The game of golf may have
started in Scotland, but the Hudson Valley spawned the
first golf club in America.
The history of golf courses
in the United States is rich indeed,
but the oldest surviving golf club in America was established
right here in the Hudson Valley by Scotsman John Reid,
known as “the father of American golf.”
In February 1888, Reid and several
of his friends took an armful of clubs, some golf balls
and hearts full of eagerness to a pasture in Yonkers.
There, in front of a gallery of bemused cows, they knocked
the balls around a three-hole course. Before long, the
St. Andrew’s Golf Club was born, now the oldest
continuously existing golf club in the United States.
A visit to St Andrew’s is like
a walk through golf history. Members now play on a superb
Jack Nicklaus signature golf course, laid out on the
same rolling Westchester County land to which the club
moved in 1897. The course is 6,670 yards long, and is
located near the quaint river town of Hastings-on-Hudson.
With panoramic river views and magnificent
scenery, the Hudson Valley hosts some of the best places
to golf in the country. You will find courses set on
rolling hills near quaint villages that contain the
historic homes of famous artists, writers, businessmen
and political leaders. Throughout the region, golfer
and non-golfer alike will find plenty of places to explore,
comfortable lodgings and excellent restaurants.
Public golf courses in the Hudson
Valley include the West Point Golf Course, located in
the Hudson Highlands on the grounds of the US Military
Academy. Designed by Robert Trent Jones, Jr., the West
Point course offers an 18-hole, Par 71 course with practice
green, lessons, pro shop and snack bar.
Few courses in the country are favored
with a setting as lovely as the Garrison Golf Club,
across the river from West Point. The fairways are located
high on a ridge overlooking the river, with the smoky
blue Catskill Mountains on the horizon. The course was
designed by Dick Wilson and the layout feels like a
part of the landscape, following the natural terrain
of the Hudson Highlands.
The Town of Wallkill Golf Course
provides a New England-style course designed between
lagoons and around rolling terrain, meandering through
heavily wooded areas lined with hemlock, oak and shagbark
hickory. In Harrison, the Saxon Woods Golf Course is
known by players as the county's second most challenging
course, with rolling, wooded landscape giving this sporting
course tremendous character.
Patriot Hills Golf Club in Stony Point
suggests that golfers “come follow the course
where history is made,” a reference to the nearby
site where Revolutionary War General Anthony Wayne and
his patriot troops were captured in 1779. The Par 71
course offers spectacular views of the Hudson River
and the Palisades.
North at Amenia in bucolic Columbia
County, the challenging Silo Ridge Country Club has
been drawing a lot of day golfers to a championship
18-hole course, originally designed by Albert Zikorus.
And in LaGrangeville, many golfers will enjoy the high
grass, natural brush and gorse, plus the wind that blows
across the wide, sweeping fairways out on The Links
at Union Vale.
The Capital District region offers
the Evergreen Country Club in Castleton. With Bull Run
Mountain as a backdrop, Evergreen offers the challenge
of a wonderful figure eight pattern layout.
Public golf courses in the Hudson
Valley are so varied, it’s hard to go wrong. Whichever
you choose, you can count on a challenging game in a
setting that is both scenic and invigorating.