My first trip to the relatively new Pete Dye-designed Pound Ridge Golf Club in Westchester County was a real lesson in Dye golf. He's known for building some of the most exacting, penal, and difficult courses in the world, so when you step on the first tee, you're not expecting anything but mundane. I found the course to really test my game, my ability to hit small targets, but most importantly avoid the most damaging spots on a given hole.

A recent return trip was a welcome challenge, especially as my game had rounded into form and my handicap had settled into the mid single digits. It's typically a mark of a strong design when you stand on a tee for the second time in 12 months and remember the hole instantly. This was the case nearly every step of the way, and while my game didn't cooperate, I found the design to be far more thought out and strategic than my first time around.



Pound Ridge’s mounding creates one spectacular hole after another.

The course is still in the early stages of its life, having been open only since 2008 and owner Ken Wang worked with Dye to tame the layout a bit by slashing away at the ball-devouring fescue, helping make the course more playable. It's still diabolical (to borrow Pete's moniker), with sharp elevation changes, multiple forced carries, and less-than-obvious targets off the tees, and plenty of devilishly humpy greens.

 

As someone who expects to post scores around 80, I walked off adding up by score in the upper 90s, licking my wounds and asking myself why Dye and Wang felt the need to make the track so severely penal, but time heals, and within a couple days I was already chomping at the bit to get back out there and take another swipe at this Goliath that sits along the New York-Connecticut border.

The course is the region's premier daily fee option, with greens fees to match. The rack rate for golf is $235, but just like their efforts to make the course more playable, Pound Ridge has also introduced some options to ease the blow to the wallet. By booking five days or more in advance, the weekday rate falls to $160 and weekend rate is $195. There is also a drop at 3 p.m., to $115 (weekday) and $150 (weekend).

For golfers looking to get away for a weekend, they'll be hard pressed to find a better combo than golf at Pound Ridge and a room at the Delamar Greenwich Harbor, a truly special seaside boutique hotel located an easy, scenic 20-minute drive from the course.



The seaside Delamar Greenwich Harbor.

Dinner at L'escale restaurant was an absolute delight, with fresh flavorful fish, a deck overlooking the water, and ambiance that was a gorgeous blend of upscale and casual without a whiff of pretense.



Outdoor dining at L'Escale is a treat, overlooking the harbor.

As advised well by the waitress, my meal started with a delicious tuna tartare with lime and avacado, then moved on to a salad of roasted heirloom beets and burrata cheese, among the best dishes I've eaten in 2011. Sticking with the seafood theme, my entree of grilled dorade was nicely cooked and flavorful and reminded me of branzino. Homemade sorbet was just the right note to finish the meal, certainly among the best I've eaten in quite some time.



Roasted heirloom beets with burrata cheese: A real dazzler.



The Delamar features gorgeously appointed rooms and many include a nice balcony overlooking the water. Easily accessible from all parts of the tri-state area, a weekend getaway to the Delamar Greenwich Harbor and golf at Pound Ridge will please even those with the most discerning of taste.

Thanks to a partnership between the two properties, guests at Delamar Greenwich Harbor enjoy extensive concierge services with Pound Ridge Golf Club including complimentary golf club and shoe rentals, preferred golf rates, tee time booking via hotel staff and transportation options (from shuttles to rental cars and limousines).

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