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Westchester County, NY, country clubs

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 


I'm new to TST and this summer have been bitten by the elusive golf bug.  I've been playing the public courses

around here and now thinking about taking the plunge and joining a club. Wondered if anyone in this area

knows which clubs are looking for members and have attractive deals (ie. lowered dues, no initiation, etc.).


post #2 of 16

The best deal in Westchester is Lake Isle in Eastchester. If you aren't a resident of Eastchester or Tuckahoe you pay the non-resident rate of around $2500 for weekday play or $3400 for 7-day pass for the year, but that gives you unlimited play. The course is walkable (in fact I have never used a cart there). After 3PM there is no fee, but you do pay a small walking fee ($7 or so) before 3PM.


The course is in great shape after a new grounds crew was hired a few years ago. It is a short course at only 6000 yards, but very nice and one of the best deals around.


If you are looking for a higher end private club then places like Westchester Hills in White Plains offers no initiation and will cost around $15,000/yr including the food/pro-shop minimums. you still have caddy fees, tips, etc. Overall a good deal since alot of clubs are still charging some sort of initiation fee.

post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 

Thanks for chiming in.  I'm also looking into St. Andrews and Anglebrook.

post #4 of 16

Post any details you get from places you look including approx costs. I think alot of us are curious how different places compare, and getting actual rates can be difficult without jumping though hoops.

post #5 of 16

St. Andrews is supposed to be great and one of the oldest (if not THE oldest) courses in the U.S.. I have not played that yet.


Depending on where you are located also look at Metropolis, Elmwood (although they have some wierd powerline issues with their course) and Knollwood.


Paramount across the bridge in Rockland is supposed to be nice and a good deal for a full service country club as well but it is across the bridge so that in itself is a major turnoff to me.


The county courses are pretty nice -- as long as you like playing 5 hour rounds or getting up at 5AM to play on Saturdays...LOL


good luck

post #6 of 16
Thread Starter 

Do you mean that you and some people you know might be interested in joining a club if reasonable?

Sometimes, clubs will cut deals if a group of people agree to join.

post #7 of 16

As I mentioned I am a member at Lake Isle, so not looking at switching right now. However, I am always curious as to the deals out there since the economy turned a few years ago. What used to be tens of thousands in initiation fees has dropped dramatically. So one day I might look to upgrade. Also, there are other threads where people have discussed the costs of private clubs. Given the extreme differences in costs throughout the U.S. it is good to see local costs here that tend to be much higher than say Ohio, North Dakota, etc.


My biggest issue with paying for a private club is they charge you for everything including food minimums all year. Even though the pool is open for only 3 months and golf is shut down for the winter. Some clubs close altogether for January and February. So it is hard to justify the expense when my wife and kids don't play golf or tennis and would use the pool for a few times a year. I would play golf, but it'll work out to $200+ a round with all the caddy fees, tips, food minimums and monthly dues. Not to mention the assessments.


Alot of people get stuck in a membership because the club doesn't let you leave until a replacement has been found. Make sure you know the exit policy.


Let us know what you end up doing.

post #8 of 16
Thread Starter 

Thanks. I'm familiar with all the extra charges at the clubs.  How are the wait times at Lake Isle?  Rounds fast or slow?  Tough to get a tee time on weekends?

My understanding is that for non-residents it's not so easy.

post #9 of 16

I have a weekday-only membership for Lake Isle since I don't get much chance to play weekends.. My friend plays on weekends also. I almost never make a tee time. Depending on the weather and time you can usually get right on or wait 10 minutes and get on with a threesome. Weekends gets busier but terrible. We walk the course and normally play right around 4 hours on a weekday. Rarely are we stuck behind someone, but it does happen on beautiful Friday afternoons.


Members are members no matter whether you are a resident or not. Non resident memberships cost more but are still the least expensive memberships around.


With all that said, it is a semi-private municipal-owned course. It is better than the county courses but isn't a private country club either. There are some quirks. The sand traps need re-doing. the sand is full of stones and hard as a rock. The course has some very picturesque areas but does wrap around the back of a shopping center on a few holes. Very little water comes into play. Just a few streams and some water on 17. I wasn't a huge fan of the course a few years ago, but after playing a few seasons there have really grown to appreciate it. It's a short course but that makes it quick to walk. It used to be a private club until the town took it over in the 70's. It was designed by Devereux Emmet, so a real classic course. plays around 6000 yards. Private clubs have fresh fruit, bottled water and snacks scattered on the course..Lake Isle has some water fountains..bu they are cold..:). They do have temporary holes set-up for the winter so on clear days you can go out and play a few holes. That's nice for a municipal.


