We just returned from a trip to Lake George and the opportunity to play this Donald Ross Classic. I would rate the golf course from tee to green at a 4 but once you reach those green complexes, look out, the golf course takes a huge step forward. The opening hole really is a fantastic starting hole. The vista is notable especially on a clear day with Lake George in the distant background. From there the golf course meanders through the woods with interesting although sometimes an uninspiring routing. However if the front nine is to be remembered it is because of fantastic greens that are fast, firm and very tricky. On holes 4 and 6 Ross drops a humpback into the green that almost guaranteed a three putt if you get on the wrong side. Hole 7 is pure Ross, a slight dogleg left up a hill with a fairway cantilevered to the right. It gets way more interesting on the back nine. Hole 10 plays downhill with a blind tee shot to a fairway sloping left to right. #11 is a beautifully framed par 3 about 165 yards to a well protected green. From there things get really interesting. #12 requires a downhill T-shirt to a narrow landing area with trees on both left and right. The second shot goes back uphill to a beautifully framed green with a fall off on the right side. Number 13 May be the best hole on the golf course. A blind tee shot to a narrow landing and then an uphill second to another tricky green. Number 14 is a beautiful 205yard downhill par three from a very elevated tee box. Number 15 is another blind tee shot requiring a right to left drive and an uphill second of more than 175 yards. # 16 again presents a somewhat blind tee shot although the fairway is out in front of you it is difficult to tell where the landing area is. The second shot requires a precise 110 yard pitch over a ravine and marsh to a very well protected Green. #17 is a reachable par 5 but again the drive is uphill and blind. The second shot is into a false front elevated green. When the pin is front any shot past could likely result in a putt that rolls off and down the front. The course ends on a long par four requiring a precise tee shot to the left center of the fairway and a second shot again into a well protected green. It’s unfortunate that since Ross built the golf course back in the late 20s the surrounding trees have become so overgrown that the distant views of the lake are now obscured. Still, though, this is a wonderful example of Ross’s ability to work with the land and to create a routing that requires ball flight in both directions. More so his green complexes have been well preserved. The course conditioning overall was very good but not outstanding. However the greens were perfect! Definitely a course to play and enjoy if in the Lake George area.
September 08, 2020