The parking lot was empty. This scene is becoming all too familiar. As Yogi would say, “it’s deja vu all over again”. We knocked on doors, peeked in windows, but nobody was home at College Hill Golf Course. It was late in the day (we arrived an hour before their scheduled closing time) but there was plenty of time to get in a quick 9. It’s decision time: play and pay later or come back tomorrow?
After a long day on our feet exploring the area, we decided to grab a bite and brew and come back tomorrow.
It is now tomorrow (or is it today?) and there is no need to knock on doors or peek in windows. The course is open and we are standing on the elevated tee box at Hole #1. On this fun opening par 4, you are up, then you go down, then up again, and finally down to a microscopic green. Make sure you zero in on the flag from the teeing area because you won’t be able to see it from the fairway. Even though many trees line both sides of the fairway, this should be an easy hole if your drive manages to find the wide landing area.
I need to find a forecaddie! Karen? Hole #2 is similar to #1 but different. Let me ‘splain, Lucy. You have the same blind tee shot; trees lining both sides of the fairway; possible blind second shot; a tiny green; it’s another par 4; and my score was again a bogey. I guess it actually isn’t very different except the fairway is a little tighter; it’s the #7 handicap hole (instead of #8); and it runs in the opposite direction. The par 3 third hole is very straightforward. The only obstacles today were the geese lining the back side of the putting surface.
You better reach the bend in the fairway at Hole #4 or you are screwed. The large trees on the right will almost certainly block your way if you are short of the dogleg on this number one handicap hole. Scoring update: four holes; four bogeys. Just keep hitting it (straight) at the 459 yard (white) par 5 fifth hole. I eventually arrived in the hole with my sixth shot. Hole #6 – straight; par 4; tree-lined; ho-hum; boring; and my 6th consecutive bogey. It’s not that hard – is it?
The only trouble today at the par 3 seventh hole was the goose poop that made putting difficult. That’s my excuse for my 7th consecutive bogey and I’m sticking to it!
Hole #8 is a dogleg left uphill (and then more uphill) par 4 and the 3rd hardest hole on the course. It is an excellent hole and a nice change from all the straight holes. I also stopped the bogey train…with a double bogey! The par 3 ninth hole is the easiest of the 9 holes. That is if you avoid the bunkers to the left and right of the green; keep from missing the big tree to the left; and/or don’t hit it long over the green into the jungle. I managed to get back on the bogey train here. 8 bogeys; 1 double bogey – unbelievable. Time for a beer!
Rating – Par: And a beer (or two) we did have at two locations that we will discuss later. The greens and fairways on the course were in excellent shape. The mature trees made ball-striking a priority. There was not much strategy when deciding what clubs to pull, but who am I to judge with not a par or birdie on my scorecard. If you have time for a quick 9 after other activities, stop by – but not too late. Believe it or not, golf was not the main priority of the day. That’s for sure since I don’t think I played that game today. Anyway, back to the beer.
We decided to visit the Culinary Institute of America’s Post Road Brew House on the Hyde Park Campus for lunch. I shouldn’t say this out loud but we weren’t “wowed” by their lunch. I guess there isn’t much you can do with a hunk of ground beef. I’m sure their dinner menu is outstanding.
Our main priority today was a visit to the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library in Hyde Park. On the grounds are the library and museum; Springwood, his longtime home; gardens; and the Hyde Park Trail. The trail links the three National Historic Sites along the way – Val-Kil (the home of Eleanor Roosevelt), the FDR estate, and the Vanderbilt Mansion. If you can walk the 4 to 5 mile trip, it’s a great way to see the area and visit all three sites (and build up another thirst). How convenient, the Hyde Park Brewing Company is located right across the street from the FDR estate.
If you are looking for a full day of entertainment (including golf), this is a winner.
149 N. Clinton St., Poughkeepsie, NY 12601; 845-486-9112; www.collegehillgolf.com