I love to play a golf course for the first time, although not as much as I do the second time. That first round is like a first date; you are a little nervous, some of the moments are a bit awkward, and the course doesn’t begin to reveal itself until another go-round. And if you make it to, say, a third round, you could be on the brink of falling in love. Kwiniaska Golf Club just south of Burlington, VT, doesn’t waste much time letting you get to know it. No blind tee shots, and the fact ...

Bluff Point is an anomaly among publicly accessible golf courses. First, it is one of the oldest courses in America, the fourth oldest if you count its opening year (1890) and ignore its original number of holes, just three. (Three nine-hole courses preceded Bluff Point by a few years.) Bluff Point did not offer a full 18 holes until 1899. Typically, ultra-private courses like Augusta National serve as hosts to U.S. Presidents, but publicly accessible Bluff Point can count three of them – ...

The scorecard says a lot about what is in store for most golfers at Jay Peak, no matter their handicap or the tees they choose to play. Scratch golfers who play from the tips at just over 6,900 yards will face a 75.2 course rating that rivals some of the toughest layouts in the country. Bethpage Black on Long Island is generally acknowledged as close to the toughest public course layout in the country and has a rating of 77.5; yet that routing plays to a total of 7,465 yards, more than 500 ...

I wanted to love North Country Club after my check-in at the pro shop. When I paid the modest $30 green fee, cart included, I had no idea whether I would be matched up with another single or a group or play by myself. “Is there a starter out there?” I asked the gentleman who processed my credit card. “I’m the starter,” he said, with a smile and a wink at the guy he had been talking to when I came in. “And the manager, the cart guy and the all-around boss.” “The owner too?” ...

Opened in 1997, Green Mountain National holds the distinction of being the first municipal golf course in the state of Vermont. Designed by Gene Bates, who did most of his work on flatland courses in Florida and California, Green Mountain threads it way among the forests and hills of Killington, VT, home to one of the northeast’s prime ski resorts. Without much experience designing mountain tracks, Bates’ instincts kicked in quite handsomely at Green Mountain.The nearby Killington Resort ...

If I maintained a website called “Way Off the Beaten Cart Path,” Alburg Golf Links could be its poster child. Flanked by parts of Lake Champlain and just a few miles from the Canadian border, the golf course is about 45 minutes from Plattsburgh, NY, nearly an hour from Burlington, VT, and an hour from Montreal. (The clubhouse flies both the American and Canadian flags.) Between Alburg and those cities is pretty much nothing but lake and farmland, although another golf course, North Country ...

I have often thought that if I had a career in insurance (Aetna, Cigna, The Hartford) or aerospace (Pratt & Whitney, Hamilton Sundstrand, Kaman) and had to fly often to Hartford, CT, for meetings, I would have brought my golf clubs. Within just 10 miles of Bradley International Airport are three outstanding public golf courses, two of which I have reviewed here – Keney Park in Hartford and Gillette Ridge in Bloomfield. (I consider myself lucky to live within 20 minutes of each course.) ...
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  • The only book about golf communities in the last 10 years.
  • 156-page step-by-step guide to finding your dream golf home.
  • Info on nearly 100 golf communities the author has visited.
  • Paperback version costs less than a sleeve of Pro VIs.

Here is what the experts are saying:

“The book is chocked full of information…applicable to anyone looking for a move to the Southeast regardless of whether they are looking for a golf community or not.” — John LaFoy, golf architect (Linville Ridge CC, CC of Charleston, The Neuse GC)

“Larry has done a tremendous amount of work and anyone — like me — who is looking to search for a golf home now or in a few years needs this book.” — Brad Chambers, golf blogger, ShootingYourAge.com

“Wow!  What a thorough piece of work…a must for anyone moving South. This book will help many people.” — Brett Miller, owner and founder of MMA, Inc, a golf industry consultancy

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Our Mission

The cart paths to golf courses we all know well, even if we have never set foot on the first tee there, are well worn. They are Pebble Beach, the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island, some of the Pinehurst Resort courses and other heralded and well-trafficked layouts (where green fees can be as much as 10 times the price of a lesser known but highly playable muni). Think of Off The Beaten Cart Path courses as those that will surprise and delight you, no matter where they are. You just may have never heard of them. 

Please help us add to the list of terrific yet largely unheralded golf courses.

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     Dreaming of a vacation home on a golf course?  How about a forever home a short walk to the first tee?  For 15 years, I have helped golfers find their perfect home on the course.  If you would like some recommendations that match your preferences for a golf home, please click here, fill out our Golf Home Questionnaire, and I will get back to you in a few days with some ideas.  By the way, it’s free.
Larry Gavrich,
Editor