Sunday

NYC Area Golf Experiences - Putnam National Golf Course

Stacy Solomon, Mike Wolfe & I - Photo: Golf4Beginners
This past Thursday,  the New York metropolitan area enjoyed what will probably be its most beautiful summer day of 2011.  In a season that frequently featured oppressive heat and high humidity, the clearblue skies and bright sunshine were pleasantly tempered by cool breezes and the occasional cottony cumulus.

It was a perfect day for the impromptu "mini meet-up" and casual round of golf,  arranged by golf blogger and social media specialist, Stacy Solomon of Golf for Beginners.  The venue was Putnam National Golf Course in Mahhopac, NY, about 50 miles north of midtown Manhattan.

Joining Stacy and I was golf media multi-tasker Mike Wolfe, who produces the WAMGolf blog and radio show and runs WAM Enterprises, a social media marketing company. Stacy's husband Barry... who you may know as co-host of the Golf for Beginners podcast... rounded out our foursome.


Stacy Solomon, Mike Wolfe & I - Photo: Golf4Beginners
As I circumnavigated glittering Lake Mahopac on my way to the course, I thought back to the one and only time I'd played at Putnam National.  It was a couple of years ago on an unseasonably mild day in early October, and what I remembered most was how the brilliant fall foliage extended up the surrounding hills to provide a colorful vista at almost every hole.  Since then I've wanted to get back there, and this was a great opportunity.

When our round got underway I was again reminded that at Putnam National elevation and rolling terrain shape the playing experience here... for golfers of all levels... while delighting anyone with an appreciation for the beauty of woodland nature.

From my own perspective... that of a purely social golfer who just recently began an earnest effort develop a more serious game... there were challenges at every juncture. My playing partners also found the course challenging, but their substantially more developed skills allowed them to fare much better, which is to be expected.  As I told them, "... like Tiger, I'm tinkering with my swing and need more time to get it back on track"  ... and believe it or not they were too nice (or too polite) to balk, even at that ridiculously pretentious joke.

Stacy showed some exceptional sand skills when she managed to save par after finding a tricky green-side bunker on the 8th, an uphill par 4.  Then she offered me a tip that I've since used effectively.  Mike not only has a great sense of humor he's also an impressive golf strategist and a straight hitter. He deftly avoided the rough which was quite thick and demanding of accuracy.  As for Barry, he'd played the course on a number of occasions and was able to clue us in on what to expect as we made our way around the course.  It was a pleasure to be part of this golf media foursome.

Putnam National is clearly a course that can be enjoyed at a variety of levels which would make it a fine venue for corporate outings, business events or casual rounds... as well as a place where avid golfers can compete. The putting green and driving range appear well set up for those who wish to get some practice in and the Grille Room where we had drinks after our round is friendly and relaxing. 

As the summer turns to fall and nature transforms this hilly landscape into a burnished wonderland, it's the perfect time for golfers living in... or visiting... the New York metropolitan area or Hudson Valley would do well to check out Putnam National Golf Course.