You can also play there on Golf Now without a membership, so that can be a way to try it out. Actually is pretty cheap to play that way (cheaper than a membership if you play less than 30 times I think), but of course you give up the ability to hop on after work and hit a few holes if you want.


In fact the golfnow people with the carts hold you up more than the regular members do...lol


If you have a family or are looking for other amenities, Lake Isle also has a huge pool facility and tennis. For everything for the whole family it costs around $4800/yr...no caddies, no tips, no food minimums. There is a nice locker room and bag storage if you want for a slight fee. there isn't really a restaurant or bar (other than the pool concession that doubles as "The Turn" at hole 10) so no 19th hole...:(


You can go onto their web site for more info and download the non-resident application which has all prices on it. http://www.lakeislecountryclub.com. Official opening day is supposed to be April 1st, but that depends on the conditions. With all the snow there are still some shaded areas snow covered.

post #10 of 16

I have a couple buddies who love Hollow Brook in Cortlandt Manor.

Pretty straightforward pricing, and all about golf.


Im considering a new member try-out deal there through April and May.

Ive only played on member guest days, so that was crowded.

post #11 of 16

Never played there but heard it's pretty nice. Price is right for a private club. The issue for me is that I am around White Plains and traveling up to Cortlandt Manor is a hike for me when I want to run out and play few holes or a quick round during the day and get back to work.


If I were up north more it's a good option though. Enjoy!

post #12 of 16
Thread Starter 

Yes, I know about Hollow.  I have friends there as well.  But it's a bit too far north for me.

Thanks for the suggestion.

post #13 of 16

Update on lake Isle. The people who own Mulino's took over all food service, catering, etc. They have an expanded concession stand by the pool/10th hole. they are adding a call ahead food ordering system by the 9th hole and a concession cart to drive around (cart girls!). Honestly, this is something that was lacking.


Something else they are planning on is beer and wine, which along with the nice patio area around the golf clubhouse/pro shop, would allow for at least a sit-down after round drink. Not quite a real full service bar, but a huge jump forward.:beer:


I am a bit concerned on their pricing though. I got a small (i repeat, small!) milky way candy bar at the turn and they charged me $2. What are they going to charge for lunch?!!!!


They have a full catering/restaurant facility here on the other side of the parking lot. Curious to see if they try to expand the food and bar service for the membership. Right now it is mainly a catering hall for weddings, proms, corporate events, etc.


The course is greening up nicely. In a month once we have more warm weather the conditions should be superb. 


I thought I would get bored of this course, but they do a great job of moving around the tee box and flag locations to keep things interesting. I'm in my 3rd year playing there (2 as a member) and I still enjoy every round. Sure you start to know where all the trouble spots are and how to hit on certain holes, but it makes working out your kinks much easier. Plus the membership is nice and not all great shot makers. You can play with almost anybody and have a good time without feeling like you are holding them up (or visa versa).


I would love to see them fix some of the sand issues in the bunkers. They look a bit better this year, but some still need new sand and others could use a good sifting out of stones at the minimum. But I guss there is an incentive to stay out of the bunkers..:whistle:

post #14 of 16

I just heard that the town of Eastchester voted on funding to redo the bunkers at Lake Isle. So hopefully by this time next year we will see some fluffy sand in those traps. The town also has redone catering/food service and is looking a eventually adding an indoor pool for year round swimming.


Looks like this town has realized that if you invest money into good facilities you can attract more people an and make money.

post #15 of 16

A friend joined Elmwood this spring and loves it. He joined just for a place to play golf by himself, but has found a great group of guys and his wife now started taking lessons.


He also plays tennis there - they have a bubble so you can play all winter - and he told me they are putting in a golf simulator, so you can play all golf winter.


Membership is more than Lake Isle starts at about $16k, but you get a lot more. They just redid the bunkers, are redoing the tennis courts and committed to a long term plan to upgrade the rest of the course and the club.


But he is complaining about the food - because he gained weight! He goes to the BBQs and other events and just eats too much, because the food is so good.


Hoping for a decent bonus this year, so I can join him

post #16 of 16

I've played at Elmwood. It is a very nice course. Some funkiness due to the powerlines that run through the course (and actually come into play a couple times) but well conditoned. The clubhouse and patio are nice also.


I also had the chance to play Westchester Hills and Fenway this year. both very nice, but Fenway may be the finest course I've ever played. Of course whereas joining Westchester Hills or Elmwood will set you back $16k, Fenway is more like $100k initiation likely and $20k/yr. Extremely private with few outings for groups as opposed to other clubs.


I would love to join a private club at some point but as the only golfer in the family (and nobody plays tennis nor wants too) the cost is hard to justify. Perhaps in a few years.

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