by Jeff Skinner
Living in the Northeast has its advantages and disadvantages if you’re a golfer. True, we can’t play golf all year but when the weather warms up we have a vast number of great golf courses to choose from in the metropolitan area.
One of those courses that is a must play for anyone in the area is The Golf Club at Mansion Ridge. Located in the rolling hills of Monroe, New York Mansion Ridge is barely an hours drive from New York City and well worth the trip from anywhere in the tri-state area.
Mansion Ridge has plenty to boast about and rightfully so, it is a Jack Nicklaus Signature Design. In fact it is the only Nicklaus Signature Design in New York State that is open to the public. A Nicklaus Signature Design means that the Golden Bear himself walked the grounds and had significant input into the course.
If you have played any Nicklaus course you know he has a reputation for demanding layouts and Mansion Ridge isn’t much different. Narrow, tree-lined fairways, multiple forced carries and intricate green complexes make Mansion Ridge a typical Nicklaus design and a very demanding golf course. But to make the course playable for all golfers they have five different sets of tee markers and a first timer might do well to move up a set to make the day more enjoyable.
The back tees, the Tour Tees, play to 6889 yards and a rating of 73.7 with a slope of 142. That is a man-sized challenge. Even the third set of tees, the Players Tees, while only 6134 yards still rate a 70.3 rating and a stern slope of 135. That should tell you that, much like the way Nicklaus played in his day, this is a thinking man’s course.
Positioning off the tee is critical for success and keeping the ball on the correct side of the green is even more important. A little local knowledge goes a long way at Mansion Ridge as there are forced carries on half the holes and complicated greens on all of them.
Two standout holes are the extremely challenging ninth and the very picturesque fourteenth. With no Nicklaus trademark forced carry off the tee you may think you’re home free on this par five but be aware that the dreaded forced carry comes into play on your approach. The dogleg right fourteenth plays uphill to green seemed to be carved out of a quarry for an amazing setting.
The playing conditions at Mansion Ridge are what we expect at a course with the Nicklaus name attached to it. The course is wonderfully maintained with manicured fairways, thick rough and brilliantly pure green surfaces.
Mansion Ridge is one of the better courses in the area and it gets an immediate bounce in reputation by having Jack’s name attached to it. But its reputation is well earned. It is a fine layout that is wonderfully maintained and a great experience for all levels of golfers.