The Woodstock Open is believed to be the longest running tournament in America on one course, open to both professional and amateur golfers. Since the inaugural event in 1932, legends like Gene Sarazen and Bob Toski have participated. This year, sponsor Emerson Resort & Spa draped the winner, Michael Shine in a robe and awarded him a $3000 check. The 9-hole rustic course runs through the Catskill Forest with a wooden bridge over Esopus Creek from the 9th tee box to the green. One cart at a time is allowed to cross over. The deck of the clubhouse overlooks the creek.

Emerson Resort & Spa sits along the banks of Esopus Creek, just minutes away from Woodstock Golf Club and the historic, hippy town of Woodstock. It is named after Ralph Waldo Emerson. Where is Waldo? Everywhere on the property through quotes from his poetry, starting with “Adopt the pace of nature” which hangs over the registration desk. The adoption is easy when Esopus Creek flows by at the speed of life. Adirondack chairs are conveniently seated for pondering that flow, perhaps with a bucket of ice with wine to chill or a firepit to light for warmth.

Woodnotes Grille, named for one of Emerson’s most famed poems, has been relocated to capitalize on a piece of peaceful real estate where the water rushes down the creek below the mountain. An eclectic gourmet menu delights all palates. Spa Bites has taken its former spot in the main inn with a full bar and extensive tapas menu during the day. The Spa menu of therapeutic and beauty treatments is also elaborate. Before or after, a hot tub and chairs on the outside deck provide serene lounging with views of the creek and mountain.  The fresh air is naturally scented by the mix of woods and flowers.

A new trend since the pandemic, getting back to nature is, well, very natural, at Emerson Resort & Spa. Hike the trails where wildlife is depicted on signs or grab a huffy bike and helmet to ride. Pedal power is also the fuel for riding on the Rail Trail in Phoenicia, a few miles away. This fun family activity is very popular, so book ahead if you want to sing, “we’ve been working on the railroad.” The Empire State Railway Museum relays history.

Emerson Resort & Spa nurtures the inner artist. Paint a pebble keepsake or watercolor postcard. Create a Mason Jar Terrarium, craft a Fairy Door or a kaleidoscope. The resort is famous for converting the former farm’s grain silo into the World’s Largest kaleidoscope. Inside the “siloscope”, ten-minute psychedelic shows, sans drugs are transcending. The shop adjoining the Kaatskill Kaleidoscope delivers interactive colorful science to amaze all ages and connects to various country stores and back to the main Inn.

A stroll through the 60s psychedelic headquarters that is the town of Woodstock is entertaining with performing street artists, diverse sculptures, shops and restaurants. Famous residents include Uma Thurman, Lee Marvin, Ethan Hawke, Jennifer Connelly, Jimi Hendricks, Bob Dillon, David Bowie, and Bonnie Raitt, to name a few.

Woodstock Golf Course may be played as 9 holes or 18 with different tee boxes and 30 minutes away in Kingston, NY, The Wiltwyck Golf Club is semi-private, with fast greens and lush wooded landscape where many happy bird species and cicadas perform a symphony.  Since 1933, the Robert Trent Jones course follows the hilly Catskill contours but now with improved conditioning due to the new owners investing money back into the Club and Course, according to Jason Nalepa, the Golf Course Superintendent. The result is an increase from 77 members to now 300.  It is charming and challenging.


Poetic splendor awaits golfers with a stay and play package at Emerson Resort and Spa. Stress flows liberally out of the body and washes downstream where fly fishers might entertain.

53 rooms between the Inn and the Lodge are comfortably equipped with fireplace and bath amenities for a cozy experience. A pool and lawn games span the grounds. In the cradle of nature, rock the courses or create your own poetry at Emerson Resort and Spa. Discover your flower child within, at Woodstock, and check out the schedule of music events, bell bottoms not required.