Winged Foot

Siwanoy Country Club

USA, New York, Westchester County
5.7 (6)
Designer: Donald Ross
Course Opened: 1914

The Siwanoy Country Club was founded in 1901, by a small group of frustrated golfers from the Mount Vernon region of Westchester County who had previously been forced to travel by trolley car in order to play on a nine-hole course in Tuckahoe. The first Siwanoy course was also nine holes and built on a leased farming estate the club was evicted from only two years later. Following the eviction the club built a new nine-hole course on yet another leased site, but by 1913 it was clear they needed a full 18-hole course to satisfy their growing membership. Donald Ross was engaged to scout for suitable sites, suggesting to the club that they purchase their current home in nearby Bronxville.

The Ross routing at Siwanoy is typically tight and features numerous elevated greens and strong, straight holes that flow nicely across the rolling terrain. Many of the greens are steeply contoured, and difficult to hit and hold given their size and the dense roughs that surround them. The current layout is also heavily treed and one suspects much tighter than Ross had ever intended. Where trees don’t interfere with play, the rough is grown into the fairways to artificially narrow the playing corridors further. The other problem with the current test, is that some of the better fairway undulations are no longer relevant due to technological advancements made over recent years.

Despite some issues with the current set-up at Siwanoy, there remains undeniable quality across both nines here. The short holes are good, especially the drop-kick 3rd and the uphill, all-carry 13th, and there are a number of strong mid-length par fours through the middle of the round that can really make or break the golfers score. Longer holes at the death, such as the bending par four 17th with its exposed rock and subtly raised green site, are also reasonably memorable.

While Siwanoy is a distance behind the best Donald Ross courses in America, this is nonetheless an appealing place to golf and the bare bones of the layout remain fairly strong. There is no doubt that a sensitive and sensible restoration would do wonders to elevate the status of the golf course, and likely also lead to much greater enjoyment from the membership.


PLAY Australia's BEST GOLF

KING ISLAND & Barnbougle from $1,095









Planet Golf Community Reviews