Tadpole & Polly, the morning show on our sister station, Big Frog, just made us jealous with pictures of their golf getaway at Killington in Vermont. Picturesque greens, fairways, and mountains, adult beverages, shopping, cozy lodging, etc. Blah, blah, blah.

Just kidding. Killington is great.

But there are other fantastic (and lesser-known) golf getaways for couples that could rival Tad and Polly's great experience--and maybe better fit your budget for time and money.

Here's a list of great public golf courses and top-rated and affordable lodging in corresponding towns, all within an easy drive toward all four points of the compass surrounding the Utica-Rome area. Presenting our Top Central New York Golf Getaways for Folks on a Budget - Part 1.

Southern Tier

Park House Bed & Breakfast in downtown Binghamton offers comfortable lodging and gourmet food for under $120 per night. Two great golf experiences are just a few minutes away. Conklin Players Club features spectacular views and immaculate fairways, with GPS-equipped carts, all for under $70 per person. En-Joie Golf Club, right in downtown Binghamton, is a current stop on the Champions Tour. Play where the pros play for just $55-$65 per person on the weekends. Make sure you try a Chicken Spied, the local specialty, served almost everywhere in the Southern Tier. About 90 miles south of Utica.

Syracuse Area

Green Lakes is a New York State Park, featuring two gorgeous, emerald green lakes, and a challenging Robert Trent Jones golf course. Secure a campsite ($18-$36 per night), rent a kayak or rowboat, and commune with nature. A round of golf is just $30 per person on the weekends. Ask about the spot where John Daly once launched a gargantuan drive INTO Green Lake during an exhibition. Add another cool round at The Links at Erie Village, only about three miles from Green Lakes. Nearby Fayetteville and Manlius offer a variety of boutiques and bigger stores for shoppers and many restaurant options. About 50 miles west of Utica.

Saratoga Region

Saratoga Spa Golf is another New York State park treasure. Play golf in a secluded pine forest setting for only $59 per person on the weekends. Another great course, Ballston Spa Country Club has the same rates and is less than 7 miles away from Saratoga. Lots of great shopping, dining and sightseeing (of course) in Saratoga. And you're enjoying a resort town, so save on the lodging, and bring your own food for the fridges in your comfortable rooms at the Robin Hood Motel, just $80 a night. About 90 miles east of Utica.

Adirondacks

Inlet Golf Club has challenging golf in a beautiful setting and insanely low rates; depending on the time of day, you can golf for as little as $37 per person with cart. Thendara Golf Club has an open nine holes and a woodsy nine holes and rates as low as $40. Enjoy the quaint charm of all the Old Forge shops. Two suggestions for lodging: (1) stay in any of the affordable motels in and around Old Forge or (2) stay at home in the Mohawk Valley and make a couple of day trips. About 50 miles north of Utica.

Try saving even more by ditching the carts and walking the courses. Play well.