Anyone who plays golf, knows that it's a game of ups and downs. One day you're hitting great, the next day you feel like you're blowing every shot. One day the cup is like a magnet to your ball, the next it seems to squirm away as your ball approaches. Why do we keep playing? Guess it's because, in spite of all the frustrations, you're never bored! Do you feel the same? Share your favorite courses or golf moments with us.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Playing in the Poconos

If you like sloping fairways, you'll love playing golf in the Poconos. We recently spent a week in Tannersville, Pennsylvania in the heart of the Poconos. We had a great time even though it seemed that we were constantly having to hit with the ball sitting either above or below our feet. It made for some interesting play!

The area is a beautiful region of Pennsylvania and has a number of really good courses, many offering senior rates. Glen Brook Golf Club in Stroudsburg has a senior special on Monday and Tuesday which includes golf, cart and tax for $28.00. On Tuesdays, you can play at Fernwood Golf course in Bushkill for $25.00 if you're a senior and bring a coupon that you can print from their web site. The coupon entitles you to 18 holes with a cart and a hotdog and pepsi. Seniors can play weekdays at Cherry Valley Golf Course in Stroudsburg for $25.00, cart included. Water Gap Country Club in Delaware Water Gap gave us a $35.00 rate when we called and asked for the Senior Rate. Evergreen Golf Club in Analomink, is only a 9 hole course, but green fees & cart for seniors is $22.00 for 18 holes Monday - Friday.

Up a hill!

We played Glen Brook on the first day of our visit. Glen Brook is one of the oldest courses in the Poconos. Although it was designed in 1924, the clubhouse, built out of stone, has been in existence since the 1790s. Advertised as being a gently rolling course, we found that "gently rolling" doesn't mean quite what we thought. The fact is that when you go to the mountains for a golf vacation, you'd better expect to be hitting up and down those mountains! The course was well maintained and had many interesting holes. They also have guest accomodations available.

Down a hill!

On Tuesday, we took advantage of the special at Fernwood. The golf course is part of the Fernwood Hotel & Resort. Accomodations are available, as well as golf packages. We found no water hazards on the front nine which is always a plus for me, and although there were a few sand traps guarding the greens, we even managed to avoid them. The 10th, 11th, 12th, and 17th holes all had water crossings, but none were very wide. All in all the course was not terribly difficult but challenging enough to be interesting.

Our favorite course there was Cherry Valley. We enjoyed it so much we played there two days in a row. I'm not sure exactly why we preferred it to the two previous courses because it definitely had the same type of mountain slopes and difficulties, but strangely enough our scores were a bit better than we get at our home course. The second hole, rated the hardest on the course is a short par 4, but you have a complete blind shot up and around a dogleg. As my husband was about to tee off, a deer came from the woods and meandered across the fairway about 70 yards in front of us. It was in no hurry to leave, and since we had no-one right behind us we took a few pictures and waited for it to move on. I think it brought us luck for that hole because we managed to get bogies. We found that just about every hole had it's own quirks, even the par 3s! My 15 and 11 woods came in very handy for the sometimes highly elevated greens.

We finished the week at Water Gap Country Club. Although, we had driven past this course when we were looking for Cherry Valley, we still had a hard time finding the entrance to it. Unfortunately our GPS system let us down, apparently having it listed under an incorrect address. We were teamed up with a friendly member couple, who were able to give us some tips now and then on where to play our shot. Of course, knowing where you should play it and actually doing it are not the same thing! Again, the steep slopes were often our undoing. Even playing the ball high up the slope did not always keep the ball from rolling all the way to the bottom. A storm blew in when we were on 15th and after hearing stories of golf cart rollovers on the wet slopes, we decided to call it a day.

I would definitely recommend this region for a golf vacation. There are plenty of other activities to keep you busy if you aren't into playing golf all the time too! If you're interested in fishing, biking, kayaking, fantastic scenery, outlet malls, car racing, casinos - it's all right there!

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