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Long Island Public Courses Ranked


LICC
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Following from my post on the NYC muni's, I thought I would do a personal ranking of the Long Island public courses that I have played:

1- Bethpage Black: Outstanding routing through a great property. Uses the valleys and slopes beautifully. A beast of a course. It would be even better if they just set up some of the fairways wider to bring more options and angles into play. But an incredible golf experience.

2- Bethpage Red: Another great layout on a terrific property, more forgiving than the Black but still a tough course, with many memorable holes, including the split fairyway 13th, the reverse C 6th, and a great finishing hole.

3-Montauk Downs: Another terrific piece of land for golf, with many interesting choices off the tee. The green sites get repetitive with one elevated green after another. Some terrific par-5s and a nice finishing hole.

4- Willow Creek: Excellent conditioning, large-scale bunkers, good use of water without overdoing it, and nice strategy.

5- Middle Bay: Fun, fun, fun. Beautiful waterside holes, strategic choices throughout, good variety. 

6- Harbor Links: Interesting, memorable holes. Split fairways, good variety, pretty course and nice slope and undulations in the greens. Not being walkable is a minus.

7- Eisenhower Red: Very nice greens with slope and curves, and strategic bunkering throughout. A few holes play with gentle elevations but otherwise fairly flat.

8- Lido: Another fun waterside course. Some memorable holes on the back-9 requiring water carries. Nice options throughout and variety. Mostly flat and can seem repetitive at times.

9- Bethpage Green: Classic feel, nice movement through the park. Probably the most interesting greens at Bethpage.

10- Oyster Bay: Very good green complexes. Very tight hole corridors on the front-9 but opens up on the back. A few really good memorable dog-legs and par-3s.

11- Bethpage Blue: Nice course but some quirky features, like fairway shapes that bounce good drives away on blind shots. 

12- Sandpiper: Pretty property and decent course; rather straightforward.

13- Eisenhower White: I played it before they renovated the bunkers. Ok course, fairly boring.

Edited by LICC
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Thanks.  I had the possibility of living out near Shinnecock and wondered about public golf our there if the opportunity ever presents itself again.  Nice photos.

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On 8/10/2021 at 5:22 PM, LICC said:

Following from my post on the NYC muni's, I thought I would do a personal ranking of the Long Island public courses that I have played:

1- Bethpage Black: Outstanding routing through a great property. Uses the valleys and slopes beautifully. A beast of a course. It would be even better if they just set up some of the fairways wider to bring more options and angles into play. But an incredible golf experience.

2- Bethpage Red: Another great layout on a terrific property, more forgiving than the Black but still a tough course, with many memorable holes, including the split fairyway 13th, the reverse C 6th, and a great finishing hole.

3-Montauk Downs: Another terrific piece of land for golf, with many interesting choices off the tee. The green sites get repetitive with one elevated green after another. Some terrific par-5s and a nice finishing hole.

4- Willow Creek: Excellent conditioning, large-scale bunkers, good use of water without overdoing it, and nice strategy.

5- Middle Bay: Fun, fun, fun. Beautiful waterside holes, strategic choices throughout, good variety. 

6- Harbor Links: Interesting, memorable holes. Split fairways, good variety, pretty course and nice slope and undulations in the greens. Not being walkable is a minus.

7- Eisenhower Red: Very nice greens with slope and curves, and strategic bunkering throughout. A few holes play with gentle elevations but otherwise fairly flat.

8- Lido: Another fun waterside course. Some memorable holes on the back-9 requiring water carries. Nice options throughout and variety. Mostly flat and can seem repetitive at times.

9- Bethpage Green: Classic feel, nice movement through the park. Probably the most interesting greens at Bethpage.

10- Oyster Bay: Very good green complexes. Very tight hole corridors on the front-9 but opens up on the back. A few really good memorable dog-legs and par-3s.

11- Bethpage Blue: Nice course but some quirky features, like fairway shapes that bounce good drives away on blind shots. 

