A trip to New York is often about the bright lights, sightseeing trips to the Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty, taking in a show on Broadway and the round-the-clock hustle and bustle of the Big Apple.
But the city that doesn’t sleep has plenty to offer golfers, too, with some of the most renowned tracks in the United States located in New York and upstate.
While New York doesn’t have the same golfing hub—or the almost guaranteed sunshine—like the west coast and California or Florida and Miami do, the state shouldn’t be overlooked when it comes to golf breaks.
We’ve picked out five of the best golf courses in New York.
Bethpage Black is the standout of five public golf courses in Bethpage State Park and it comes with a rich history. Located in Farmingdale on Long Island, Bethpage Black has hosted the U.S. Open as recently as 2009, and been a PGA TOUR event host having staged The Barclays during the FedExCup series. The par-71 is a serious test at 7,468 yards, but it might be familiar if you are a gamer with Bethpage Black part of the Tiger Woods golf series.
Links courses are more associated with the United Kingdom and in particular The Open Championship. But New York has a peach of one in Shinnecock Hills, situated in Southampton on Long Island. Having already staged the U.S. Open four times, it will add a fifth to that tally this year when the world’s best tee it up in the second major of the year. The par-70 lengthens to 7445 yards for the U.S. Open but traditionally plays around 6800 yards. In addition to being one of the best golf courses in New York, Shinnecock Hills holds the honour of being the oldest golf club in the United States.
Located upstate in Rochester, Oak Hill Country Club has played witness to plenty of memorable moments through the years and you can follow in the footsteps of heroes by playing the East Course and its sibling, the West Course. Having previously hosted three U.S. Opens, three PGA Championships and the 1995 Ryder Cup when Europe recorded a narrow victory, Oak Hill never fails to step up for the big occasions. The par-70 East Course totals 7145 yards while the West Course is a little tamer with the par-71 measuring 6,649 yards.
Stunning is one word that accurately describes Winged Foot. Incredibly tough are two others—therefore it’s no surprise this setting has made it onto our list of the best golf courses in New York. A regular on the PGA TOUR for quite some time, Winged Foot can beat up even the best in the game with length in abundance at 7,264 yards, narrow fairways, punishing rough and no respite from bunkers either. It is a private club located in Mamaroneck, but if you are granted an opportunity to tackle Winged Foot in all its glory, grab it with both hands.
Not the best known of New York’s golf courses but Van Cortlandt is a must-play. Just a short distance from Manhattan, the North Bronx course can list Babe Ruth among its former members. As the oldest public golf course in the city, the venue oozes history. There are two golf courses to choose from at Vanny, as it is known, which sits within the Van Cortlandt Parks.
See also: Top Five Golf Courses in Italy