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West Point Golf Course – Review

by   |   June 28, 2008

 

Tucked and hidden away in the Hudson River Valley is a hidden gem of a golf course. Where our Patriot forefathers waged many a skirmish with the British we waged war at West Point. Golf war that is. Sure there are quite a few gems in this area but the one I feel should be held in higher regard is the West Point Golf Course. I played a round here last week and left ever so impressed.

 

I have played military golf courses in the past while stationed in South Carolina and at times the conditioning on them was not always up to par. This is certainly not the case here at West Point. This place is lush and green.  Like many older golf courses, this place has it’s own distinct character and even a little quirkiness to the layout. Like to walk? Better trudge along the front nine and then grab a cart for the back nine.

Hole number one is as good an opening hole as you’ll play anywhere.

There are some long distances between a few of the holes here, mostly on the back nine.  A few of the greens were small and others were larger in size. West Point underwent a retooling back in the late 1990’s. The golf course was originally designed by the famous Robert Trent Jones, Sr. I am not sure who completed the renovation or what exactly they ended up changing, but overall this golf course is an original to me.  This course is enduring and beating the test of time. It was designed shortly after World War II in 1946 and you can tell it was laid out on the land with minimal earth movement and the golf course seems like it just belongs there.

The dime sized green on the par 5 #7 is not all that inviting and well protected as well. See the false front?

Usually military golf courses are closed to the general public. Heck, I even served in the Army for five years and I did not even get a discount. Here at West Point, the course is open to public tee times three days prior. Luckily for us, we had absolutely no problem securing a 7:05 am, weekday tee time.  Of course, they charge the public quite a bit more to play, but for $53 with cart it’s a real steal. In fact, we could have played a second round of 18 holes for cart fee only, if we had had extra time. In the greater metro New York City area, this is a super bargain! Sure, there are bigger and newer golf course offerings nearby this area, but for historical value, West Point simply can’t be touched.

You’ll need less than a driver on hole #8, otherwise it is wet.

Number 10 requires a nice fade, play one here and you’ll have wedge into this par 4.

West Point Golf Course doesn’t even measure out to 6100 yards and better yet, I really like that. Although short by modern design standards (which really need to be rethought anyway) West Point dishes out heaps of sidehill and downhill lies, tight and  tree lined fairways and water that comes right into play on more than a few occasions. One could easily put up a big number here.  Holes 11, 12 and 14 can easily inflict heavy casualties upon your card.

The par 3 #12 leaves no room for error. Hit the green or pay dearly.

You’ll feel like a member of the ill fated Light Brigade charge with a poor tee shot on #12.

#14, see any fairway down in there? It’s there (barely), but not very wide at all.

This is as tough a stretch of three holes as you hope to find. The long and very straight hitter can have a field day here with all the elevated tee boxes, but you’ll still need some short game, especially with the flatstick.

Looking backwards on the scenic #15 hole.

The uphill, par 5 #17.

The one thing about this special golf course that really struck home with me was that I was instantly comfortable here, what I mean is, I could see myself hanging out and playing here all the time. Too bad I live more than 650 miles away. If you find yourself within a shout of West Point’s campus and enjoy a different test of golf, be sure and play West Point Golf Course. West Point Golf Course’s website can be found here.
 

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