By Jordan Fuller
Recently moved to Long Island? If you’re a golfer, you’re probably going to be wondering where you can play a great round nearby. The good news is, there are plenty of excellent golf courses around Long Island. Unfortunately, many of them are private courses with access for members and their guests only, although they’re well worth playing if you find a member of the golfing community willing to take you along for a round.
This is our expat’s guide to the best golf courses in Long Island. Although one or two are private courses that are just too good to pass up, most of those on this list are public courses that you can head to at any time for some great golf.
Let’s check them out.
Best for Experienced Golfers
Bethpage State Park Black Course (Farmingdale)
A list of Long Island golf courses wouldn’t be complete without Bethpage Black. However, it’s certainly not for everyone—it’s one of the most difficult courses you’ll find, so we advise only giving it a go if you’re experienced and looking for a proper challenge.
It’s a parkland layout with impressive trees scattered throughout, beautiful bunkering, a treacherous rough, and just a single water hazard, despite its difficulty level. The fairways may be extremely challenging, but surprisingly, the well-protected greens are very flat.
The signature hole is the 517-yard, par-5 4th, which features dual doglegs and tricky bunkers that challenge you from shot one.
And the best thing is that this course is open to the public, so if you’re looking for a challenging round of golf for an experienced golfer, this is definitely the one.
Best Public Course
Eisenhower Park Golf Course (East Meadow)
An all-American golf course, Eisenhower Park features red, white, and blue golf courses, each with fun and challenges of their own.
It’s been around for a long time, with the most famous course—Red—hosting the PGA Championships back in the 1920s.
As well as the three championship courses, the park also features four executive courses of 9 holes each, which allows golfers to get in some gameplay without having to commit to a full 18 holes.
This is ideal for those who are short on time, looking for a relaxed, fun round or still learning. Alternatively, the 60-by driving range is a good choice for working on your swing.
Best for All Levels
Swan Lake Golf Club (Manorville)
Swan Lake Golf Club features an 18-hole layout that’s varied enough to present fun and challenge for golfers of all levels.
Spacious, sweeping fairways and notoriously oversized greens grace every hole. Add some strategically-placed sand traps and water hazards on half the holes, and you’ve got an interesting and exciting course.
This layout makes the course suitable for golfers of every level of ability. Amateur golfers will enjoy the wide-openness of the course, while there’s still enough hazards to be challenging for more experienced golfers.
Great for the Whole Family
Peninsula Golf Course (Massapequa)
If you’re looking for something to do with the whole family that involves a round of golf, Peninsula Golf Course is a great place to spend a few hours.
The course is just nine holes, but it’s enough for a quickfire round or a game with the family. You can also take a group golf lesson with the resident PGA professional. They also offer after-school programs if your kids are serious about learning.
You can have breakfast or lunch at the resident café, Rita’s, either before or after your round. You can also hold events here, so it’s a great spot for a golf-themed party.
Take note that you will need to make a reservation online if you want to play a round of golf, as they don’t accept walk-ins.
Pine Hills Golf Club (Manorville)
Pine Hills Golf Club has been voted the number one course in Long Island by GOLFNOW, and it’s a much-loved favorite amongst golfers in the area.
It’s located in the beautiful Pine Barrens, making it feel like you’re a million miles away from the real world. Worries get left behind.
Forgiving fairways lined with stunning pine trees lead you to plush greens. New golfers and experienced players alike will enjoy the game on this par-73 course.
Best Luxury Experience
Willow Creek Golf & Country Club (Mt. Sinai)
The entire experience of Willow Creek Golf and Country Club is luxurious. The golf course is a winding resort-style layout, with many natural hazards in a beautiful setting.
As well as stunningly manicured fairways and greens, the architecture of the country club oozes luxury.
The Grill Room restaurant overlooks the 16th hole, the course’s signature. It offers both spectacular course views and a variety of amazing meals.
This is the place to be if you have a fancy event coming up. Weddings, conferences, team buildings, and other events can be enjoyed in this stunning setting.
Go With a Member
Shinnecock Hills Golf Club (Southampton)
Shinnecock Hills is an historic golf course, being the first 18-hole track in the late 1800s. It’s regularly named amongst the top courses in the country, but it’s members and their guests only, so if you want to play here, you’ll need an invite.
The links-style golf course is laid out on rolling hills and although there’s only one water hazard on the entire course, every hole has its own exciting challenge.
The signature 7th Redan-style hole is famous for its small, tricky putting surface that slopes severely from right to left.
Another thing that adds challenge to this course is the prevailing Atlantic wind, which requires calculated strategy and patience to conquer.
Although our expat’s guide to the best golf courses in Long Island focuses mainly on public golf courses, there are plenty more private golf courses that you may be able to join someone at for a round.
If you’re looking for a golf club to join, we highly recommend getting involved in the local golfing community so you can find a chance of getting a round in. Join the Facebook groups, talk to local golfers, and try to play as many of them as possible so you can find the course that you truly love and can call home.
Jordan Fuller is an experienced golfer who’s played on courses across the country. When he’s not on the course or in the pro shop, he’s writing golf-related articles and reviews for his website, Golf Influence.