There are few hidden golf course gems left in America; most have been uncovered, but not all of them! If you were to ask me the best kept secret one in America, I would loudly proclaim that it’s the Yahnundasis Country Club just outside of Utica, New York. This splendid layout was so far off the radar screen that it wasn’t previously listed among more than 1,300 ballot courses by Golfweek Magazine until I recommended it.
Well, this old Walter Travis layout is one outstanding golf course that should easily compete for a Top 100 Classic position. Though several holes had to be reconfigured by the father-son team of William and David Gordon due to an adjoining road change, the replacement holes with the exception of the first hole fit in seamlessly. The course is a stout enough challenge to host more than a half dozen NY State Amateurs, and most recently the 2007 edition.
It fits naturally into its terrain with blind shots over tumbling terrain and flat ones in the creek bed areas. It is a combination of really solid golf and some slightly quirky holes that add to its very interesting allure and character. There are terrific vistas, so many really good holes, and the course has been lovingly maintained with a good tree management program. While knowledgeable New York golfers understand the treasure of Yahnundasis, until my extolling it, no one else seems to have ever heard of it. Discovering a course of this magnitude is what a golf course connoisseur lives for!
Fagan Grade: A-. Yahnundasis is truly an outstanding golf course full of interesting character, beauty, challenge, memorability, good condition, and all you could hope to find. It is a personal favorite and America’s Best Kept Secret Golf Course!