12- Sandpiper: Pretty property and decent course; rather straightforward.

13- Eisenhower White: I played it before they renovated the bunkers. Ok course, fairly boring.

Played 3 of these.  Favorite in order - Lido, Harbor Links and at the very bottom Harbor Links.  Just not a course I've ever scored well on.  Hope to play the Bethpage complex one of these years, but going to LI is such a chore 

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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1 hour ago, ForeRightAgain said:

Played 3 of these.  Favorite in order - Lido, Harbor Links and at the very bottom Harbor Links.  Just not a course I've ever scored well on.  Hope to play the Bethpage complex one of these years, but going to LI is such a chore 

Wait- you said Harbor Links twice.

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2 hours ago, LICC said:

Wait- you said Harbor Links twice.

Haha. Meant Willow Creek was on the bottom.

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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You got me a little homesick with this thread, 😆

I grew up across the street from the entrance to Bethpage St. Park (Puritan Lane) and I’ve played every course on your list.

My personal favorites, in no particular order, are Montauk Downs (I like it better than the Black), Bethpage Red, Bethpage Green, then not on your list, Mill Pond, Spring Lake and Cherry Creek and I know I’m forgetting a few, lol

Just a heads up to you, and anyone else who might be interested, you haven’t mentioned so many of the other great courses out East…. @Shankster there are at least 10 courses 10-25 miles west of Shinnecock, which is in the town of Southampton, all public, and beautiful.

Nassau and Suffolk counties are also home to some of the most venerable private courses in the country. I’ve been fortunate to play Shinnecock, Maidstone (favorite course ever) Sagaponak, Inwood and Tam O’ Shanter which will be closing after this season.

I spend about 7-8 months a year down in the Myrtle Beach area, which is considered a golf Mecca, but still consider the Island “home”..  The Myrle Beach area has nothing on Long Island golf wise except the opportunity to play year round.

Edited by Grand Stranded
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 :callaway-small:  Epic Max 9* Cypher

 :callaway-small:  Epic Star 15* & 18* Bassara

 :cleveland-small:  Launcher XL Halo 4-PW Cypher

 :cleveland-small:  CBX2 50* 

:ping-small:  Glide 3.0 54* & 58*

:ping-small: Kushion 4 34”    :yes-small:  Tracy 33.5”

 :1590477705_SunMountain: 4.5 LS 14 way Black stand bag

 

             

             

 

 

 

 

 

              

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Hmm You certainly left out a few. Since you mentioned Montauk Downs, I know your list is not only for Nasusa County. Being from NY and living on Long Island for 20 over years, parts of mid Suffolk County have some courses too which you might want to consider adding. 

First, I agree with you on number 1. You can't beat the Black period. The Red IMO is just a version of the Black without the bunkers and since the greens are small and blind shots do come into play, I say yes to it but don't hold a gun to my head. Long Island National IMO is a better than the RED and I had this conversation with many of my fellow golfer friends who have changed their opinion. Montauk is a great course. I would put Montauk second only to the BLACK.  I've played all the courses you list many times but Willow Creek. I am sure Willow Creek is everything I have heard of so I can't comment on it but Cherry Creek, Rock Hill, Long Island National and Smithtown Landings IMO are better courses than any you have listed 5 thru 13. If you haven't played them, then treat yourself especially Cherry Creek which has a PAR 6 18th hole over 600 yards! It's a par 73 course with a great layout that can challenge any golfer. Long Island National I still can't figure out why the PGA or LPGA hasn't consider hosting an event there but "The Black" will always beat it out and maybe why no professional event is considered.  Rock Hill has so many hills it makes the Black course look like a walk in the park and Smithtown Landings with its tight tree lines requires you to hit the ball with accuracy on the tee and with your irons. If you get caught in the deep rough, you might think you're playing the BLACK. JUST RIDICULOUS on how deep it gets! I be interested in hearing what your opinion is if you played these courses or considering. 

Golf is like life.. Only Harder

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