The Equinox's golf course has many beautiful holes and several very challenging ones, but it's the thirteenth that you'll probably be muttering about after your round as you sip your single-malt scotch at the resort's Marsh Tavern. From the tee box, thirteen looks like a very makeable 4, which it is . . . unless you hit your approach to the right, and end up in a deep and steep greenside crater the locals call the Devil's Armpit. Imagine standing an arm's length from a high-rise and having to chip your Titleist through an open fifth-story window -- which I did . . . eventually. Nestled between the Green Mountains of Vermont and the Taconics, the Equinox has been a premier summer resort since the 1860s, a favorite of U.S. presidents from Taft to Eisenhower. The four-star, fully upgraded resort is a golfer's dream; you can almost roll out of bed and into a golf cart. The inn -- with its long, deep front porch, crisp white clapboards, and green shutters -- looks like it's straight out of a stereoscope picture from the nineteenth century. Not that any real golfer's going to waste time on such incidentals, but there's also a fitness spa, three courts for tennis, outdoor and indoor pools, hiking, horseback riding, fly-fishing, a falconry school, and a Land Rover off-road driving school (and, in winter, cross-country skiing, ice-skating, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling).
DETAILS The Equinox, 800-362-4747 or www.equinoxresort.com (rooms start at $179).