Binghamton Golf Courses Are Premier, Public
Picture this. You walk into the box and tee up your ball. You’re surrounded by rolling hills, lush fairways and impeccably kept greens. It’s the perfect day to play.
You’d probably imagine you were on an exclusive course: something private. But, you’re just outside of Binghamton at the beautiful Conklin Players Club, one of more than a dozen breathtaking public courses of the BING area. And, regardless of the score, it’s going to be a great day.
Golf has long been a Binghamton tradition with ties to the major industries that dominated the economic landscape a century ago. Traditions at the Glen was at one time the IBM Country Club. Beloved philanthropist George F. Johnson of Endicott-Johnson Shoe Co. installed the En-Joie Golf Club as a recreational gift to his thousands of employees.
Today, En-Joie hosts the PGA Tour Champions’ Dick’s Sporting Goods Open. It was also home to the BC Open from 1971 through 2006. The public course draws golfers from all directions.
“Sometimes when you go into a community, to play on the better courses, you have to somehow get a membership at a private course and we don’t have that here,” Visit Binghamton Director Judi Hess says. “I don’t know of another community where you’re getting your top-quality golf courses that are available for the public to play on.
“You’ve got a diversity of courses and you’ve got the diversity of difficulty,” she says. “Even the novice can come here and play and have a good time, but a really good experienced golfer that’s looking for a challenge can also come here.”
And then there’s the setting: rolling hills, river basins and even a glen. These scenes attract hardcore groups of golfers who take on two courses in a day balanced by casual players more interested in the camaraderie than competition. Both kinds will find plenty to do off the course.
“You’ve got great golf during the day, you’ve got a great place to stay. But, then there’s the food. You can have a nice beer at a craft beverage place. We’ve got such a diversity of food and drink in the community – that just enhances the golf I think,” Hess says.
How about a spa experience at Traditions, home to a rare salt sanctuary? BING checks a lot of boxes – some you might not have even known you had. Visit Binghamton offers golf packages that make it easy to book tee times, accommodations and extras.
“We have a lot of repeat golfers who come back for the packages. So, they’ve discovered their favorite restaurant or favorite brewery or their favorite thing to do. Some of these people are coming back year after year and our hotel staff recognizes them, the golf course staff recognizes them and even our restaurants.”