Turning a weekend into fun golf and gaming at Turning Stone

By Katharine DysonSeptember 29, 2008, 4:00 pm
Atunyote clubhouse
The Atunyote clubhouse

Turning Stone in Verona, just east of Syracuse, is a destination unto itself. Rising like Atlantis out of the rural landscape of forests, blue Harvestor silos, red barns and grazing cows ' and did I mention sheep ' theres not really much else out there, but even if you dont play games ' any game ' checking into Turning Stone is like entering another world, which is uncharacteristic of central New York.
Although gaming and golf may sound like an oxymoron, clearly its a formula that works here where you have more to bet on besides black jack, slots and poker. You have golf on arguably three of New York's top golf courses: Kaluhyat (ga-LU-yut); Atunyote (uh-DUNE-yote) and Shenendoah. Theres also a no-slouch par 3 course, Sandstone Hollow, that is kind to beginners and impresses even big hitters.
Happily coexisting along with casino action and designer golf courses are major entertainment complexes, shopping, dining options and the Ska:na spa.
Kaluhyat and Shenendoah share a handsome clubhouse which is within walking distance of the hotel and the Lodge, while Atunyote, 2 miles from Turning Stone, and Sandstone Hollow each have their own facility.
Kaluhyat, designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr. and playing 7,105 yards from the tips (five tee boxes), uses everything in Jones arsenal: sizable elevation changes, narrow chutes to navigate from tees to wide sweeping links-like fairways, many large bunkers, forced carries, dog legs and six lakes. (Green fees $120-$150)
Atunyote (the Eagle), 2 miles from Turning Stone, a Tom Fazio gem playing 7,315 yards from the back tees, is more parkland in style with a number of lakes, vast bunkers, rock formations and rolling landscape. It is also the most expensive to play ($225-$250) with its own clubhouse, caddies and a gated entry. Prices go up just before the PGA Tour event, but after that, you can enjoy some great fall golf.
Shenendoah, designed by Rick Smith and playing more than 7,100 yards, is popular with corporate groups. Like Atunyote, it is more links-style in character 'especially on the back nine ' with grasses, wide sweeps of fairways and behemoth bunkers. This is also not an easy track, but is less punishing than Kaluhyat. (Green fees $120-$150)
Sandstone Hollow also designed by Rick Smith, gets high marks from even low handicappers who find the layout challenging and fun and with green fees just $35 plus $10 for a cart per person, its a good deal.
Turning Stone has one of the finest practice areas in the country with multiple greens, bunkers, and a large driving range. The on-site Dave Pelz Scoring Game School offers one and three-day sessions throughout the season.
Rooms located over the Casino and the 19-story Tower are fairly large and beds and linens get high marks ' the large walk-in showers with two swivel shower heads add to the experience. For those seeking more space and luxury, The Lodge features suite accommodations with views of the courses. Some corner suites also have outdoor hot tubs.
Ska:na is one of the best spa facilities in the state with a huge Roman-style coed mineral pool, 12 treatment rooms, a VIP suite and a full range of services and treatments like the Ritual of the Standing Stones and a Sage and White Pine Hot Towel massage.
There are 11 places to eat and drink. I love the soft elegance of Pino Bianco, a fine Italian-style restaurant serving dishes like fresh trout almandine and lamb oreganata rack of lamb. Brazil is showcased at Rodizio where gauchos slice meats at your table with flair.
Turning Stone doesnt yet have a liquor license. The good news is you can bring your own. One evening we sat on the patio behind the Lodge overlooking the gardens and Chris, our server, brought us glasses, a bottle opener and a bucket of ice. We opened our Sterling Sauvignon Blanc, ordered a light dinner and watched the sun go down. Perfect.
On my first visit to Turning Stone, I saw some little guy wearing red sneakers, a golf cap and a tee shirt over his ample belly reading Sock it to Me. He was dragging a case of beer on luggage wheels through the lobby. Got to love it.
Golf Vacation Package: Play all three championship courses and enjoy a two-night stay ($635); Hotel PGA Package: Accommodation for one or two nights, free admissions to the tournament (from $235); Autumn Retreat: two nights accommodations at The Lodge, guided hike in the Adirondacks with lunch, and spa treatment. ($785 for two).

Katharine DysonKatharine Dyson is an award-winning freelance travel, lifestyle, golf and guidebook author based in the northeast.

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    Cabreras win PNC Father/Son Challenge

    By Associated PressDecember 17, 2017, 11:36 pm

    ORLANDO, Fla. - Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. closed with a 12-under 60 for a three-shot victory in their debut at the PNC Father/Son Challenge.

    The Cabreras opened with a 59 at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club and were challenged briefly by the defending champions, David Duval and Nick Karavites, in the scramble format Sunday. The Argentines went out in 30, and they had a two-shot lead with Cabrera's son came within an inch of chipping in for eagle on the final hole.

    They finished at 25-under 199 for a three-shot victory over Duval and Karavites, and Bernhard Langer and Jason Langer. The Langer team won in 2014.

    Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara tied for fourth at 21 under with Jerry Pate and Wesley Pate.

    Cabrera wasn't even in the field until two-time U.S. Open champion Curtis Strange and his son, Tom Strange, had to withdraw.

