The Tower Hotel also has deluxe accommodations and the many restaurants throughout the complex are amazing. The Pino Bianco serves great Italian cuisine at moderate prices just a few steps away from the gaming area and the comedy club. For a special occasion, Wildflowers’ Chef Michael Tubia elevates the most exquisite cuisine with his creative culinary skills. For example, the stuffed peperoncini is filled with pulled pork and finished with a tempura batter that surprises and delights the palate, as it is tucked on the side of the suckling pig entree.

Big name entertainers take their turns at Turning Stone while the dance clubs excite twirling heels and the 125,000-square-feet of Vegas-style gaming space allows patrons to spin the wheels of fortune. The Golf Training Center is a premier facility for year-round instruction, featuring the Golf Dome indoor driving range (two-tier hitting area with 40 individual stations). A staff of PGA instructors is available for private lessons by appointment to prepare golfers for the great courses on site, the most famous of which is, the Atunoyte (an Oneida Indian word meaning Eagle). The 2010 “secondary” PGA event, played here opposite the Bridgestone tourney, turned out to be a first class venue with players and fans raving about the condition and beauty of the course, calling it one of the most pristine on the tour. It was a close competition with Bill Lunde winning his first tour trophy and $720,000 cash. Not bad pay for “second rate” play.

This is also the course where PGA pro and native American, Notah Begay III, holds his annual charity Challenge. Previous years’ format included his college roommate, Tiger Woods and two other pros in an intimate skins game viewed by only 3000 lucky ticket holders. This year he gave his buddy a break, given all the personal transitions and pitted 6 each of the top PGA and LPGA stars for an entertaining round before the crowd of fans. He even managed to bring Anika Sorenstam and Lorena Ochoa back from retirement for the event. Meandering between the trees and marshlands, Atunoyute, is a great track to measure one’s self with the tour players.

Stories unfold on the award winning Shenandoah Golf Club at Turning Stone as the yardage books for each course give the Oneida translation for the name of the hole and an explanation of the nature attached to it. For example, number 6 is the Tamarack, a member of the pines whose tough roots were used by American Indians to bind canoes.  Rolling hillsides guarded by native grass invite any ball to be lost there forever. Many bunkers are placed among beautifully arranged flowers and landscaping in this Audubon Certified Signature Sanctuary where nearly 100 species of birds and lots of wildlife dwell. It is a difficult course for wayward shots but, forgiving enough to enjoy the round.

The final club, Kaluhyat, wins its fame for being one of the most challenging golf courses in the Northeast. With a 150 slope rating, you will have to bring the A game to have any chance of conquering this monster. Almost without exception, the fairways are tree framed but not claustrophobically so. The silver of birch, the deep green of pines, and the royal shades of maples merge to delight you at every turn. Whichever set of tees that you choose, this difficult rolling layout is a stimulating examination. Water is why. In the form of streams or ponds, it imperils most shots along with tall native grass and bunkers to further test the game. Elevation changes are bold, doglegs abound, greens are stunningly positioned into nature, and the challenge is stiff. Enjoy, as the first hole is named “Sky Journey Begins” followed by “Just Believe”. Number 6 is “Challenge of Courage” a par 5 where “Oneida warriors of old braved their own challenges to survive alongside their brothers: the fox, raccoons, rabbits and deer that continue to thrive here today”. On number 8’s, “Whispering Grasses”, golfers are advised to listen carefully for the spirits of long-ago warriors whispering among the tall native grasses. It is here that a large form of grass bent completely down as a ball landed on the green in front of it and then the grass rebounded upright for a birdie assist on the scorecard. 18 is “Journey’s End”. In the Oneida view, it is where another journey will begin.   May all our journeys be as much fun as this one.

Golf director Robert Todd and his exceptional staff have an eye for details, delivering impeccable service and beautifully groomed grounds. If you get the chance to meet him, do so as he is a funny character filled with passion for his job, motocross and the promotion of the entire resort. This is truly a great place to retreat for guys, gals, couples and even family with many other sites to explore in the surrounding region, such as caverns, diamond mines, sports halls of fame, lakes and more. Make a reservation with the Oneida Nation at Turning Stone to create your own story.

Danny and Alice Scott, Couple of Travelers alice@eitexecs.com

For more US Golf information, visit:

Turning Stone Resort
New York Public Golf Courses

New York Resort Golf Courses

New York Semi-Private Golf Courses

New York Private Golf Courses

New York Public 9 Hole Golf Courses