(BPT) - Do you love sinking a putt in the quiet serenity of nature, or nailing a drive and watching it disappear into a backdrop of towering peaks? How about docking your boat, hopping on a shuttle bus and getting a few rounds in before an evening of lakeside dining? Whether you want to be near the action or away from it, you'll find something to love on Essex County's golf courses. Just don't forget to take your eye off the ball once in a while — in the Adirondacks, eagle isn't just another way of saying "good game.”

1. North

 

Essex County's northern golf courses range from laid-back to luxurious, but there's one thing they all have in common — no matter which one you choose, jaw-dropping scenery is never more than a swing away.

Ausable Valley Golf Course: Perhaps the Adirondacks' best-kept secret, this nine-hole course hosts a free summer golf program for kids, accepts walk-ons, and has an on-site restaurant that boasts fine home cooking.

Lake Placid Club Links Golf Courses: Three courses, 45 holes, expansive mountain views, and some of the finest dining anywhere have attracted golfers, including former President Bill Clinton, to the Lake Placid Club for more than 100 years.

Saranac Lake Golf Club: Located between Saranac Lake and Lake Placid, the Saranac Lake Golf Course is a deceptively difficult nine-hole course that makes full use of sand traps and natural features. Watch out for the meandering creek — it's a ball-sinking hazard that winds its way through five fairways.

Whiteface Club and Resort: Set against the backdrop of the magnificent Whiteface Mountain, this is a course with a reputation. In 2014, the Whiteface Club was ranked fourth in the Classic Course category and 11th overall in New York state by Golfweek magazine. 

2. South

 

Venture off the beaten path and drive away on this uniquely Adirondack trio of golf courses. Here you'll find deep woods, looming mountains, and par-stopping waterways around every bend in the fairway.

Cedar River Golf Course: A true golfing adventure, this course follows — and oftentimes incorporates — the Cedar River, which adds beauty and difficulty to these holes.

Green Mansions Golf Course: A fine place to tee off, golfers come for the unique eighth hole, affectionately referred to as the volcano, and stay for the laid-back atmosphere.

Town of Schroon Public Course: The nine back-and-forth fairways on this course overlook Schroon Lake and are guarded by the majestic Pharaoh Mountain. It's a winning combination, even if your scorecard says otherwise.

3. Lake Champlain

 

The expansive Lake Champlain is a magnet for water enthusiasts, so it's only fitting that the region has its share of water hazards, too.

Harmony Golf Course: This beautiful, ever-expanding course has grown from nine to 14 holes over the years, and now includes two new fairways that overlook Lake Champlain. Stop by often — you never know when a new fairway will open!

Moriah Golf and Country Club: More than a century old and going strong! Established in 1900, the Moriah Golf and Country Club is one of the oldest courses in the United States.

Ticonderoga Golf and Country Club: Swap your musket for a driver and take on an 18-hole public golf course with a past. Located in the historic Lord Howe Valley, this course is near the site where Roger’s Rangers fought the renowned Snowshoe Battle of 1758.

Westport Country Club: Just a few blocks away from Lake Champlain, this course is a short walk — and an even shorter shuttle ride — from marinas and lakeside dining.

Willsboro Golf Course: A little slice of heaven, the narrow fairways on this public course offer expansive mountain views in a quaint, Adirondack setting.

4. High peaks

   

Steep fairways, undulating greens, and postcard-worthy vistas are par for the course on Essex County's High Peaks courses.

Ausable Club: From the soaring bulk of Giant Mountain to the serrated profile of Sawteeth, there are plenty of mountain views on this nine-hole course to distract you from making par. Open to the public September-October.

Cobble Hill: A local favorite, golfers here love chipping away at the rugged mountain scenery surrounding this challenging, nine-hole course.

Craig Wood Golf Club: Named after renowned professional golfer and Lake Placid native Craig Wood, this course features non-stop mountain vistas, making it the perfect place to putter around for a day.

High Peaks Golf Course: Why climb a mountain when you can drive? Set against the southern border of the High Peaks, this idyllic nine-hole course opened in 2005 and has been collecting lost balls ever since.

The Essex County golf courses span four Adirondack regions: Lake Placid, Whiteface, Lake Champlain, and Schroon Lake. Click on the links to learn more about what each has to offer, including lodging, dining, and recreational opportunities. Another reason I Love NY!