by Frank Mazzarelli
In my opinion, the fall is the best time to golf in the Berkshires. From now until the snow flies, golfers can enjoy the contrast of beautiful fall foliage against the manicured and green, fairways, tees, and greens.
Public courses welcome leaf peepers who enjoy the pleasant daytime temperatures and spectacular views. Some courses, such as Donnybrook in Lanesborough, conveniently located between Pittsfield and Williamstown, and Wahconah Country Club in Dalton, boast stunning mountain views from most, if not all holes.
At the Egremont Country Club in Great Barrington, visitors can enjoy the last of the golf season on a course that features meadow vistas and challenging water holes. Both golfers and the public are invited to lunch on the patio or in the clubhouse, which features panoramic views of the first and seventh holes. The 18 hole course at Egremont Country Club was established in 1929. The front nine dates from this era and features small greens and elevated tees. The back nine, built in 1962, is longer and tree-lined with larger tees and greens. Karner Brook meanders through the course, coming into play on a number of holes. Golfers of all levels of experience are welcome and will find a challenge.
Warm days and cool nights promote growth and strengthen the turf. In the fall, golf courses will usually aerify their greens and tees. This process involves removing plugs from greens and tees in order to break up compaction and stimulate root growth. The holes created by the removal of the plugs are then filled with sand and the course is back to normal in about 3 days. Golfers can play during aerification although some find it a bit of an inconvenience.
Bargain hunters will find seasonal discounts and sales underway at golf and pro shops at area courses. Fall is a great time to stock up on golf apparel, shoes, and accessories! Just like other merchandise, golf clothing changes with the seasons so shops will typically run sales in the fall. The pro shop at Egremont Country Club features clothing and shoes from Nike and FootJoy.
The beautiful fall weather is also a popular time for fundraising tournaments. Local charitable organizations raise funds for community causes with golf outings. These tournaments can tie up a course for a day, so calling ahead is a good idea. In fact, tee times are generally encouraged as courses tend to be crowded, especially on weekends on those glorious, sunny, fall days.
The falling leaves, scenic colors and comfortable temperatures make a fall golf outing in the Berkshires a must!
Frank Mazzarelli is the General Manager at the Egremont Country Club and has been at ECC for 26 years. Originally from the Hudson Valley, Frank was born and raised in Newburgh, NY. His entire career has revolved around the golf industry – he was the previous owner of the Newburgh Country Club. Along with golf, he has a very special interest in banquets and the food service industry.