WorldGolf.com reader wants to know: 'Where can I take my golf group in New York City?'
WorldGolf.com reader Bud has written in asking about where he can take a group to golf in New York City.
Well Bud, you’ve picked a doozy of a destination - though not necessarily the most logistically good one for golf. There’s plenty of off-course stuff to do, so if you’re looking for an action-packed trip, you’ve picked your city, so long as you’re able to deal with some traffic “challenges” getting out to the courses.
Truth is, New York could have been America’s best golf destination. Unfortunately, most of the top courses are very, very private. Click here for my woulda-coulda-shoulda column during the Barclays at Liberty National last year about New York City: The Golf Destination that never was.
If you’ve got friends in high places, consider trying to make some phone calls to play the prestigious clubs. Otherwise, you’re booking tee times with the riff-raff.
The irony in New York City golf is that while some of the most exclusive courses like Winged Foot and Shinnecock Hills, it’s also home to the most accessible U.S. Open venue: Bethpage Black. Though getting a tee time here usually means sleeping in your car or getting hooked up from a local New Yorker with better tee time privileges, the next door Bethpage Red Course, another A.W. Tillinghast design, is a very good in its own right.
Also on Long Island is another state park course, Montauk Downs, is a worthy play according to Zagat’s 2009 Golf Guide. I’d recommend picking up a copy of Zagat’s, and not just because I helped edit it. It’s a handy and thorough guide to keep in your suitcase that can help narrow down your selections, especially around dense metropolitan areas.
About 60 miles from NYC In New Jersey, Crystal Springs Resort features seven courses of varying quality, including the best of the bunch, the Ballyowen.
Lastly, if you have some gamblers in your group, consider making the 2.5-hr drive up to Foxwoods in Connecticut, home to an impressive casino resort and the Lake of Isles Golf Club, featuring 36 holes of Rees Jones-designed golf course (though only 18 are public) that’s spacious enough to make you forget you’re near the bustling eastern seaboard.
Wherever you go, save enough time to cope with traffic. One solution I learned from friend of the blog Larry Olmsted was in his USA Today Golfer’s World blog, he mentioned a service, NY Golf Shuttle, that books hard-to-get tee times and can also handle the transportation.
My tips are more from research and word-of-mouth than first-hand experience, so if any New Yorkers would like to chime in with their own suggestions, feel free to comment. Otherwise, good luck with your trip Bud and we’d love to hear about it.
You can follow Brandon Tucker’s golf blog and more on Twitter: http://twitter.com/brandontucker or follow WorldGolf.com at Twitter.com/worldgolf . Have a golf travel question for Brandon? Email him by clicking here
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