After 8 hours of fligh with wife and dog to change my life 2 days earlier, I decided to not loose any time and golf as quickly as possible! And when you live in NYC without a car, you may be obliged to lower your standards.
Indeed, after quickly realising I would pay as much for transport than for golf, I decided to find the nearest golf course by train from Grand Central, and it happened to be the The Oldest (1895) public golf course in the US, Van Cortlandt Park Golf course.
And I got to say, I love old golf courses, such as the Franklin Delanoo Roosevelt Philadelphia golf course that I had tested 1 year ago, and that had been ranked by Golf Digest I think, the worst public golf course in America!
Anyhow, here is what it’s worth.
As in France, golf in the US isn’t cheap. However this one was something like 40 dollars, walking. And I can tell you right now before you even continue reading the rest, unless you’re in your early 20s, take the cart. 15 bucks more.
So price ok you think, for the oldest public golf course! But if you don’t have a car like me, don’t forget to add the 2,75 dollars of train going, 2,75 dollars back, plus 10 dollars from the station to the golf club in Uber, 10 back.
Ask your wife to prepare the sandwich if you don’t want to break 100 (dollars).
After 1 hour of the 4-5 train from grand Central, plus 5 minutes in uber from the station, you’re finally there. You expect kindnes and great CX. Well… come again.
It is not the guy on his cart that’s been there for probably 40 years that’s gonna to welcome you likle a restaurant front waitress… The guy’s gonna yell at you telling to put your bag on the bag stands under the rain.
And if you ask him where the practice range is, he’ll tell you to go to the only chipping shitty area that exists and you better not tee up before your tee time he’ll say. In the front desk, the guy does not give a shit and will do the strict minimum.
Who cares, the golf is full even when the rain is heavy.
3-Fun Score: 13/20
At least my 3 golf partners were very fun (yes I have no friends in NY yet so I’ve been playing alone every weekend, so what?!). I had reserved a golf cart and they pushed me into walking with them. Didn’t knew it was 6000 yars up and down pretty bad!
And the fact of walking had one good thing, that we did not waited that long to play as there was always 2 foursomes in front of us also wayting for the prior foursome to finish… The longest game ever, 6 hours…
So you will become a young american golf amateur drinking 5 beers during the round and wont care about anything else but finding the next spot to evacuate what you just drunk… Yes, public golf course isn’t exactly the most classy place to play.
Another thing that will probably drive you crazy if you’re not used to it, is always having the sound of the highway and therefore the cars that drive onto it next to the course. Imagine when it’s raining, plus the planes…
For the rest, the course is fun with good greens and very well designed. It is very pretty to watch when you’re walking with lots of different varieties of threes that makes a pleasant journey.
You wont find water very often but you’ll have the pressure when playing in one water protected par 3 with at least 8 people watching you (remember the course is so crouded!).
And the last hole that should be drivable is very fund to finish with!
4-Lost balls: 14/20
The fairways are narrow, and whenever you are out of it, you’ll very quickly loose your balls. I lost none but my partners lost a lot. The second cut and ruff is however in very good shape.
5-19th hole: 10/20
You better don’t be late for the mid way little snack bar because if you are, it will be closed at 4:30pm… And because the game is going to be very long, don’t wait after the 8th to go, because at the 12th on the way back, it will be closed.
And of course, so will be the restaurant/bar that is often used for private receptions… Could not try the Arnold Palmer, or at that point maybe a John Daly.
So the overall experience is in the average, you get what you get for 40 bucks golf course, but not only the CX is very bad, but there are too much people playing there. So don’t expect to get home early. Pay, be patient, and prepare some snacks.