Golf New York

golf ball

Top-quality golfing at public courses

By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant

You don’t have to leave the Empire State to enjoy top-quality golfing at public courses. New York is home to numerous places that don’t require membership.

• Popular golf courses in Upstate include Liverpool Golf & Country Club (315-457-7170). The 18-hole course boasts a 168-yard island green and a child-friendly, six-hole short course.

• For a family atmosphere, check out Big Oak Public Golf Course (315-789-9419), an 18-hole, 6,130 yards course in Geneva with a par 70. Ask about the senior discount available on weekdays.

Lyons’ Wayne Hills Country Club (315-946-6944) offers 18 holes of golf that have been rated four stars by Golf Digest’s “Best Places to Play.” The course has hosted many state-level amateur tournaments, including the NYS Women’s Senior Amateur tournament. With six doglegs and water obstacles, it’s a challenging course.

Cranebrook Golf Club (315-252-7887) in Auburn has operated since the 1950s. With a par of 35 and 2,796, its nine holes boasts mature trees, a creek and water hazards on five of its holes.

• In Syracuse, Tecumseh Golf Course (315-445-0963) provides nine holes of golf and 18-holes of footgolf. The latter is a game that merges elements of soccer (“football” in Europe) and golf. Players try to kick a soccer ball into a goal with as few kicks as possible. In October 2014, Tecumseh became the first certified footgolf course in Central New York. So if you’re looking to play golf or try footgolf, try Tecumseh.

Three courses grace Turning Stone Resort & Casino in Verona (877-748-4653): Shenendoah, Kaluhyat and Atunyote. With Turning Stone’s courses’ 72 holes, plus an indoor range, the facility offers plenty of golfing over a variety of terrains and golf course styles. An avid golfer could spend a golfing getaway right at Verona with plenty of greens to explore.

The 18 holes at Sleepy Hollow Country Club in Rome (315-336-4110) are open to the public, though the course does offer membership. The facility also offers racquet sports, a pool and riding stables.

Golf Digest rated Seven Oaks Seven Oaks Golf Club in Hamilton (315-824-1432) as one of America’s top college courses. Golf Digest rated it as one of the Best Places to Play, too. Robert Trent Jones designed its 18 holes in the 1950s and it’s been a popular course ever since.

Manlius’ Woodcrest Golf Club (315-687-9401) offers 18 holes and scenic views of Oneida Lake and the Adirondacks for members or on a per-day basis.

• In Boonville, Woodgate Pines Golf Club’s (315-942-5442) 18 holes are open to the public, but the course offers membership also. Doglegs on the back nine ramp up the challenge. The facility features a restaurant as well.

If you’re ready for a golfing getaway, consider the state’s Golf Trail ( for your next golf getaway.

You can make a custom package based on whichever of the 25 courses you’d like to visit and for as long as you’d like, including golf courses in and around the Finger Lakes, Central New York, Cooperstown, Lake Placid, Saratoga, Hudson Valley and Niagara.

In addition to golf and lodging, some of packages include carts and food. If this is a family vacation, opt for a package that includes extra activities or nearby attractions so everyone has something to enjoy.