Golf is a game loved by casual and dedicated players alike. It’s not just a test of skill and improvement, it’s a great way to be outdoors with friends. Here are four public spaces to try – two in New York, two in New England – that are destinations for players looking for challenging links in interesting locations.
THE STATE OF NEW YORK
Bethpage State Park golf course
Long Islanders are fortunate to have some of the top-rated public and private golf courses in the country in counties Nassau and Suffolk, but while a private club isn’t open to all, anyone can book a tee time on this acclaimed fairway . Its most famous course is the Black Course, which has previously hosted the US Open Championship twice, the PGA Championship once and two other PGA Tour events, and is set to host the 2024 Ryder Cup.
However, if you’re not quite ready for one of the toughest courses in the United States, there are four more to try (Yellow, Blue, Green, and Red; Yellow is the shortest). New York State residents can book time through the Bethpage Golf Course website, with weekday 18-hole, nine-hole and twilight games for each course cheaper than anything else on weekends.
THE INFORMATION 99 Quaker Meeting House Rd., Farmingdale, New York; 516-249-4040, bethpagegolfcourse.com
NEARBY The course is just one mile from the north end of Main Street Farmingdale Village, a walkable strip with several restaurants and taverns. Broadhollow Road is also dotted with dining and entertainment options, and it’s also a good place to find hotels. A nearby option (also about 3.5 miles from Bethpage Golf Course) is the Hilton Long Island Huntington (598 Broadhollow Rd, Melville; 631-845-1000, hilton.com), with nightly rates starting at $184.
Turning Stone Resort Casino
This upstate (Oneida County) entertainment center has five golf courses – three 18-hole and two 9-hole courses – including the 18-hole Atunyote, designed by renowned golf course architect Tom Fazio and awarded both the PGA Professional National Championship and the BC Open was also the venue. Turning Stone also has a zone called the Golf Dome, which features two golf simulators, a 17,500-square-foot short game practice area, two-tier swing stations, and a golf store. You do not have to be a guest of the resort to play as non-guest rates vary by course, day and time of year.
THE INFORMATION 5218 Patrick Rd., Verona, New York; 800-771-7711, turnstone.com
NEARBY Another reason to golf in Turning Stone is all the things there are to do. It features a casino with more than 60 table games, a bingo hall, 2,000 slot machines and a poker room that is said to be the largest in New York State. The venue has four tennis courts (two indoor, two outdoor) and two indoor racquetball courts in its Sportsplex facility. Turning Stone also has more than a dozen restaurants and a live entertainment calendar featuring upcoming shows from comedians like Jeff Dunham (8th of July), Gabriel Iglesias (August 5) and Amy Schumer (Sept. 24), and musical performances such as daughter (August 25) and The murderers (Sept. 26). Golfers wishing to stay can take advantage of a two-night “Champions Package” (through October 9) starting at $178 per night; Nights without the package start at $119.
Crumpin Fox Club
A 12-time US Open qualifier, characterized by a long eighth hole with a lake surrounding much of its fairway. The prices depend on the day and time of the game; Book in advance online via the course website. Visitors can dine at the venue’s Zeke’s Bar and Grill restaurant, which also often hosts live music during the summer — but for those looking to stay longer, the Inn at Crumpin-Fox has nightly rates starting at $159.
THE INFORMATION 87 Parmenter Rd., Bernardston, Massachusetts; 800-943-1901, crumpinfox.com
NEARBY Located in rural Western Massachusetts, little stands in the way of urban adventures – but it’s also about 93 miles away Boston, a journey that should take a little under two hours. For attractions closer to the club, the Magic Wings Butterfly Conservatory and Gardens (281 Greenfield Rd., South Deerfield; 413-665-2805, magicwings.com) is home to thousands of butterflies as well as other insects and creatures and Memorial Hall Museum (8 Memorial St., Deerfield; 413-774-3768, memorialhalldeerfield.org) has galleries with exhibits ranging from paintings and furnishings to Native American artifacts and objects of archaeological interest. That Great Falls Discovery Center (2 Avenue A, Turners Falls; 413-863-3221, greatfallsdiscoverycenter.org) is located on the Connecticut River and offers both outdoor areas for exploration and an indoor study of the river’s journey between Canada and Long Island Sound, its human history, and the wildlife that call it home.
Judge Park Golf Course
A past US Open qualifier and venue for the MGA Public Links Championship, this four-tee tee course is known for its dozens of bunkers and frequent water views. It is located in Stanley L. Richter Memorial Park, which also features hiking trails, tennis courts, and live performances in the summer. Tee times vary in price depending on the season and day of the game and can be booked by non-residents up to nine days in advance.
THE INFORMATION 100 Aunt Hack Rd., Danbury, Connecticut; 203-792-2550, richterpark.com
NEARBY Only about 95 miles from central Long Island, it’s not too far for a day trip. Visitors can take the ferry from Port Jefferson (102 W. Broadway; 888-443-3779, 88844ferry.com) to Bridgeport, which would save about 25 miles from your trip. While in Danbury, the Danbury Fair Mall (7 Backus Ave.; 203-743-3247, danburyfairmall.com) is a place to shop, dine, and stroll. For hiking opportunities, picturesque Tarrywile Park (70 Southern Blvd.; 203-744-3130, tarrywile.com) has a pair of ponds, historic gardens, lots of native wildlife, and a lake that can be seen while walking the park’s 21-mile trails. For rides and attractions, High-flying adventure park with thrills (5 Prindle Lane.; 203-942-2585, thrillzdanbury.com) offers obstacle courses, rock climbing, zip lining and laser tag, among other activities. There are a number of hotels in the area; Holiday Inn Express and Suites Danbury (89 Mill Plain Rd.; 203-205-0800, ihg.com) is nearby (1.5 miles away) with nightly rates starting at $131.77.