The Empire State of New York is a golfer’s haven with nearly 1,000 courses to choose from and some of the best known courses in the world. Whether you want to play in upstate New York, further to the west, or near the Big Apple and Long Island, you have your pick of unforgettable courses. No trip to New York City or the rest of the state is complete without at least one round of golf at one of these great tracks.
But 1000 courses is a lot and knowing where to even begin can be a challenge. To help you wade through the long list of great New York golf courses, here are five New York courses you need to play.
Best Public Course: Bethpage—Black
Located on Long Island not far from New York City, Bethpage State Park boasts five spectacular 18 hole golf courses, the best of which is the world famous Bethpage Black. This prestigious course has an illustrious history and has played host to some of the most iconic golf memories in recent years. Its impressive resume includes U.S. Open’s, PGA Championships, and will include the Ryder Cup when the tournament comes to Bethpage in 2024.
This storied course is also one of the toughest in America with its long, narrow fairways and slew of massive bunkers that eat balls for breakfast. Though the greens are immaculate they are also lightening quick and quite petite.
The course measures 7468 yards from the tips and is a par 71.
Despite its place in golfing lore, because it is part of the state park system, Bethpage Black has an unbelievably affordable price tag. Weekdays you can play a round of 18 walking for $130. The twilight rate is even better at a ridiculous $79.
Best Private Course: Shinnecock Hills Golf Club
Located in the beautiful and wealthy Southhampton area, Shinnecock Hills Golf Club is the best private track in the state. This links style course is surrounded by brilliantly colored tall grasses that contrast the bright green fairways and greens nicely. The long, rolling fairways demand accuracy and the undulating greens put a premium on a quality short game.
Shinnecock Hills measures a robust 7445 yards from the tips and is a par 70.
While it would be nice if any old golfer could play this spectacular golf course, it is private, and only open to members and their guests. But if you happen to know a wealthy Wall Street investment banker or two, I’m sure you’ll get invited to play at some point.
Most Scenic: Atunyote Golf Course
The Tom Fazio-designed Atunyote Golf Course is renowned for its natural, stunning beauty. The course incorporates the waterfalls, meandering streams, and quiet lakes of the area into its layout magnificently and the result is a course with an elegant, regal feel. The brilliant colors of the numerous landscaped flowers and bushes don’t hurt either.
The fairway rolls along and dips slightly to the left as it narrows on the par 4 1st hole. It ends at a mildly sloping green that is tucked away to the left and guarded by several green side bunkers.
Things continue in similar fashion on the second, though this par 4 is a shade longer than number one. The hole again moves from right to left, this time with trees as an obstacle as you approach the green. Stay to the right, which is wide open, and you should have no problem as you work your way to the green.
This majestic golf course is around 7300 yards from the tips and is a regulation par 72.
Atunyote is attached to a restore and guests can play a round of 18 walking for $200. If you are not staying at the resort, the price climbs to $225 for the same.
Most Challenging: Pound Ridge Golf Course
While the distinction of most challenging course in New York really belongs to Bethpage Black, another one of the most demanding courses in the state is the venerable Pound Ridge Golf Course. With slick greens and narrow, contoured fairways, this Pete Dye masterpiece will make you work for a decent round.
The first hole starts with a bunkers strategically located in the logical landing area. The sloping fairway continues and leads to a tiered green surrounded by sand on two sides and with water behind it.
The 2nd hole has water next to the tee which shouldn’t be a problem but another hazard up on the right does come in to play. Especially as you try to avoid the mounded bunkers on the left of the fairways.
The back nine kicks off with a stiff dogleg left that leads to a massive, sloping green. Trees create a narrow corridor effect and anything to the left or right will be trouble.
The course concludes on 18 with sand and water running the length of the fairway. The green is undulating and tilts slightly toward the water.
Pound Ridge plays at 7165 yards from the tips and is a regulation par 72.
Rates start at $125 for 18 holes walking but can go up from there.
The Other Bethpage Courses (Best Deal)
While not as famous or quite as good as the Black course, the other Bethpage courses still offer some fabulous golf that you can play at a great price. The Green, Blue, and Yellow Course can be played for $38 during the week and even less during twilight hours. The Red course is a bit more, starting at $43 for 18 walking during the week.
Golf New York
Perhaps no other state in the country offers as many great courses to choose from as New York. With nearly 1000 courses and some of the best in the world, there is golf to be had for everyone in the Empire State.
Did we miss a course? Share your New York golf experience in the comments section below.