Course Review: The Ledges Golf Club in South Hadley, Mass.
The Ledges Golf Club in South Hadley, Mass. has found itself in a rather odd predicament since its opening in 2001. Amidst a region in Western Massachusetts where the presitgous Orchards Golf Club --- site of the 2004 U.S. Women's Open --- rules, the Ledges has been trying to find its niche as the premier municipal track in the area.
While the course has been a constant discussion topic among policy makers in the small town just minutes north of Springfield as they decide the future of the track, The Ledges has never wavered in providing a unique and reasonable round with stunning views of the Pioneer Valley.
Getting there and getting a tee time:
The Ledges has consistently failed to deliver the number of rounds the town planned for, so getting a tee time is no problem, whatsoever. Tee times can easily be made using the club's online system with no common restrictions.
For a club that has had nearly as many directors as it has seasons, The Ledges Golf Club in South Hadley offers top-notch customer service. With an eye towards providing the 'country club for a day' feel that The Ranch --- a chief competitor in nearby Southwick --- does, The Ledges does so at less than half the price. The Ledges operates under the slogan, "Public golf with a private feel." The staff is very friendly helps move play along the 6,500-yard layout.
Clubhouse, food and and 19th hole:
The Valley View restaurant offers appetizers, sandwiches and entrees and a full-service bar. The kicker, though, is the awesome views of Mount Tom and the Connecticut River Valley. At any time of year, the views are amazing. Seen at various points throughout the course, they come into focus while enjoying your post-round drinks and food.
The clubhouse opened ahead of the 2008 season and has helped improve the overall feel of The Ledges.
The Ledges has a bit of charm. Each hole plays tightly with three drivable par-4s for most --- plus a few others for the big dogs out there. But for what The Ledges lacks in distance, it more than makes up for it in quirkiness. Each hole presents a different challenge that just begs golfers to take risks. More often than not, players with local knowledge are the ones who see their risks pay off.
Longer players not only have the chance to drive a handful of par 4s at The Ledges but should also have some success on the short par 5s. One par 5 in particular is the 489-yard fifth. With a blind tee shot to an elevated fairway, the fifth hole at The Ledges is played in the shadow of the course's best view of nearby Mount Tom. After finding your tee shot, a quick glimpse back towards the tee area shows the Pioneer Valley in all its glory. Turn around and you're in good shape to reach this par 5 in two with a shot at eagle! What could be better?