allendaleAs my friend and I left the hustle and bustle of the city streets of Dartmouth and drove up the tree-lined entrance of Allendale CC, we automatically felt it…the serenity of this countryside venue. Why would ladies want to join Allendale? The Pro commented, “It’s a tough course for ladies at 5,540 yards, fi ve par 5s, not much roll and lots of water. However, what’s special about our club is the friendliness of the members…they’re regular people out to have a good time.” Friendliness… that was an understatement! From the time we stepped out of our vehicle we experienced it… friendly greetings from perfect strangers.

As we began our golfing adventure, we embraced the quiet solitude. Although fellow golfers were playing adjacent fairways, the broad fairways are laid out with lots of distance between holes each bordered by picture-perfect, immaculately pruned hardwoods and flowering ornamentals. This Geoffrey Cornish designed course offers an immense layout with a great diversity of holes. The many generously sized elevated, sloped, undulating greens require a precise approach shot.

Green side bunkers don’t pose a hazard, provided you hit a straight approach shot, the ball will roll up to the green. The only exception is hole #18 where the green is fronted by a large bunker. The course condition was immaculate, making it easy to hit from the lush fairways and rough and the border trees do not pose a threat unless you hit an errant shot. Beautifully shaped bunkers are deep (so don’t get in them). The course starts out easy with straight forward holes until you come to the intriguing 4th hole that surprises you with a severe dog-leg right over a large pond to an elevated green. Then comes the string of water holes #6-8 that give you that “deja-vu” feeling and you question… “Didn’t we just go over that pond?” Then you realize that they run back and forth crossing over that same pond, requiring either
a tee shot or layup shot over the water.

The diversity of holes requires thought as to club selection and culminates with the fun 18th (no water thank god!!) just a hazardous bunker fronting the green. The par-3 holes are lady-friendly ranging in distance from 105-150 yards. My friend and I, who consider ourselves your average female golfer, found the course’s length manageable and just the right mix of easy
vs. more challenging holes to keep the game interesting.

Talking to a female member, who’s been there for 30 years, raved about the head Pro, who has done a fantastic job implementing programs to grow the membership. Going to semi-private status, they hope to welcome more lady golfers. Weekly ladies’ leagues are available Tuesday AM and Thursday PM. Ladies group clinics are offered weekly plus a variety of ladies and mixed tournaments are scheduled throughout the season. Public can sample Allendale’s amenities through the “Member for a Day” rate of $55 with cart or buy fi ve 18-hole passes for $225 (including bag of range balls).

An incredible bargain for area golfers who want to experience this top-shelf countryside club complete with all its amenities…driving range, chipping green with bunker, practice green, locker rooms, clubhouse with restaurant and deck seating overlooking the Olympic sized pool. Daily fees range from $40-$65 weekdays and $40-$70 weekends. An assortment of membership options are available for 2014 and looking ahead to 2015, a single membership with unlimited play will be priced at $2500.