I’m on vacation in Upstate New York, specifically at the Mohonk Mountain House in New Paltz, New York. It’s a fantastic vacation spot, and I’ll be writing about it when I get home from vacation on Thursday night. My dad, brother, and I went golfing yesterday on a fun 9 hole golf course that the resort runs. It’s a fun, quirky golf course. In the title, I called it a woodchuck golf course. What does that mean? Well it refers to a golf course in Vermont called the Woodchuck Golf Course that is flat out absurd and plays in a way that golf is just not meant to be played. A woodchuck style course is unusual, a little zany, but is consistently entertaining. This course is no normal course, but as it is a golf course, I will give a review of it. Admittidly, it’s not as high a quality golf course as I will usually be talking about here. Again, the categories I’m talking about are as follows. Facilities, Fairway Play, Greens, Aesthetics, Overall Difficulty. Without further ado, here comes the review.
There are a few things you can expect to find at a golf course in the way of warming up. Things like a clubhouse, a practice green, and a driving range. On this course, well there’s a clubhouse. It feels like a regular house and has everything you need in a golfing clubhouse, so that’s good. There’s a practice green with plenty of holes to shoot at with all different slopes and angles to shoot at, so that’s good. There is however, no driving range. Therefore, there’s no way to warm up before your round. Points come off for that.
Fairway Play: 6/10
I know I should be kind to this course, but I have to be honest about this all. These fairways are not designed to produce great scores. They are designed to be wonky and make the golfer think “Wait huh?” about the hole that’s presented before them. Steep par 3’s, long par 4’s that go over incredibly steep hills then back up, trying to drop the ball onto the green from above, etc. These are some fun, yet rather frustrating holes to play. At least it’s entertaining. But, the golf quality of the fairways is not that high…
Green Play 7/10
The greens suffer from similar problems as the fairways. They’re designed to be a bit wonky, with funny hole placement, clever slopes, interesting angles to play on, and fun approaches. They have an entertainment factor which is certainty there, but the quality of golf on the greens is not the highest. So points come off for some absurd lies and hard ways to play the hole.
It’s a pretty course. The shade provided by the trees you have to fight your way through is a fun touch, and it’s in upstate NY. There are some awesome vistas on the course. The points that come off are for there being way too many bugs, to the point where I felt like I was being eaten alive by bugs and for making the use of a cart effectively required and difficult on this course. It’s too hilly to walk around, and the hills that require you to use a cart also make it tough to use a cart.. Logic.
Total Difficulty: 7/10
This is quite a fun course. There’s plenty of difficulty, but the challenge comes from how unusual the course is. This is a fine way to get a challenge, and it is wildly different from any course I’ve played this year. But at some point, there has to be a regular golf challenge. There has to be a long tee shot that’s just a straight long shot, or a hard placement of a bunker, instead of dropping off a cliff or dropping into a ravine then climbing back out of it. At least that’s my thought, and while this course has some real golf challenges, I don’t believe there are enough to make up for a few too many gimmicky moments.
Hardest Hole: 7
A long tee shot, down a hill, trying to drop a ball on the green from above the hole. That messes with the psyche of the golfer and can mess you up. It did me.
Favorite Hole: 9
Good length, fun gimmicks(like trees in the middle of of the course), a proper green, and a good golf challenge. The perfect resort woodchuck golf hole. Plus I had my best shot on this hole. I chipped an 8 iron between two trees, over a hill, and landed the ball inside 3 feet from the hole. That wade a great end to a wonky but fun golf day.
Final Score: 35/50
This is not intended to be a great golf course from a pure gold standpoint. It’s a fun course, a good way to spend a vacation day at a good course, and a worthwhile part of my time. Check it out if you come by these parts!