The Best Golf Courses in Utica – Polly Wogg’s Top 6
August is golf month, so get out on the links. Don't know where to play? Check out my Top 6 Course in Central New York.
Atunyote at Turning Stone is not only one of the nicest courses I've ever had the privilege to play on, but it's also the place Tadpole & I were crowned Media day champs. The fairways are plusher than most carpets and the greens are pristine. Plus I can now say I've played on the same course as Tiger Woods. I even managed to par a hole or two, and that only happens if you hit it in the fairway because the rough is ROUGH! You'll pay for perfection though. A round of golf at Atunyote runs you about $200 for 18 holes and a cart.
Tadpole & I are members at Heron Creek Golf Club in Clinton, which use to be called Birdies, Eagles & Ducks. For years we thought it was just a short par 3 course until one day it was the only place we could get on to play and to our surprise, we discovered it was a regulation 9 hole course. The course changed owners and names and the most impressive thing is the unbelievable transformation the course has undergone in such a short time. Owners Scott and Carrie Cook have worked overtime on all the upgrades, including landscaping, green work and digging several new ponds(thanks Scott!) Greens fees are very affordable too at $13 for 9 holes or $16 for 18.
Barker Brook Golf Club in Oriskany Falls in one tough course. Its 18 holes of hills, sand traps and water. One par 3 green on the back nine is almost completely surrounded by water, so you'd better hit a good tee shot or you'll be swimming. If you're a walker, you may want to consider a cart for this course. The hills and valleys will give your legs a workout. Greens fees were only $30 for 18 holes with a cart when we teed off.
Pleasant Knolls at Turning Stone is just a 9 hole course with beautiful fairways and fast greens. It's very challenging and I'm usually happy to end the round shooting in the mid to upper 40's. Hole 9 is a par 5 around a pond. If you hit a great drive and have the nerve, you can go for the green in two shots and try your luck at putting in an eagle or a birdie. I've been on in two before but have never managed to sink the putt for anything more than a par. A round of golf at Pleasant Knolls with a cart will run you $20, which is a great price considering the other regulation courses at Turning Stone are $100 or more.
Valley View Golf Course is owned by the City of Utica and is a challenging 18 hole course with hills, hills and more hills. Locals refer to it as "the view" because that's what you'll get when you play, a beautiful view of the hills and valleys of our area. The course was first built in the mid-1920's and redesigned in 1939 by Robert Trent Jones Sr. Greens fees will run you $10 for 9 holes and $20 for 18
Twin Ponds Golf Club is an 18 hole course in New York Mills. The beauty of Twin Ponds is you never have to make a tee time. It's first come, first serve on the first tee box. Prices range from $19 to $22 for 9 holes depending on the day of the week. If you want to play 18, it'll run you anywhere from $32 to $35 and prices include a cart. Twin Ponds also offers a beautiful backdrop for weddings and showers. Plus there is enough room for banquets and meetings.