Golf Road Trip: Saratoga Springs, NY
Saratoga Springs in upstate New York is home to the great Saratoga Springs National Golf Club. Unfortunately, I didn't play there. At $185 a play, it was slightly out of my price range (especially in a town that has a horse racing track). Still wanting to play golf, my friend recommended we play across town at Saratoga Spa Golf for the much more gentle price of $45.
Image by dianecordell via Flickr
Saratoga Spa Golf
Saratoga Spa Golf is located in Saratoga Spa State Park. Similar to Bethpage State Park, this means New York residents receive a discount. I think my friend paid $35 to walk 18 during the week.
Amongst other things, the park has two golf courses, a "Championship Course" and an "Executive Course." The Executive Course is referred to as the "par 29" since it features seven par 3's and only two par 4's. The tree- lined, 1,671 yard course sits just across the street from the Championship Course.
Saratoga Spa Golf: The Championship Course
As I headed to this course, I had a negative attitude. Here I am in Saratoga Springs ready to play golf and it's not at Saratoga National. I thought to myself, "great, some second-tier course in upstate New York." I could not have been more wrong.
As always, I'll be straightforward with you. If you're looking for scenery, this is not the course for you. If you're looking for a course with excellent conditions, a good layout, and large bunkers, welcome home. If you're afraid the course won't be challenging enough for you, you can play the par 72 from the tips at 7,141 and a rating/slope of 74.4/130.
(It's common to see large bunkers protecting the front and sides of the green here)
My friend is fairly new to golf, so we decided to play the Silver Tees which offered a fair rating/slope of 69.8/128. It shortened the yardage to 6,245 and required some club selection off the tees. At this distance, the longest hole on the course is the 17th hole, a 507 yard par 5. It has OB left and trees right with a bunker about 25 yards short of the green. These tees also shorten the 3rd hole which is rated as the #1 handicap hole. A good drive down the left side of the fairway leaves your best approach shot over water to a slightly uphill green. If the pin is in front, you'll be left with a downhill putt.Continued on the next page