Superbly maintained, this walker-friendly spread may appear short on the card (the longest hole is a scant 535 yards from the tips), but the risk-reward scenarios and swirling mountain winds keep better players honest. Highlights include the par-4 15th, which plays from the high point of the course to an enormous, sweeping green, and the majestic 213-yard 17th, where the tee shot must carry a lily pond to find a raised, well-bunkered green set in a bowl. The 430-yard 18th, with a small pond on the slicer's side, leads to a handsome clubhouse and the stone verandah of Willie Dunn's Grille. In all, the first few sets of tees -- 6,104, 5,726 and 5,105 yards -- offer what many resorts promise but few deliver: a pleasurable outing for the average golfer.
The course is one of the best in Vermont, and Okemo Valley's Golf Academy, an indoor-outdoor learning facility, is its equal. The school's PowerLINK 3-D system uses sensors and video to create a three-dimensional model of a student's swing. This program, based on biomechanics and pioneered by academy director Michael Bentley, provides invaluable feedback. In addition to two-day weekend and three-day midweek programs, a limited number of sessions this summer are available for women only. Reservations or brochure: 877-396-4653.
The green fee at Okemo Valley is $66 for walkers, $85 with cart. "Tee for Two" packages, including mountainside lodging at Okemo Mountain Resort, start at $100 per person, per night from September 1 to October 30. Programs for foursomes are also available. Prices jump during the peak fall-foliage season. 800-786-5366; www.okemo.com.