Editing the Westchester/Hudson Valley Magazine Golf Guide is the best assignment in New York, if not the western world. Not only do I get to tee it up on dozens of the finest golf courses ever built, but it’s done in the company of fun, interesting golf fanatics just like me. This year, we brought a whole new gang of golf devotees to the first tee and invited them to tell us about the game.
Ralph Wimbish plays more golf than anybody I know who also holds a full-time job. That’s because he reports for work in the late afternoon for his job as sports editor for one of New York’s major daily newspapers, the NY Post, leaving him plenty of time to play golf during the day. That doesn’t really allow time for sleep, but who wants to snooze when there’s a tee time available, especially one at Westchester’s new daily-fee gem in Pound Ridge, which Ralph reviewed for us here.
The first time I played a round with Dan Berger, he gave me a handful of weird-looking tees and asked me to test them for him. I realized just how much of an equipment fanatic he is when I saw the very strange golf shoes (Crocs!) he was wearing that day, too, trying them out in his never-ending search for something — anything — to shave strokes off his game. I knew then he was the perfect guy to write about golf retailers and club fitting.
The hardest part about working with Tom Harrack, who wrote about four great Hudson Valley country clubs, was finding him. When I finally tracked him down, he was in Sweden working on another in a long string of assignments that has taken him around the world writing about the sport for publications like the New York Times and Men’s Journal.
I asked Michael Balkind to write about top women golfers after I read his first novel, Sudden Death, an action-packed murder mystery about a PGA touring pro who plays the Westchester Open despite an all-too-real death threat. I can’t wait to read his next book, Dead Ball, when it comes out this summer.
Andrea Kurtz’s work caught my eye when my wife dragged me to a teashop where Andrea’s spectacular photos of a tea plantation in India were on display. When I read her account of her travels to learn about the drink, I knew she would be the perfect person to explore Westchester’s country club grill rooms.
John Sexton, who photographed “Fantasy Fairways” for us, started playing golf in Westchester at age 10 with his parents, both of whom were artists as well as golfers. John put his artistic eye to the camera viewfinder 25 years ago and has been capturing the essence of golf courses and the people who play them throughout the Northeast ever since.
Then there is Westchester/Hudson Valley Magazine Publisher Ralph A. Martinelli, who teed it up throughout the year to help us find the best 18 holes in the county. Even though I consistently lost small wagers to him as his game continued to improve (and mine to deteriorate) over the season, his cheerful intensity on the course made every round what golf is meant to be — a good time enjoyed with good people.