Sunday, May 12, 2013

Pound-ridgeWhen Pound Ridge Golf Club opened in 2008, players gasped at its difficulty (146 slope) and pre-recession price.

Still, many in New York City's public-golf-starved suburbs paid the flat $235 fee for the memorable test, eye-catching aesthetics and Tour-caliber conditions (narrow fairways; small, contoured greens).

Today, fees are hardly cut-rate, but various price points and stay-and-play hotel packages let more people enjoy this wild ride for as little as $100 per round.

Pete Dye and his son Perry crafted the layout from the remnants of a nine-holer on a site studded with rocks, wetlands and mature trees. The result is stunning — and punishing.

You may lose a sleeve (or two) of balls from the 6,279-yard middle tees (140 slope), but you'll play unforgettable holes, like the 480-yard, par-5 13th, which demands a semi-blind drive over "Pete's Rock," and the 174-yard, par-3 15th, its slender green sandwiched by wetlands and rock outcroppings.

Don't fret if invites to nearby private treasures Winged Foot and Quaker Ridge never come your way. Public Pound Ridge is every bit as challenging.

Pound Ridge Golf Club Pound Ridge, N.Y.
7,165 yards, par 72
Green fees: $100-$235
914-764-5771, poundridgegolf.com (Photo: Jim Krajicek)

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