As an avid golfer who isn't very good (except in my mind), I love a good challenge, and I found a great course that any golfer, regardless of handicap, will just love.

Orchard Creek Golf Club, located in Altamont, is centrally located and in great shape for early April. I played a round there last week with a few friends from the radio station, and we had a blast. The price was very inexpensive as well- 48 dollars including the cart, which I thought frankly was a steal.

Coming back recently to New York from Arizona, where I spent almost 20 years, I have played many a nice course, but you can't touch what Orchard Creek gives you for the money in AZ. A nice course in as good a shape as the OC would easily cost double if not more during the peak season in Arizona, easy!

Not only was the place in good shape for this time of the year but the greens roll very fair and unlike a number of courses in the area they roll quick which is a golfers delight. Nothing worse then slow greens in my opinion.

If you get there early, a driving range is available for you. Or, if you rather, there's a nice restaurant for a fast bite before heading out to break your lowest round ever :)

Depending on your quality of play, there are four tee boxes from which you can choose. Yardage ranges from 4810 yards from the Ladies Tee's to the Blue, which are 6,623 yards.

Orchard Creek was at one time an apple orchard, and you can find plenty of apples when the season starts- but what a great job they did cutting out a wonderful golf course. Wind comes into play on several holes, but not gale force to make it unplayable. 14 holes feature water, some ponds more troublesome than others. I am happy to say I didn't splash down at all, which means it isn't goofy water holes that you can't maneuver.

The par 5's and 3's on this par 72 course are all a challenge, but if you have game you can score. My buddy Justin Singer, who has some game, knocked in 3 birdies on the front 9 alone, and trust me, he is no Tiger!

You come right out of the gate with a real nice par 5 that plays 534 from the tips, or if you prefer, 507 from the next in tee box. Hole 16 is a 587-yard par 5 with several challenges, from water to sand to uphill, and a little target golf as well. I was happy to score a 7. If you can really bang the ball you can get on in 2 on 3 of the par 5's.

The par 3's are  wonderful. From the tips they range from 162 yards to 225 yards. If you can hammer the ball  hole 14 is a par 4 that is uphill but only 269 from the tips. I hit mine pin high just off the green to the left.

The greens are big enough so you don't need binoculars to see them but not too large that you need postage to go from 1 end to the other. The rough is cut nicely, and not easy, but you don't need a sledgehammer to bang it out should you miss the fairways. Perhaps the most  surprising is how plush the fairways were despite it being early April. They were fluffy and well-kept. Clearly the folks that run the place have pride in keeping it in great shape.

Get this- to me, this always tips off what kind of place you are playing. The fairways have yardage markers, which I find to be rare up here in Albany. I love the yardage markers, not so much because I am a technician of the game but because it shows me a better quality place to enjoy.

The head pro at the OC is Scott Brennan, a real nice fella. And get this- if you stop for a quick munchy at the turn, you can do it without having to take out a loan. I got a nice hot dog, an Arnold Palmer drink and a bag of peanuts for under 7 bucks.

If it sounds like I enjoyed Orchard Creek, I can't say it enough. Having played my fair share of golf on Long Island (which is where I am from originally), the OC was as nice a place as I have hacked up in the state- and to do it for under 50 shecks is a steal.

Orchard Creek is located at 6700 Dunnsville Rd in Altamont,NY, 12009. Online it is The phone number is 518-861-5000. The customer service was also excellent. You will love this place, regardless of how you score and the views are real nice to boot!

You will love Orchard Creek if you have some game and a desire to play a nice course.

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