Driving up to The Woodmere Club, one gets the sense of the club’s history and pedigree. The impressive colonial style clubhouse – with its sturdy white columns – welcomes you to the grounds. Inside, the clubhouse does not disappoint; the locker rooms are updated, and the various bars, ballrooms, and restaurants are all well appointed.
Established in 1908 as a tennis club, the golf course, designed by Jack Pirie, followed soon after. Over the years, a number of notable architects contributed to making the course what it is today: Seth Raynor in the 30’s, Robert Trent Jones in 50’s, and Stephen Kay in the 90’s.
Playing alone on a windy day, my first day out this season, was a treat. The first three holes – two par 4s and par 3 – provided a decent warm-up for my rusty swing. Many thanks to James Hallquist, Woodmere Club’s general manager, for inviting me out.
Punctuating the front nine are three challenging holes in succession – starting with hole number five which plays 516 yards from the back tees. Getting there in two shots – even for long hitters – is a challenge given the yardage and the double dogleg. A well-guard two-tiered green makes this one tough par 5.
Next up is the number one handicap hole on the front; it’s the 441 yard, par 4. Again, you need two good shots. Two fairway bunkers on the right and the left necessitate some accuracy here. Unless you’re super long off the tee, you are looking at mid-iron into a tricky elevated green.
The final hole in this trio (pictured left, click for larger) is a short par 4, playing only 293 yards. While the scorecard tells me this is the easiest hole on the front nine, I can’t help but notice the large fairway bunkers on the right about 160 yards out. Carrying these bunkers is not too hard, plus you have plenty room on the left side of the hole. Still, I notice them. My tee shot landed somewhere left. Given how early it is in the season, the seventh green rolled nicely as did the rest of the course’s putt surfaces.
As I finished up the front nine, I was struck by the old-school nature of this course. Few trees, rolling fairways, and proximity to water give this course a true links-style golf feel. Stay tuned…part 2 is coming soon.
If you’re looking for a club in Nassau County, Woodmere is a try. Make sure to call James and tell him Long Island Golf News sent you.
Image Credit From Top to Bottom:
– Jerry Rosenberg
– darreno of longislandgolfnews