Whether aiming to try the same greens as legends such as Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson have in the past or play country club-quality courses at an optimal value, these public golf courses on Long Island are must-plays this summer.
Bethpage State Park, Black Course
“The Black” has hosted U.S. Opens and PGA events. It’s the longest public golf course on LI. Walking only! 99 Quaker Meeting House Rd., Farmingdale, bethpagegolfcourse.com.
Bethpage State Park, Red Course
The Red Course’s changing elevations, thick cuts of rough, and trees are akin to the challenges posed by its big brother, the Black Course. Precision is key. 99 Quaker Meeting House Rd., Farmingdale, bethpagegolfcourse.com.
Bergen Point Golf Course
Located on the Great South Bay, the stiff winds and open layout here allow golfers playability and room to miss without penalties. 69 Bergen Ave., West Babylon, bergenpointgolf.com.
Cherry Creek, Links Course
This behemoth trails only Bethpage Black, playing at 7,187 yards. It’s for long hitters who appreciate playability. The fairways are wide and forgiving, with hazards and bunkers enclosing many of the green layouts. 900 Reeves Ave., Riverhead, cherrycreeklinks.com
Crab Meadow Golf Course
This neatly kept course nestled in the hills overlooking the Long Island Sound has elevated tee boxes and greens combined with prickly placed hazards, making for an aesthetically pleasing but challenging 18 holes. 220 Waterside Rd., Northport crabmeadow.com
Eisenhower Park, Red Course
This is not the premier public course in the eyes of many golfers, but it’s draped in history. The Red Course has played host to PGA majors and has been given prestigious honors by golf publications for decades. Stewart and Merrick avenues, East Meadow, nassaucountyny.gov.
Harbor Links Golf Course
The Championship Course, playing at just a shade under 7,000 yards, is seated atop rolling hills and long fescues that give the feel of a country-club quality round. Its well-manicured fairways and greens serve players well. 1 Fairway Dr., Port Washington, harborlinks.com.
Heatherwood Golf Course
Looking for a warm-up round, or just a shorter course in general? Heatherwood features 12 par 3’s and comes it at a total par 60. Wellkept facilities and greens make this round worth it! 303 Arrowhead Ln., Centereach, heatherwoodgolfing.com.
Lido Golf Club
Lido is one of the toughest tracks on the Island. The course is surrounded by water, and that’s apparent while playing the back nine. Between that and the wind gusts, make sure to bring lots of balls. 255 Lido Blvd., Long Beach, lidogolf.com.
Looking for a wide-open track with lots of room for erratic shots? Mill Pond is perfect. There are very few trees or natural obstructions from fairway to fairway, making every shot feel important. A scrambler’s best friend. 300 Mill Rd., Medford,
Rock Hill Golf and Country Club
Celebrating its 50th anniversary, Rock Hill offers prime value with green fees as low as $46 on weekdays. From the tips, Rock Hill’s slope rating (136 at the end of last year) is the third highest of the Island’s public tracks. 105 Clancy Rd., Manorville, rockhillgolf.com.
The Golf Club at Middle Bay
This private club became a public course in 2014 and has been a top South Shore course since. Golfers need long irons and woods in the bag for lengthy par 5’s that are a distinct feature of Middle Bay. 3600 Skillman Ave., Oceanside, thegolfclubatmiddlebay.com.
West Sayville Country Club
Another Suffolk-owned course, this gem on the Great South Bay gives golfers fits with wind gusts and heavy dune out-of-bounds areas lining many fairways. 200 Main St., Sayville, westsayvillegolf.com.
THE 5 HARDEST PUBLIC GOLF COURSES ON LI
5. Bethpage Red: This is a pure straight hitters course that punishes inaccurate drives like few other courses do.
4. Rock Hill Golf Club: Even if all clubs in the bag are working for golfers, the putter can unravel the entire round at Rock Hill.
3. Montauk Downs: Golfers will be forced to play through windy conditions to the greens where they’ll then find some of the most difficult putting greens on the Island.
2. Lido Golf Club: The final five holes at Lido could be the most difficult stretch of public golf on the Island.
1. Bethpage Black: The Black’s thick rough, elevation changes, and length will give even the best golfers in the world fits.