Long Island is famous for its miles of Atlantic Ocean beaches, but it’s also known as the home to many scenic and challenging golf courses. In fact, there have been four US Open events held in this suburban area of New York City, as of April 2010. Professional golfers love the courses in Nassau and Suffolk County, but Long Island public golf courses are also popular with residents and visitors.
Courses on Long Island are located in parks and at country clubs and golf clubs. Long Island Golf News lists more than 100 clubs or parks with at least one golf course. In Nassau County, 13 of these are public and offer a total of 17 courses. Suffolk County has 43 locations with 53 courses. Some of the municipal courses are open to residents of the area only at certain times.
Bethpage State Park
Bethpage State Park is home to the most famous golf course on Long Island and one of the top courses in the world. The Black Course was the site for the US Open tournament in 2002 and 2009, but is just one of five courses at the park, which was once a private estate. The others–Red, Blue, Green and Yellow– are also 18-hole public courses. More than a quarter of a million rounds of golf are played on Bethpage courses every year.
Other Top Courses
In addition to the Bethpage State Park courses, Explore Long Island names a number of other public courses as the best on Long Island: Montauk Downs State Park Golf Course in Montauk, Long Island National Golf Club in Riverhead, Eisenhower Park Red Course in East Meadow, Lido Golf Club in Lido Beach, Town of Oyster Bay Golf Course in Woodbury, and Harbor Links Golf Course in Port Washington.
There is no set fee for all public golf courses on Long Island, but residents–of the town, county or state, depending on the park–always pay less. Fees might even be different for each course at the same park. At Bethpage, for example, the cost of the Black course is almost double that of the others. Fees also are higher on weekends.
Even though there are many golf courses on Long Island, they fill up fast and some of the public courses–especially those in the state parks–do not take reservations. Call the course you are interested in playing to find out its polices regarding sign-ups for courses and waiting times.