Some of the most enjoyable rounds of golf happen at resort courses.
A friendly staff attending to your every need with a smile, a pleasingly eclectic mix of golfers, charming pro shops and 19th holes, and most of all, great golf courses can be found at the best Northeast resorts.
Located in Bushkill is the Fernwood Hotel and Resort, a splendid multi-purpose facility that has been catering to guests in style since 1969. Visitors, as well as daily fee players, have access to the splendid Fernwood Golf Course, a unique, well-manicured layout.
“We are only 6,200 yards from the blues, but quality isn’t always measured in length,” said Rich Millard, the affable head professional at Fernwood. “The course has a lot of character and our superintendent, Jeff Lipics, has done a wonderful job getting the course is superb condition.”
Millard continued, “We have a pro-am here every year and the winning score is usually around 68 or 69 (par is 71), which tells you something about the challenges. The course is tree lined with some changes in elevation, and we always tell guests if they can get past 14, 15 and 16, they are in good shape.”
Millard said Fernwood is enjoyable for beginners as well as more accomplished players. Mid-season greens fees are extremely reasonable, with numerous spring and fall specials always being offered. “Another thing that makes the course enjoyable is that no two holes are the same.”
Fernwood has water on only a few holes, there aren’t a plethora of bunkers to mess up a hole, and most greens accept run up shots. The challenge of the course is in its greens, which are undulating and rolling on the fast side once summer sets in. The par-threes here are a strength, with only one, the 130-yard second, under 160 yards and three 200 yards or better.
The sixth hole is a brutish par-five, measuring 600 yards from the tips and playing along a narrow strip of a fairway. It will take three shots to find the large putting surface.
The 10th hole is a nice looking, 375-yard par-four that has water on the left side and plays as a slight dogleg left. The 11th is a very interesting, 505-yard par-five that has a bit of a double dogleg with a stream running in front of the green about 80 yards out. And the 12th is a tough 205-yard par-three that has water guarding the left side and bunkers on each side of the putting surface.
The holes Millard referred to, 14 through 16, include two deceptively short (364 and 350 yards) par-fours that bear their teeth once you approach the greens, and the 16th, a solid, 200-yard par-three that has three bunkers protecting a deep green.
The greatest risk versus reward hole on the track is the 440-yard, par-five 17th. Even mid-handicappers can get on in two, but the drive must be strong to have a shot at the green, for the hole doglegs severely to the left.
The resort runs a number of stay and play packages and guests have first priority on the golf course. Fernwood is an ideal destination for summer and fall getaways.
The hotel and resort offers first class accommodations in traditional rooms, suites and villas. There are a number of other recreational venues, such as horseback riding, river trips, a fitness center, indoor and outdoor swimming pools and activities for the kids. There are several fine restaurants in or near the hotel and resort. Call 888-337-9663 or visit www.fernwoodhotel.com.