Maple Moor Golf Course – White Plains, New York Guru’s Rating: 4.7
Non-Resident Weekend Rate (with cart): $63
No longer managed by the talented folks at Billy Casper Golf, Maple Moor has faded back to the lower eschelon of Westchester County public courses. You’ll find browned out fairways, dirt-filled bunkers, and an often abandoned halfway house (located after hole #6) that – if you’re lucky and happens to be open – can run out of sandwiches by 1pm (which I mistakenly thought was the time people generally eat lunch). With no course staff in sight to regulate play, your cart chokes to a halt on most of Maple Moor’s par 3′s, giving you the chance to kick back and check out the traffic on the Hutch. This is all too bad because the historic course (with roots dating back to the 19th century) has potential: a solid layout, rolling hills, and some nice sight lines. It remains better than its lower Westchester public counterparts like Saxon Woods, Dunwoodie, and Sprain Lake, so if you’re forced to decide between those less than stellar options, choose Maple Moor. Just make sure you read this first and know what you’re getting yourself into.
Most Memorable Hole: The tee box at #10 is the course’s most scenic perch, particularly during fall foliage season. A downhill 431 yard par 4 with a blind tee shot, someone in your group will have to drive up to see if it’s safe to bomb away to the wide open fairway, a panorama that features lush grass and large trees (maples?). In case the group behind you isn’t as careful on the tee box, watch out for flying drives.
Most Challenging Hole: While #9, a 428 yard par 4, is Maple Moor’s #1 handicap, I’d be impressed with anyone who is able to par #15, a 183 yard uphill par 3. Doesn’t sound all that difficult, but the 183 plays about 215-220 (a “between club” yardage for most folks), and a sand trap guards each side of an enormous two-tiered green. I’d recommend staying below the hole…if you’re on the top shelf, you’ll feel like you’re putting down Mt. Everest. I’m content to walk away with a 4 on this one.
Guru’s Tip: As mentioned above, the halfway house can’t be relied on, so if you need food, pick something up prior to your round either elsewhere, or at the restaurant located above the Pro Shop. There’s also no driving range at Maple Moor. Fairview Golf Center in Elmsford is your closest option, about 15 minutes away.
The Bottom Line: Not the most ringing endorsement, but you could do worse than a round at Maple Moor. If you’re coming from NYC, for example, have a burning desire to play, and don’t feel like driving further than White Plains, Maple Moor will probably meet your needs. But if you’re in Long Island, New Jersey, Connecticut, or even Westchester, don’t waste your time.