One of the best times of the year to visit Ulster County, N.Y. and enjoy all that this section of the Empire State has is autumn.
The weather is usually sweet, the trees turn to blazing orange, red and yellow, and the golf courses are in great shape. Despite all the rain that the Northeast experienced in late summer, Ulster County golf courses are in good condition and offer great value for the discerning golfer.
“Some of our courses had severe flooding and tree damage from Hurricane Irene. But they’ve all bounced back amazingly well and are now in tremendous shape,” Rick Remsnyder, Ulster County Tourism Director, told me this week.
Rick is especially excited at the prospect of Lazy Swan Golf and Country Club Village in Saugerties expanding from nine holes to 18 holes in spring of 2012. The fairly open existing nine holes at this layout will be flanked on both sides by densely-wooded holes with narrower fairways when the two nines are integrated. Remsnyder said Lazy Swan’s “quiet elegance” and its proximity to the Saugerties Exit on the New York State Thruway has caught the attention of a growing number of golfers from the tri-state region.
“In a short time, Lazy Swan has established itself as a major player in the golf business,” Remsnyder said. “Golfers from the New York metropolitan area, New Jersey, Connecticut and Albany have found the course to be well-groomed and challenging and the staff to be very efficient and courteous. I think the only thing that has been holding it back has been that it’s been a nine-hole course.”
Ulster County has a wealth of courses that are approachable for golfers of all abilities and feature affordable greens fees.
The county also has a number of hotels and bed and breakfast establishments, where you can establish a base to enjoy outdoor activities such as hang-gliding, boating, sailing, fishing, rock climbing in addition to golf. Visitors come to this bucolic area of the Catskills for the slow, simple pace of life. There are local museums, woodland paths to walk, a mix of fine restaurants, shopping in the area’s many antique stores and eclectic art galleries and pottery shops.
And there’s plenty of golf.
Rondout Golf Club, a scenic 18-hole semi-private course in Accord that is located halfway between the cities of Kingston and Ellenville is known for its excellent conditioning. Apple Greens Golf Course in Highland is always busy, as the 27-hole layout, which is located just five minutes from the New Paltz Exit on the New York State Thruway, continues to attract golfers from New York City and central and northern New Jersey who don’t mind driving more than an hour because there is no waiting and a quick pace of play.
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.
Says Remsnyder, “Ulster County’s courses are so diverse that visitors never become bored playing golf here. If a golfer likes mountain resort courses, he or she will be thrilled golfing at the Fallsview at the Honor’s Haven Resort and Spa, the Hudson Valley Resort and Spa and Mohonk Mountain House. There’s great risk-reward potential when one tees it up at Rondout Golf Club, and Apple Greens Golf Course is cut right out of an apple orchard.”
For more information call 845-340-3568, or visit www.ulstercountyalive.com.