There is nothing more brutal and dispiriting to a mid-teens handicap golfer than a long, white winter. Which is why we remind you—especially those of you who live in the New York area—that if Spring ever arrives, you will once again be a bad golfer. And if you play at the superlative Pound Ridge Golf, you'll probably barely be able to finish a round. The reason? Along with the wrist-breaking Bethpage Black and Winged Foot (where you'll never get a tee time—ever), Pound Ridge Golf is the toughest, most baffling and most rewarding course in the northeast.
Opened in 2008 by Kenneth Wang, brother of fashion designer Vera Wang, Pound Ridge Golf is the brainchild of Pete Dye, that sadistic wizard of a golf architect who also drew the plans for TPC Sawgrass, PGA West and Whistling Straits, among many other legendary tracks. Wang signed up Dye (along with Dye's son, Perry) to carve Pound Ridge out of the granite hillside of Westchester County, just a 45-minute drive from Manhattan.
What Dye devised is nothing short of terrifying to an amateur golfer. It's also exhilarating. Pound Ridge Golf is a full bentgrass facility, hewn from 172 acres of craggy cliffs, hidden streams and thickly-wooded hills. Dye's ability to use existing obstacles is legendary (his Brickyard Crossing design at Indianapolis Motor Speedway uses a banked racetrack turn as a hazard). In Westchester County, this means granite—lots and lots of granite—such as the face of the 16th hole par-3 pictured above.
Dramatic rock formations and boulders lurk along this course like redcoats, creating one of the most visually stunning settings for golf in the United States. More than 14,000-linear-feet of rock wall surrounds trees, wetlands and water hazards. These frame contoured fairways wind through hardwood forests and fescue mounds leading to open meadows with picturesque green complexes.
Play it from the tips, fellow duffer, and you're looking at a more than 7,100-yard march to the magnificent elevated 18th green. Bet you can't wait for summer.