We've Moved

We've Moved!

Dave Donelson Tee To Green has an exciting new home at
Westchester Magazine.

We're still about all things golf, especially those pertinent to golfers in Westchester and the NY Metro, but now we're in a much bigger space!

Please visit our new home at

Monday, September 17, 2012

Hudson Hills Tops The Crown

The crown jewel of the six golf courses operated by Westchester County is Hudson Hills, 7,000 yards of  impeccably-maintained fairways and greens woven into rugged hilltop terrain in Ossining. From the stone pillars marking the entrance to the cheerful attendant who greets you at the bag drop to the smooth and fast rolling greens, your experience at Hudson Hills resembles nothing so much as a round at one of the county's many top-notch private clubs.

The quality of play ranks up there, too. Hudson Hills stretches 6,935 yards from the tips, although the green tees at 6,323 with a 71.0 rating and 129 slope provide plenty of challenge. There are two other sets of tees to make the course enjoyable for players of all levels. The course is laid out up, down, around, and about one of the highest hills in the county, making your travels around the course an exercise in distance control through elevation management as well as shot direction. And here's a tip if in doubt about the line of your putt: it will always break away from the huge white water tower in view from just about everywhere. Something else to keep in mind on the front nine is that it wraps around the course clockwise, which means there's out of bounds and other trouble to the left on almost every hole.

Hudson Hills #2
 photo courtesy of the club
Hudson Hills offers a steady diet of risk and reward, although you'll want to bring an extra sleeve of balls if you're an aggressive player because the rough can be gnarly and there are more than a few blind shots where it comes into play. The first opportunity comes on the second hole, a 502-yard par five with a semi-blind tee shot you should aim well to the right to take advantage of the severe side slope that will push your ball to the left. A good drive to the end of the landing area will put you 230 from the green, but beware the water hazard on the right front: it's only 195 away and the fairway reverses camber to feed into it. Left is no bargain, either, since an impenetrable lateral hazard lines that side of the hole.

The five par threes range from 127 to 174 yards and elevation, as you might expect, plays a big role in club selection. Five of the nine par fours are over 400 yards. Most of them offer generous fairways, although the short fours demand high precision off the tee. The 368-yard eighth hole is particularly devilish, featuring a fescue-covered hillside on the right and a lateral hazard on the left the entire length of the fairway. Don't lay back too far from the tee, though, or you won't be able to see the green around the sharp dogleg.

Rates at Hudson Hills are slightly higher than those at the other county courses, but still quite reasonable for a course of this caliber. You can also buy an annual pass that brings Hudson Hills even closer to the country club experience.

Among many other books, Dave Donelson is the author of Weird Golf: 18 tales of fantastic, horrific, scientifically impossible, and morally reprehensible golf

No comments: