Mountain Golf…and More


The spacious main lobby at Skytop is called the Pine Room for good reason. Here the carpets are rolled up for Saturday-night dances.

The main building at Skytop Lodge offers spectacular mountain and lake views.

At the Donald Ross-designed Buck Hill Falls Golf Club, cart-path bridges are built of local stone in harmony with the natural setting.

Teeing off across the water on the 10th hole for a round of fall golf at Skytop.

Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are served in one of three formal dining rooms.

The spacious main lobby at Skytop is called the Pine Room for good reason. Here the carpets are rolled up for Saturday-night dances.

You can find almost any activity imaginable at the Skytop Lodge. What we wanted to find was golf.

At Skytop, located in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania, about 40 minutes northwest of the Delaware Water Gap, the 18-hole golf course occupies but a fraction of the resort’s 5,500 acres. Founded in 1928 as a Quaker retreat, Skytop puts the emphasis on outdoor activities. There are 30 miles of hiking trails; a 75-acre lake for swimming, fishing, and boating; six tennis courts; two paddle-ball courts; archery and skeet-shooting ranges; fitness and spa facilities; indoor and outdoor pools; and mountain bike rentals. In the winter, add downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, ice-skating, and even a toboggan run when the lake is frozen.

Standing guard over it all is the majestic main lodge, faced with local mountain stone and positioned for spectacular mountain and lake views. All of the 94 guest rooms and more than two dozen suites have recently been renovated, but with no loss of country charm. Common areas include the spacious, pine-paneled main lobby (where the carpets are rolled up for Saturday-night dancing), a library, game rooms, a retro-styled luncheonette, a conference center, and a luxury spa. Atop the lodge, guests climb a short stairway to the rooftop observation deck, which served during World War II as a lookout tower for enemy planes. (None were spotted.)

All guests are on the American plan, with three meals served daily in the lodge’s three formal dining rooms. Breakfast includes a cold buffet and warm dishes made to order. The lunch and dinner menus have ample choices, well prepared and graciously served. Men must wear jackets at dinner.

Guests seeking a more contemporary setting can choose to stay at the Inn, a short walk from the main lodge, or the streamside cottages, each with four interconnected bedrooms. The golf pro shop is located off the lobby of the Inn, so this is a natural choice for golfers.

As for the golf, the Robert White-designed course sprawls around the property, with wide fairways and small, fast greens. For a final challenge, the 18th hole has an imposing elevated green, rising more than twenty feet above the fairway. A tee shot of about 200 yards is required to set up an accurate 160-yard shot over water to reach the elevated green in two. Good luck with that. One- and two-day golf school packages are available.

For a change of pace, check out the nearby Buck Hill Falls Golf Club, a 100-year-old Donald Ross-designed course with three nines to choose from. This is a particularly beautiful layout, accentuated by stone bridges built in harmony with the natural setting. It’s hillier than the Skytop course; both are ideal destinations for a fall weekend or daytrip.

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About this article

Author: Issue: Sep/Oct 2010
Credits: Images courtesy of Skytop Lodge; Image bottom left: Courtesy of Buck Hill Falls Golf Club
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