ENDICOTT – Sometimes we don’t have the time to really get away. But that doesn’t mean you can’t take a short road trip for a big day of delightful golf. Look no further than En-Joie Golf Course in Endicott. It’s an easy, breezy trip along I-88 and I-81 and well worth the tank of golf.
It’s not impressive from the road, and the simple but serviceable pro shop may also have you wondering why you made the trip. But from the first to the 18th tee you won’t be disappointed. It bills itself as the place to “play where the pros play” as it hosts the Champions Tour event, the Dick’s Sporting Goods Open, and from 1972-2006 hosted the PGA Tour’s B.C. Open (Broome County).
With four sets of tees, the course plays between 5,475 -7,030 yards. It’s lush and beautifully manicured. On the day we played, the rough had teeth and tested our strength. It also tests your accuracy. While not a long course, it’s just tight enough to keep you focused. Let down your guard and you’re in that rough. And don’t get lazy. Drive up and check out the front of the greens. We were surprised by water a few times.
For the most part we all stayed out of the sand but on the few occasions we went to the beach we found the sand creamy and smooth. No nasty stones, no heather around the edges, something I personally loathe. Please don’t add any extra foliage for ticks to hide in.
I played from the front tees. Often that means the fun is taken out of the hole – no water to clear or other hazards to consider. By-and-large, En-Joie doesn’t do that. And once on the green, don’t go looking for breaks that aren’t there. When we realized “going for the hole” was the smart play, we were a happier group. These are fast greens and, even though this is a public course, players clearly respect them: no scuffs and ball marks were repaired.
SPEED AND SPIEDIES
The course layout is nothing fancy – parallel holes, yet somehow you don’t ever feel like you’re in the line-of-fire from other foursomes. And just when you think it’s a little boring, the course takes a dogleg.
So make the trip – and leave room for lunch – the best spiedies I’ve ever eaten.