Owning a home in New York’s Westchester County affords certain privileges, but it doesn’t mean an automatic membership at Winged Foot, Sleepy Hollow or any of the other storied private golf clubs in the area. Moreover, public places to play are scarce. Thus a warm welcome is due to Pound Ridge Golf Club, a “destination” daily-fee course designed by Pete Dye and his son Perry that opened in June.
The steep, rocky site bestrides the border between Westchester and Fairfield County, Connecticut, forty miles north of Manhattan. The land has held a golf course (originally High Ridge Country Club) since the 1920s. In 1980 it was purchased by the Wang family (Vera Wang is the prominent clothing designer), and in 1997 they hired the Dyes to design a new eighteen.
Why did it take more than a decade to materialize?Ken Wang, Vera’s brother, said the main obstacles were zoning and environmental hurdles—so many, in fact, that more than two dozen government agencies weighed in on issues including wetlands preservation and the blasting of tons of granite. Once the approvals were obtained, the Dyes set about creating a layout that capitalizes on the dramatic landforms. Narrow fairways dip and roll. Clusters of pot bunkers and the odd coffin bunker guard landing areas and greens. The par-three fifteenth plays to a skinny green flanked by wetlands and a massive rock face. Could we expect anything less from the Dyes?
Pound Ridge Golf Club
18 High Ridge Road, Pound Ridge, New York.
Pete Dye and Perry Dye, 2008.