When Pound Ridge Golf Club opened two years ago in the horsey precincts of northern Westchester County, New York, more than a few eyebrows (including mine) arched over its hefty green fee. Yes, the legendary Pete Dye had designed the course, and, sure, the steep and rocky terrain made for some dramatic shots. But at $235 for a round a golf--on a layout that in certain spots felt forced onto the land--Pound Ridge seemed like yet another example of big-city excess.
Finally, Pound Ridge's owner, Ken Wang, brother of Vera Wang, has lowered the weekday rate this year, to $155, provided golfers book at least five days in advance. (Discounts are also available for those who tee off after 3 p.m.) The club, just under an hour from Manhattan, has also partnered with several hotels, including the Mandarin Oriental in New York, where guests can arrange a round through the concierge.
All of which led me to pay Pound Ridge a second visit this spring. There are still a few holes that feel contrived, including the sandy par-three fourth; others, such as the par-five thirteenth, whose fairway is no wider than an Upper West Side brownstone, feel shoehorned in. But to my surprise and pleasure, I discovered that the course is walkable, and that the turf is maturing nicely. For the traveling businessman who seeks a country club experience but lacks private-club connections, or any other golfer with similar needs, I can think of few better options in the metro area.
Gallery: Pound Ridge Golf Club