My first memories of golf were formed as a kid spending idle summer days in a Poconos resort pro shop. My uncle was an assistant pro at the once-popular but now shuttered Tamiment resort. My affinity for the region has been reborn time and time again as I've explored the golf the region has to offer.
From the classic charm of Donald Ross' design at Buck Hill (their old-time pro shop and clubhouse is one of my all-time favorites) to the modern flavor of the recently constructed Jack Frost National, the Poconos offers a lot for golf enthusiasts. Two high-end options that won't disappoint are Skytop Lodge and it's massive, stately hotle, and the design at Woodloch Springs matches up with any in the region, a real tough, yet enjoyable test.
When I got a recent email about the fall specials going on up there in Northeast Pennsylvania, I had to pass them along to our readers in both New York and Philadelphia, which are both ideal candidates for day and weekend trips. Already popular with foliage enthusiasts, you don't have to be a nature nut to appreciate the beauty of a drive through the mountains while the leaves are changing color.
While the clock is ticking before the end of golf season here in the Northeast, there's still time to sneak in one more golf trip and the Poconos would be a nice option.
Here are more details, direct from the source:
Eastern Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains feature some of the northeast’s best public-access golf, and fall is undoubtedly the best time to play because of beautiful weather and spectacular foliage — and there’s still at least two more weeks of leaf peeping. Autumn golfers also reap the benefits of deals not found at any other time of the year, and the end-of-season packages that have just been released really are amazing.
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For instance, The Shawnee Inn and Golf Resort — with two months left of the resort’s centennial year — celebrates its proud golf heritage with Free Golf in November. The package — valid from Nov. 1 through Nov. 19 — includes midweek accommodations, breakfast, cart and 18-hole green fees Sunday through Thursday, starting at $69 per person, which includes tax and service charge. Visit shawneeinn.com to book.
Then there’s the Buck Hill BOGO, where you pay one green fee and get the second one free weekdays or weekends at this Donald Ross original. Power cart rental is required. Call for tee time, and ask about 2012 membership offers, which come with a 25 percent discount if secured before the end of the year: 570-595-7730.
Fall festivals are everywhere in the Poconos, so it makes sense the Inn at Pocono Manor’s Thanksgiving at the Inn special is, well, so special. The resort’s Donald Ross East Course will remain open until Nov. 27 (weather permitting), making this the best place to take the family for a fun outing. Follow it with the Inn’s incredible Thanksgiving buffet, and a stay at the resort. Rates start at $139 per person for overnight and Thanksgiving Buffet; golf rates apply. Visit poconomanor.com for information and reservations.
Skytop Lodge fall visitors can enjoy the rest of the golf season with the Double Eagle Golf Package on Sundays through Thursdays through Nov. 22, which includes accommodations, three meals daily and one 18-hole green fee per person, per day. Cart rental is an additional fee. Play a second 18-hole round the same day for 50 percent off the published rate. You can also enjoy Skytop’s indoor pool and 30 miles of hiking. Rates start at $188 per person, based on double adult occupancy in a standard room, plus tax and service charge. This package is not available over holidays or with any other discounts. Visit skytop.com to book.
Revel amid spectacular foliage — and perhaps even exfoliation — with Woodloch Springs Resort’s Golf Goddess Getaway. Available seven days a week through Oct. 31, this deal includes spacious accommodations, two meals daily, activities, amenities and 18 holes of golf on the nationally recognized Country Club of Woodloch Springs, including cart and range balls. Guests will also receive $120 spa credit at The Lodge at Woodloch. Rates start at $250 per person, per night, based on adult double occupancy, plus tax and service charge. Some restrictions may apply. To book visit woodloch.com.
The Birdie in Paradise Package — available through Oct. 31 at Mount Airy Casino Resort — includes two rounds of golf per room per stay, one night in a lavish deluxe room or suite with pillow-top beds, spacious bathrooms, room service, LCD TVs with in-room movies, high-speed Internet and $15 in casino Bonus Rewards per room. Available seven days a week. Rates range from $199-$274 per room, Sunday through Thursday; $529 per room, for a two-night stay, Friday and Saturday. Rates based on double occupancy. Visit Mount Airy Casino Resort to book.
See 800poconos.com for a complete list of golf (there are more than 35 courses), accommodations, fall festivals and event listings through the Poconos, within easy driving distance of New York City, Philadelphia and New Jersey.
Before deciding when to head to the Poconos, you can check out the four-county region’s fall foliage forecast before choosing any of the offers listed above.