by Alan Alsheimer, Jr. - AmateurGolf.com Player
Named for the ancestral home of the Colgate
family, Seven Oaks is nestled
on the Colgate University campus in Hamilton
New York (named after Alexander Hamilton). It
is consistently rated as a Top Public Course in
New York State by Golfweek and Golf Magazine,
and as a Top 10 “Most Impressive” NCAA
campus golf course.
Designed by Robert Trent Jones, Sr. in
1934, the idea for the course was driven by
Gene Sarazen’s vision to create an “Augusta of
the North”. Seven Oaks has hosted numerous
elite events including the 1977 NCAA
Championship won by Curtis Strange and an
Inaugural Ben Hogan Tour event: The Central
New York Classic, in 1990.
It has hosted many US Open qualifiers,
US Amateur Qualifiers and NYS State Amateur
Championships. A 7000-yard, par-72 layout, it
requires precise execution and accurate
placement of the ball. The greens are large,
fast and receptive. However, if your approach
angles aren’t correct, the pins can easily
become impossible to attack.
Growing up playing the course regularly,
and having won events on this course, it is a
fun-filled challenge that requires the strategy
and thinking of a competitive chess match.
There aren’t any “easy” holes to make up
ground, and in fact, to this day, the competitive
course record stands at (-7 under) 65, a
number well supported by its 74.6 course
rating and slope of 143. That should say
enough right there given the high level of talent
that has walked the fairways of Seven Oaks
over its 80 years.
Best of all, it’s very close to Syracuse,
just a 25-minute drive, and even closer to the
Turning Stone Resort in Central NY. With tee
times available to the Public, and 18-hole rates
Monday through Thursday of $35 ($85 on
weekends), I have yet to play a course that
offers more for the money, and I’d be hard
pressed to believe one even exists.