    Duval and his stepson went out in 28, but the Cabreras regained control by starting the back nine with back-to-back birdies, and then making birdies on the 13th, 14th and 16th. The final birdie allowed them to tie the tournament scoring record.

    ''This is certain my best week of the year,'' said Cabrera, the 2009 Masters champion and 2007 U.S. Open champion at Oakmont. ''To play alongside all the legends ... as well as playing alongside my son, has been the greatest week of the year.''

    The popular event is for players who have won a major championship or The Players Championship. It is a scramble format both days.

    In some cases, the major champions lean on the power of their sons for the distance. O'Meara said Saturday that his ''little man'' hit it 58 yards by him on the 18th. And on Sunday, Stewart Cink said son Reagan told him after outdriving him on the opening four holes, ''In this tournament I may be your son, but right now I'm your Daddy!''

    Jack Nicklaus played with his grandson, G.T. They closed with a 64 and tied for 15th in the field of 20 teams.

    Rose wins; Aphibarnrat earns Masters bid in Indonesia

    By Will GrayDecember 17, 2017, 1:59 pm

    Justin Rose continued his recent run of dominance in Indonesia, while Kiradech Aphibarnrat snagged a Masters invite with some 72nd-hole dramatics.

    Rose cruised to an eight-shot victory at the Indonesian Masters, carding bookend rounds of 10-under 62 that featured a brief run at a 59 during the final round. The Englishman was the highest-ranked player in the field and he led wire-to-wire, with Thailand's Phachara Khongwatmai finishing second.

    Rose closes out the year as perhaps the hottest player in the world, with top-10 finishes in each of his final 10 worldwide starts. That stretch includes three victories, as Rose also won the WGC-HSBC Champions and Turkish Airlines Open. He hasn't finished outside the top 10 in a tournament since missing the cut at the PGA Championship.

    Meanwhile, it took until the final hole of the final tournament of 2017 for Aphibarnrat to secure a return to the Masters. The Thai entered the week ranked No. 56 in the world, with the top 50 in the year-end world rankings earning invites to Augusta National. Needing an eagle on the 72nd hole, Aphibarnrat got just that to snag solo fifth place.

    It means that he is projected to end the year ranked No. 49, while Japan's Yusaku Miyazato - who started the week ranked No. 58 and finished alone in fourth - is projected to finish No. 50. Aphibarnrat finished T-15 in his Masters debut in 2016, while Miyazato will make his first appearance in the spring.

    The results in Indonesia mean that American Peter Uihlein and South Africa's Dylan Frittelli are projected to barely miss the year-end, top-50 cutoff. Their options for Masters qualification will include winning a full-point PGA Tour event in early 2018 or cracking the top 50 by the final March 25 cutoff.

    Cabreras take 1-shot lead in Father/Son

    By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 11:23 pm

    ORLANDO, Fla. - Two-time major champion Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. birdied their last three holes for a 13-under 59 to take a one-shot lead Saturday in the PNC Father-Son Challenge.

    Cabrera, a Masters and U.S. Open champion, is making his debut in this popular 36-hole scramble. His son said he practiced hard for 10 days. What helped put him at ease was watching his father make so many putts.

    ''We combined very well,'' Cabrera said. ''When I hit a bad shot, he hit a good one. That's the key.''

    They had a one-shot lead over Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara, who are playing for the first time. That included a birdie on the last hole, which O'Meara attributed to the strength of his son.

    ''My little man hit it 58 yards by me on the 18th,'' said O'Meara, the Masters and British Open champion in 1998. ''It's a little easier coming in with a 6-iron.''

    Defending champions David Duval and Nick Karavites rallied over the back nine at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club for a 61. They are trying to become the first father-son team to repeat as winners since Bernhard and Stefan Langer in 2006. Larry Nelson won two years in a row in 2007 and 2008, but with different sons.

    ''I'd imagine we have to break 60 tomorrow to have a chance to win, but hey, stranger things have happened,'' Duval said. ''I've even done it myself.''

    Duval shot 59 at the Bob Hope Classic to win in 1999 on his way to reaching No. 1 in the world that year.

    Duval and his stepson were tied with Bernhard Langer and 17-year-old Jason Langer, who made two eagles on the last five holes. This Langer tandem won in 2014.

    Jack Nicklaus, playing with grandson G.T., opened with a 68.

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    Woods' 2018 schedule coming into focus ... or is it?

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 16, 2017, 5:46 pm

    Two weeks after his successful return to competition at the Hero World Challenge, Tiger Woods’ 2018 schedule may be coming into focus.

    Golfweek reported on Saturday that Woods hopes to play the Genesis Open in February according to an unidentified source with “direct knowledge of the situation.”

    Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg declined to confirm the 14-time major champion would play the event and told GolfChannel.com that Woods – who underwent fusion surgery to his lower back in April – is still formulating his ’18 schedule.

    Woods’ foundation is the host organization for the Genesis Open and the event supports the Tiger Woods Learning Center in Anaheim, Calif.

    The Genesis Open would be Woods’ first start on the PGA Tour since he missed the cut last January at the Farmers Insurance Open.