Here’s a the second in out two part series – part one can be found here.… Golfing Magazine’s 20th anniversary Long Island Dream 18. Here’s the back nine…
It’s neither a long nor crooked hole, but the 35-foot drop from tee to fairway shows you the lake covering the entire left side; you have to carry your drive at least 200 yards if you hit it the slightest bit left. It’s tempting to play the right side, but mounds with high fescue make sure there’s no easy out. If you play a straight tee ball, it’s a short approach shot but with a bunker front right, plus a creek all along the left boundary. The large green has an elevated tier in the back third, so don’t be long.
It’s a long hole, but with a 30-foot drop to the fairway and a great view of Noyack Bay. The hole moves right to left, with bunkers right and a single bunker left to keep tee shots honest at the dogleg. Interestingly, a miss left that doesn’t catch the sand will end up on the grassy remains of the old Bridgehampton speedway. An accurate tee shot will roll down the slope, setting up a midiron approach to a slightly uphill green. But miss that approach left and you’ll find bunkers, fescue, or a yawning ravine.
The green is waaaay downhill from the tee. But don’t club down too much, because you’ll have to fly it to the middle of this severe back-to-front-sloping green. And don’t go long either; the chip back down this three-tiered green is killer. The putting surface is large but has bunkers on the left that guarantee bogey or worse if you find them—the left-to-right slope on the green is as bad as the back-to-front. And it’s very tough to run the ball up to the green—the slope rolls the ball towards a front right bunker.
This slight dogleg-left hole requires accuracy off the tee, or things get ugly. There’s water on the left, 215 yards from the tee, running right up to the green. But there’s nowhere to bail out on the right thanks to huge moguls creeping onto the fairway that could leave the ball way above or below your feet. Right-center is ideal, but left-center is okay too—provided you can fly your approach over the edge of the water with a mid- to long iron. The front of the green is open to a run-up shot, but a back pin on the two-tiered green might mean three putts. That’s still better than an overcooked approach–just beyond the green is OB.
This hole combines a Scottish landscape with a Donald Ross-style green to deliver double-bogey regularly. From an elevated perch, your downwind shot will probably clear the 150-yard stretch of fescue. But lurking a few yards beyond that are two deep, sod-walled bunkers set just off center, plus another one 15 yards short of the green. In other words, if you don’t flush a hybrid or long iron, you’ve got trouble. What’s more, bunkers flank the green, which is domed enough to push straight shots towards the edges. Long shots settle in a collection area 20 feet below the two-tiered green.
The host of a Champions Tour event, the course’s 15th hole always makes the home stretch interesting. There’s nothing daunting off the tee, but stress builds with the approach shot. Short hitters must contend with water that crosses the fairway 20 yards before the green. For bombers, the water’s not a factor, but they face a downhill lie to an elevated green. Bunkers wrap the whole right side of the green, plus part of the left side too. A ridge running diagonally through this big green makes three putts possible.
This windy layout between the bay and ocean puts fear into every golfer on the 16th tee. First, you drive to a horseshoe-shaped landing area surrounded by water. Big hitters must stay right or risk running out of land. Unfortunately, the reward for a big tee shot is a second shot that’s at least 200 yards over water. Short hitters can stay left, but then must either lay up to 160 yards or fly the ball 50 yards past that spot to stay dry. A waste bunker behind the green keeps some long shots out of the water, but not all. The large green slopes hard from back left to front right.
Nissequogue Golf Club
With Stony Brook Harbor behind the green, players might get distracted by the view of the water, the mansions on the far shore in ritzy Head of the Harbor, and even the crystal-clear view of Stony Brook Hospital miles away. But once they hit their tee ball to this island green, players usually snap back to reality. The elevated tee and the wind sometimes make for a two-club difference—or not. There’s no bailout area, so this is a true all-or-nothing hole that many players say they begin thinking about as they are playing the front nine.
Here’s a hole that’s worthy of capping a dream round. It runs down to a narrow fairway, with Peconic Bay on the entire left side and the flagpole of National Golf Links your aiming point behind the green. Bunkers line the right side of the landing area. Even after a good tee shot, the cross bunker and an encroaching tree at about 120 yards out can catch your second shot, especially into the wind. When downwind, the hole is reachable for good players, but most hit a hybrid over the cross bunker to a wedge approach. The two-tiered green is elevated on the right; if the pin is there, several bunkers protect it.
Shinnecock Hills GC
This 1892 Stanford White creation is the very first clubhouse in America, and its style has been copied at countless golf courses throughout the country over 117 years. Set on the highest point of the property, the clubhouse dominates its landscape and is prominently visible from many holes. The clubhouse view to the north includes Peconic Bay, while the southern view spies the Atlantic Ocean. There may be many copies, but there’s only one original.
Dream Pro Shop
The Creek Club
This recently renovated shop is staffed by folks who are well versed in Titleist clubs and balls, although the shop also offers a wide variety of other makes, including Callaway and TaylorMade. As for apparel, the top sellers in the shop include Fairway & Greene, Polo, and Adidas. The shop also has a large flat-screen TV showing all the pro golf events each week, plus several couches so that players can come in both before and after their rounds to relax and mingle. And did we mention the awesome views of Long Island Sound?
Dream Practice Area
Indian Hills Country Club
When this Northport course opened in 1965, the 17th and 18th holes ran along the west side of the clubhouse, through a rolling meadow framed by tall maples and oaks. Years later, the club puchased land on its northwestern boundary and built two new finishing holes there, while the old holes merged to become one of the prettiest, most interesting driving ranges on the Island. From 13 hitting stalls set by the old 17th tee, players can visualize on-course shots as they practice.
Blackwell’s at Great Rock GC
With rich mahogany accents, subtle lighting, and sophisticated service, the dining room at Blackwell’s is as classy as they come, and is a perfect match for the chef’s fine steaks and seafood. If you’re just coming off the course and want a more relaxed atmosphere, there’s the adjacent tap room as well as a large outdoor patio with a stand-alone fireplace and great views of players coming up the 9th and 18th holes.