Magazine article Parks & Recreation

Public Golf Course Receives Warm Welcome in New Castel, New York

Magazine article Parks & Recreation

Public Golf Course Receives Warm Welcome in New Castel, New York

Article excerpt

It's been 63 years since a new public golf course opened for play here in Westchester County, New York. Exclusive private clubs abound, 59 at last count, but a dense population and sky-high real estate prices make the development of public-access facilities a virtual impossibility. This shortage of affordable golf courses is something local players have come to accept. Indeed, the nation gained insight into this regional problem last year when The New York Times published a front-page story on the subject.

But help is on the way.

Ground will be broken in June at Hudson Hills Golf Course, an 18-hole daily-fee layout designed by architect Mark Mungeam, a partner with Uxbridge, Mass. based Cornish, Silva, and Mungeam, Inc. Developed by Westchester County itself, the course is scheduled to open for play in 2002. "The main portion of the land we're using for Hudson Hills used to be a golf course," explained Mungeam. "The club changed its name many times: it was called Pine Ridge when it opened in the 1920's; then Sunset Hills, then Pine Ridge again before it took the name 'Hudson Hills Golf Club' in the mid-60s.

The club shut its doors in 1982 and today the course site is totally overgrown. "We've appropriated the most recent name for this new project," Mungeam added, "but we've essentially designed a brand new golf course here, a completely new routing. This isn't a restoration; it's a reincarnation."

How do 110 acres sit unused for nearly two decades just 30 miles north of New York City, in the heart of America's most lucrative real estate market? Well, the club closed down because IBM purchased the property with plans to build a corporate research laboratory there. Those plans never materialized. Five years ago, the county successfully negotiated to buy the property back. At that time, the county had intended to develop the project privately, via a third-party lease arrangement. "Eventually, the county decided to develop the course itself," said Mungeam, who recently completed tournament renovations at Chicago's Olympia Fields Country Club, site of the 2003 U.S. Open. "That was the only way to control green fees. In Westchester County, a private developer/operator could charge just about anything and get away with it. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.