Course Review: The Ledges in Western Mass. --- perfect fall golf with a view
SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. (Oct. 18, 2012) -- Above all else, golf in New England during the fall months is about the spectacular foliage and views.
The Ledges in South Hadley, Mass. has some of the best fall views anywhere in New England.
And the golf's not bad, either!
305-yard par-4 4th hole
Before you even begin your round on the par-72, 6,507-yard track in the small town of South Hadley, just 12 miles from Springfield, the birthplace of basketball, you see Mount Tom looming over the course. The Easthampton-based mountain is a popular spot for hikers and the hike throughout The Ledges is equally enjoyable.
The course is big on risk-reward. Several par-4s are reachable off the tee for big hitters and there's no lack of diversity among them.
A look back up the 10th fairway
For instance, the 305-yard 4th requires distance and accuracy, not to mention the ability to stop short with a driver or fairway wood. But the payoff for a well-struck tee shot over the length-of-the-fairway water hazard on the left side is a short putt for eagle.
The back-to-back par-5s on Nos. 9 and 10 bring you up (560-yard 9th) and then back down (580-yard 10th). The clubhouse respite for snack or drink in between these monsters is crucial.
In my most recent trip to The Ledges, the course's superb views were, of course, amplified by the turning of the leaves.
You could almost tell the time of year by the stripes of brown, orange, yellow and green running the height of Mount Tom in the distance.
Still, the views are also breathtaking earlier in the golfing season.
If you're traveling, be sure to take in some of the comparable courses in the region for a golf-centric stay. For a terrific mix of views, challenging play and pricing, try: Hickory Ridge in Amherst, Crumpin Fox in Bernardston and The Ranch in Southwick.
A stunning look at Mount Tom from the 1st fairway