When I created this blog I dreamed I'd be writing about courses like this all the time. I now know that's not a reality so when I do, I have an even bigger smile on my face. My girlfriend has family near Turning Stone Resort & Casino so I was fortunate to have a place to stay (They have a beautiful home in the Silver City) and made a tee time immediately when I found out I was going.
(Sign at the main entrance to Turning Stone from Highway 90)
The toughest part was figuring out which course to play. The PGA Tour stops at Turning Stone in early August so I thought I would play the course they play, Atunyote, but when I saw the price tag of $225 I decided it was out of my price range. I did some research and settled on Shenendoah Golf Club which shares a clubhouse with it's sister course, Kaluhyat. These two courses share a bag drop, clubhouse, range, locker room, etc. The range is grass and included in your cost of the round ($120).
(The driving range over looks the casino)
Shenendoah Golf Club at Turning Stone- The Course
The course offers 5 tees from Championship to Red. The Championship tees play a 7,129 and have a rating/slope of 75.1/146. I was tempted to give these a try since I was the only one on the course but when I asked the started what he recommends for a 14 handicap, he said play the White tees. I obliged and set out on my 6,328 yard journey.
Right away I could tell this course was going to be something special. From the time I arrived the service was outstanding and just by the looks you could tell it was something special. Each cart has a yardage book and divot tool ready and there is a snack cart on the course.
When a golf course rewards you for good shots and punishes you for bad ones, it's usually a good course. This course did just that. It was fair and my 6 pars along with 1 birdie couldn't match the 6 penalty strokes I had to take for putting shots in hazards.
The course was in excellent condition and the front 9 was the better looking of the two. Most of the holes require a forced carry off the tee box and some require a carry into the green. The course is very fair, if you play well, you can score well.
(The 4th hole, a 312 yard par 4 offers long hitters a chance to reach the green in one)
The Par 3's
For such a beautiful course I was a little disappointed in the par 3's. I thought they would be more scenic but they are pretty straight forward. The 6th hole requires carry over a marsh while the 9th and 12th holes require you to hit over a lake. The 17th hole played 192 from the whites and was into the wind on this day.
(The 12th hole. A 142 yard par 3 over water)
As I mentioned I had 6 penalty strokes, all of them coming from lost balls into hazards. If you have not played here before you can it's tough to track the ball. Use the yardage book, it's very accurate and will guide you properly.
(Shenendoah Golf Course yardage book)
You can now drink at Turning Stone. This is new here and they have signs all over the place letting you know. They do not offer free drinks at the tables and the cost is about $5 for a can of beer, $6 for a mixed drink.
(A sign at the entrance to the clubhouse)
If you get a diamond card at Turning Stone you can save $25 at Atunyote. If you played Kaluhyat or Shenendoah at the rate of $120 you received a $25 gift card.
What WAM Thinks
I loved this course and hope to play at Turning Stone again. This course offers some great views, challenging holes and it's at a casino. The conditions were excellent from tee to green and the service was great. In my opinion, it's worth the $120 to play here.
(A view of the clubhouse from the 18th fairway)
Location: Verona, NY (Just 272 short miles from Philadelphia)
Slope/Rating: 70.6/133 (from the white tees)
Proshop: Yes for everything you need.
Range: Grass range with balls included as well as an area to chip and putt.
My Score: 92 (43-49)
Play Again: Absolutely. I would play the other course first but have no reservations playing here again.
Notes: I was the first guy out teeing off at 8am and played the course in 2:45. Go early and hit some balls to warm up. This course is probably not walkable due to the distance between holes. Special thanks to my hosts this weekend and also for the Flip Camera I got as a birthday present. I really enjoyed it up there. Once I figure out how to add video to the blog, I will!