Get into the swing of summer at these beautiful East End courses
Summer time in the Hamptons means it’s time to take the clubs out of storage and hit the links. After hours at the driving range at Chelsea Piers, it’s a relief to be able to play 18 holes on a gorgeous day. The East End has some incredible courses, both historic and modern; some of the top courses are private, so you may need to find a friend with a membership, and hope they bring you along as a guest!
Shinnecock Hills Golf Club is the oldest formed organized golf club in the country. Since its opening in 1891, it has hosted four US Open tournaments in 3 different centuries, and is set to host it again in 2018. Patterned after the classic British courses, it was ranked number 2 on Gold Digest’s 100 greatest courses in 2007 and 2008.
The National Golf Links of America opened in 1908. Designer Charles Macdonald researched many of the greatest courses in the British Isles, including historic St. Andrews. Many of the courses 18 holes are designed to replicate some of the more challenging holes he found on those courses. The 2nd hold, “Sahara” is modeled after the 3rd hole at Royal St. George, and the 7th hole is a par 5 patterned after the 17th at St. Andrews. Founding members of the club included William Vanderbilt II and US Steel founder Elbert Henry Gary.
Near the historic Shinnecock Hills Golf Club you will find the Sebonack Golf Club. The club opened in 2006, featuring a course designed in part by golf legend Jack Nicklaus. Host of the 2013 Women’s US Open, membership initiation fees at the time of the club’s opening were over $500,000. With gorgeous views of the Great Peconic Bay and Cold Spring Pond, this recent addition to the Hamptons golf scene has already cemented its reputation as a top course.
If you aren’t fortunate enough to befriend a member at one of those three courses, fret not, there are great public courses as well. Montauk Downs has been a favorite of Long Islanders since it was originally developed in 1927. It has consistently been ranked as one of America’s top public courses. It finished second to the Bethpage Black Course in Golf World’s Reader’s Choice awards for overall value, and ranked 38th in Golfweek’s Best Municipal Courses in 2009. There is a phone reservation system in place to get tee times, which eliminated the long standing tradition of golfers sleeping in their cars overnight in order to get a chance to play the course. With both the Atlantic Ocean and Long Island Sound nearby, the course’s windy conditions can make for a challenging day.
If you are a novice golfer, plan on a day at Indian Island Country Club. Despite the name, it is a public course, and features terrific golf instruction utilizing multi camera digital video for swing analysis. After a lesson, head out to the course, where you are greeted with a long par-4 on the first hole. Once you’ve gotten past that, the course is not extremely difficult, but features a few challenging holes. Enjoy the picturesque views, especially of the Peconic River. After your 18 holes, be sure to stop in for a meal at the Outerbanks Bar and Resto, or enjoy their great Happy Hour.
Get into the swing of summer on any of these golf courses. Get your foursome together, secure your tee time, and remember to replace your divots!