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New York City Muni's


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For the New York City golfers, in honor of the Golf Magazine Muni Course rankings, I'll take a shot at ranking the NYC muni courses that I grew up on (just reviewing the courses, not the pace of play or other things). Other than Ferry Point, none of these would be on any best in country list or considered anything more than a 4 on the Doak Scale, and most have average conditions at best, but there are some decent courses in the mix. These are only the ones I have played (have not played Kissena or Silver Lake):

1: Ferry Point- in a class above all the others. High-end, great conditioning, and a terrific collection of strategic golf holes and some great views

2: Split Rock- a good number of very good holes, and interesting greens with contouring you don't often see. Turns through the gently rolling property very nicely and uses the elevations really well. It has a good variety of holes. Some narrow hole corridors and could use tree trimming on some holes.

3: Pelham- Split Rock's sister course also has a lot of character. Mainly wide open holes, more great greens, and I really like the back-9. Lots of interesting holes and strategic decisions.

4: Dyker Beach- Has a good front-9 with some interesting doglegs and greens, with some nice movement in the property. The back-9 gets boring with some bad, plain, and narrow holes but ends with a fun 18th.

5: Forest Park- short and too narrow off the tee on many holes, but some good twists and turns and elevations.

6: South Shore- Decent mix of interesting holes and strategic layout, a bit short and not many very memorable holes.

7: Marine Park- some very cool greens but otherwise flat and fairly boring.

8: Douglaston- some fun holes with blind shots, and lots of undulations in the fairways, but too short and a few too many goofy holes.

9: Van Cortland- Way too much hype due to its history. Except for a few holes it is flat, straight, boring, and a disjointed layout that makes the only one here that is practically un-walkable.

10: Clearview- Seems like every hole is flat and straight to a boring green.

11: LaTourette- Maybe the worst course I have every played. Like they just dumped fairways wherever. No thinking, no strategy, just boring.

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Like all of the Bronx courses. Played with someone today who said that Marine Park is getting some upgrades and the course is looking better for it

Driver: Cobra F6

3W: Titleist TSi3

5W: TM RocketBallz -(my favorite club)

Hybrids: Cleveland 2-4

Irons: Callaway Apex DCB 4-PW

Wedges: Titleist Vokey SMB 52 & 56

Putter: TM Rossa Monte Carlo Mallet 

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Good NYC list. Has anyone played either of the two Connecticut courses on the list? Always interested in taking a ride to play a good course.

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If somehow the city (or whomever) could inject a lot of money into Split Rock, that course would be awesome.  Fantastic layout/routing. Just really needs some love. 

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Grew up in the Bronx. I know only these courses, and only from the last half of the 1950s and early '60s. From that point of view...

  • Yes, Split Rock is probably the cream of the crop. (Ferry Point was only a park, an open space for a city kid to run around on grass; the golf course wasn't even a gleam in anybody's eye yet.)
  • I played Pelham more than Split Rock. It's an OK course, but no better than OK. (Gotta admit, I'm spoiled now. I live in a county where the County Parks Dept has 8 courses, and I'd rate 4 of them outstanding.)
  • I played Mosholu a lot -- which I don't see on the list. Does it still exist? I could get there after school on the Jerome Ave subway, and my high school locker was big enough for a bag of clubs. I'd take the subway up there and get on the list. It was first come, first served; no tee times. I'd do homework for the 60-90 minutes before my name was called. Typically finished around dark, and took the subway home. At the time, Mosholu was a fairly short 18-hole course. Last time I looked, it was 9 holes and they hosted the NY First Tee Program.
  • I had one opportunity to play Clearview, in the early '60s. I agree completely with your assessment.

Thanks for the trip down memory lane.

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I live in CA now but spent 7 years in NYC back when Trump Golf Links was still an idea caught up in red tape.  It's also not a muni and if you are going to pay that much just go out to Bethpage which is much cheaper and an actual muni.  I've played more rounds at Dyker than any course in the country and would agree with your assessment.  In addition to layout, don't forget the vibe!  Before American Golf took over operations and pre clubhouse renovation, Dyker was an awesome hang.  Lively bar for great post-round chopping up.  I think you are spot on with the Bronx courses.  VC is overrated and clunky.  I like Pelham more than Split because it is not as narrow.  I haven't played it in 10+ years but I always really enjoyed La Tourette.  Seemed like the best maintained course in the rota, regardless of layout.  

  1. Dyker - Vibes!
  2. Pelham - Layout, beautiful park, wide
  3. La Tourette - Island vibes!
  4. Split - Pretty and tight
  5. VC - Because its old
  6. South Shore - Island 
  7. Marine Park
  8. Forrest Park
  9. Clearview

Now I live in LA and could do the same thread for there!

Woods/Hybrid: :ping-small: 10.5* K15 SF Tec, 16* K15 SF Tec, 20* i15

5i-PW: :taylormade-small: RocketBladez SF

Wedges: :cleveland-small: 50*,54* RTX ZipCore :vokey-small: 60* SM4 :callaway-small: 64* Mack Daddy 2

Putter: :1332069271_TommyArmour:  Impact No. 3 CB

Ball: :Snell: MTB-X or :srixon-small: Z-Star

Bags: :ping-small:  Pioneer (cart), Hopper (stand)

Push Cart: :CaddyTek: CaddyLite One Swivel V8

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2 hours ago, Dave Tutelman said:

Grew up in the Bronx. I know only these courses, and only from the last half of the 1950s and early '60s. From that point of view...

  • Yes, Split Rock is probably the cream of the crop. (Ferry Point was only a park, an open space for a city kid to run around on grass; the golf course wasn't even a gleam in anybody's eye yet.)
  • I played Pelham more than Split Rock. It's an OK course, but no better than OK. (Gotta admit, I'm spoiled now. I live in a county where the County Parks Dept has 8 courses, and I'd rate 4 of them outstanding.)
  • I played Mosholu a lot -- which I don't see on the list. Does it still exist? I could get there after school on the Jerome Ave subway, and my high school locker was big enough for a bag of clubs. I'd take the subway up there and get on the list. It was first come, first served; no tee times. I'd do homework for the 60-90 minutes before my name was called. Typically finished around dark, and took the subway home. At the time, Mosholu was a fairly short 18-hole course. Last time I looked, it was 9 holes and they hosted the NY First Tee Program.
  • I had one opportunity to play Clearview, in the early '60s. I agree completely with your assessment.

Thanks for the trip down memory lane.

Thanks for the history! Yes, Mosholu still exists. I forgot to include it because I've never played it and it is just 9 holes.

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I’ve only played split rock once last July. Was very impressed by the layout however it’s in need of some TLC. I thought that it could be a great place to play if the city/parks department/whoever put in the effort to make it one. 

Driver: Taylormade Sim 9 degree 

3 wood: Taylormade SLDR 15 degree

Hybrid: Taylormade Burner 19 degree

Irons: Srixon Z545 4-PW

Wedges: Cleveland RTX-3 52 degree, Cleveland CG15 56 degree, TM Hi-Toe 60 degree

Putter: Taylormade Ardmore 3

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On 6/12/2021 at 5:17 PM, Jkrepp said:

I’ve only played split rock once last July. Was very impressed by the layout however it’s in need of some TLC. I thought that it could be a great place to play if the city/parks department/whoever put in the effort to make it one. 

To be fair, last year was a challenge for course maintenance with the Covid shutdowns and restrictions. 

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