Craig Wood Golf CourseI used to spend weekends playing golf with my father. Unfortunately, my game, and I use the term loosely, does not have much to show for it. Our time was used to spend time together rather than as a means to improve my technique. It worked. My game has never improved. My son questions my ability to play as we use the practice balls that are the requisite equipment around our house.

It doesn't seem to matter how many times we say "no throwing balls inside the house" that some sort of sphere ends up (so far) narrowly missing a window. I agree you can't putt with a practice ball. Though my golf game is not that strong I am confident enough to know that you don't swing when you putt either. So goes the continued mother vs. ball discussion. If anything I am proud of my two future lawyers' ability to supply endless amounts of evidence to support their case.

With all windows still intact and enjoying a sunny afternoon, we dust off our clubs and plan to just hit a few buckets of balls.Since we aren't playing on the links proper golf attire is not required.

Craig Wood Golf CourseCraig Wood Golf Course is open to the public and maintained by the town of North Elba. It was originally named the Lake Placid Golf and Country Club. In 1954 it was renamed for Lake Placid native Craig Wood. Wood was a professional golfer with 21 PGA tour wins. The club itself has an 18-hole regulation length course but our plan is to just use the roadside 40-tee driving range.

The driving range is self-serve with two machines, one dispenses tokens and the other dispenses golf balls.Tokens are needed and like all change machines it takes a dislike to my crumbled $5 bills. I hang out in the parking lot trading wadded up fivers with a fellow staying in Wilmington. That Long Islander is playing hooky and reluctantly has to head home. Each token yields about 50 balls.

Bucket of BallsOur family of four goes through the first bucket quickly. My son is encouraging with shout outs like "next time you'll get it in the air" or "I think you can do over if the ball doesn't leave the green." He is hitting consistently over 100 yards. By the end of the second bucket I finally get some air. Always a negotiator, he pats me on the shoulder and lets me know I can only improve with practice.

From the intersection of Old Military Road and Route 73 in Lake Placid continue east on Route 73/Cascade Road for about two miles. Craig Wood Golf Course's driving range is located on corner of Country Club Lane and Cascade Road, across from the Cascade Inn.

For tee times and other club information call 518-523-9811. 

Look for more family-friendly ideas in Diane's guidebook Adirondack Family Time: Tri-Lakes and High Peaks: Your Four-Season Guide to Over 300 Activities (with GPS Coordinates), covering the towns of Lake Placid, Saranac Lake, Tupper Lake, Keene/Keene Valley,Jay/Upper Jay and Wilmington. all photos and content © Diane Chase, Adirondack Family Time. Diane Chase is the author of the Adirondack Family Time guidebook series and co-owner of the the young adult wilderness adventure program, Adirondack Outdoor Expeditions.