Long Island just may be the best place in America to play golf. Sure, Florida, Arizona, and Southern California may offer pristine year-round playing conditions, but Long Island offers an incredible variety of courses to fit every budget, and a significant percentage of America’s greatest courses. From the Dyker Beach Golf Course on Long Island’s southwestern-most corner in Queens, out to the Hampton’s ultra elite country clubs, Long Island is home to hundreds of unique golf courses. Long Island is home to seven of the top one hundred golf courses in the nation, and two of the top 10. Most notably, Shinnecock Hills, in Southampton at the eastern tip of Long Island, sits at #4 on Golf Digest’s list of best courses in America. The course is strictly for the ultra-elite in the Hamptons, but also has an incredible history with Major Championships. It has hosted four US Opens in three different centuries, and is set to host another in 2018. It is known for being the oldest formalized golf club in the country (1891), have the oldest clubhouse (1892) and for being the first club to admit women members, which it did from the start. If you’re lucky enough to get an invite to play Shinnecock, make sure you take advantage!
Though Shinnecock Hills and its neighbor, the National Golf Links of America, are the two most elite clubs on Long Island, the best known golf facility has to be Bethpage State Park. Bethpage is a park located between Long Island’s Nassau and Suffolk Counties and is one of the best destinations for public golf anywhere in the country. The park is home to five eighteen hole courses, all named by a color, in increasing difficulty from Yellow Course up to the very famous Black Course. People regularly sleep in their cars in the parking lot overnight to get in line for a tee time well before the sun comes up for the Black Course as there are very limited tee times available. The Black Course is widely regarded as one of the most difficult courses in the country, and has played host to the US Open twice, with Tiger Woods winning the first edition in 2002.
The Long Island Golf Association is one of the governing bodies of golf in the area. It is a non-profit collection of 74 different public and private courses whose mission is to grow the game of golf. The organization runs an amazing charity program and caddie scholarship fund, as well as fifteen different tournaments throughout the year. It is a wonderful informational resource for all things golf on Long Island as well.
Kevin B. is PlayYourCourse’s featured pro providing golf lessons in Long Island, New York. Kevin played college golf at Penn State where he also earned his degree in Golf Management while getting his PGA Class A certification. He has worked at top courses in New York, Florida, New Jersey and in New Zealand. He is a patient teaching professional who focuses on fundamentals and course management in all of his golf lessons so that students can really see improvement in their scores quickly.