It's finally golf season here in New York and now is the time to start your list of must-play golf courses in the area. Our first feature focuses on playing golf on Long Island and when it comes to Long Island golf, there is only one person to turn to: Anthony Scorcia. The host of the Scorcia On Par radio show, Anthony was kind enough to take time out of his schedule and share the must play golf courses on Long Island.
5 Must Play Golf Courses on Long Island
1. Bethpage State Park (Black) and Bethpage State Park (Red), Farmingdale, NY
I'm putting the Black and Red together because if you're making the trip to Bethpage State Park you are not going to go wrong playing either course. If you're going for the historical experience and the pain, then the Black is your choice. You have seen the best players in the world play it and now here's your chance. You might not be able to play like a professional, but rarely does the public golfer get the same experience. The Red on the other hand is every bit worth your time. Another Tillinghast "big ballpark" design that will test you right from the word "go." It's a great layout and it's always in good shape. The Black's little sister may not get the same fame, but it should never be overlooked.
2. Tallgrass GC (Shoreham, NY)
Tallgrass GC in Shoreham is a fun Gil Hanse designed golf course. The avid golfer should recognize the name--Hanse was awarded the 2016 Olympic design in Rio and is also responsible for putting up with Donald Trump in the restoration of the Doral. Tallgrass is a unique experience in that it has all the look and feel of a links course, it just doesn't always play like one. Unfortunately, given the weather in the North East, it's difficult to replicate the hard and fast conditions of a true links track. Nevertheless, when the wind blows, you will need every shot in the bag to contend with this layout.
3. Montauk Downs State Park (Montauk, NY)
When the U.S. Open came to Bethpage in 2002, part of the conditions of agreement were that "the Downs" as locals call it, would get some (financial) love. Reese Jones came, saw, and added his two cents. Without question, Montauk Downs is a top track on Long Island. I would even argue that if were feasible, it could be in consideration for a Public Links Championship. Of course that's a moot point now that the USGA is discontinuing the championship. Still, no avid golfer who vacations at "the end" of Long Island misses a chance to play Montauk Downs.
4. Long Island National (Riverhead, NY)
Given that the Hamptons are another favorite vacation spot for Long Islanders and visitors alike, Long Island National is worth checking out. National was designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr. and from the tips, plays at almost 6900 yards with a course rating of 73.3/131. National is always in good shape and they are consistent with running specials.
5. Willow Creek GC (Mt. Sinai, NY)
Willow Creek GC is a golf course that doesn't get enough attention in my opinion. At 6,600 yards with a rating of 72.9/134, Willow Creek is a little bit of a resort style golf course that is always in good shape. Not only is it a fun track, but it always gives me the feeling that I'm in Florida when I am playing. There are palm trees with lots of sand and water. Another reason to play Willow Creek is that the staff "gets it." The friendly customer service definitely makes the golfing experience all the more enjoyable.
The Scorcia On Par Radio Show resumes April 13th! Visit his website for more information on Long Island Golf. Connect with Anthony via Social Media: