a couple of minutes off the New York State Thruway,” Lazy Swan pro Steve Simeon said. “People love that the course is well-groomed, challenging and offers a variety of stunning golf holes.
Bacchi took a chance when he opened a nine-hole golf course in 2005 amid rather unsettling economic times. While courses around the country were closing, Bacchi had a vision that if he built a quality product people would come. His risk has paid off handsomely.
Rondout Golf Club, a scenic 18-hole semi-private course in Accord, is known for its many risk-reward holes with several streams and man-made lakes on the property.
Apple Greens Golf Course in Highland is a 27-hole layout, which is located just five minutes from the New Paltz exit off the Thruway. It attracts golfers from the New York City metropolitan area who don’t mind driving more than an hour because there is no waiting and a quick pace of play. Golfers often pick a few apples during their rounds because the course is cut right out of an apple orchard.
Acclaimed golf course architect Robert Trent Jones designed the Fallsview Golf Course at the Honor’s Haven Resort and Spa in Ellenville, which has been the site of numerous professional and amateur tournaments.
The 18-hole Hudson Valley Resort and Spa in Kerhonkson and the nine-hole Mohonk Mountain House course in New Paltz are also very popular.
The variety is endless and then there’s always the lure of visiting Woodstock following your round.