New York City is comprised of five counties or boroughs: Manhattan, the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island, none of which is known for its golf. Manhattan has no course but does have a hi-tech range on the Hudson River at Chelsea Piers. The Golf Club at Chelsea Piers is an amazing place to practice you game with 52 heated and weather protected hitting stalls on four levels.
New to NYC is Golf & Body, an amazing state of the art golf gym that offers all the amenities of a high-end gym with the feel of a country club. The notable amazing feature is the ability to have the same services as a touring PGA Pro.
You May Love New York… but not so much for public access golf
Downstate New York is a treasure trove of golfing riches. To name a few, Long Island boasts Shinnecock Hills, National Golf Links and Garden City, Westchester has Winged Foot, Quaker Ridge, Sleepy Hollow and Century, The New Jersey suburbs have Mountain Ridge, Plainfield, Ridgewood and Baltusrol, and in nearby Connecticut you will find Stanwich, C.C. of Fairfield and Tamarack. The foregoing list barely scratches the surface of the good to great courses that can be found in the New York metropolitan area.
There is Bethpage State Park on Long Island. The famous Black Course at Bethpage, that has now recently hosted two U.S. Opens, is the pride of New York public golf. The Black is one of the greatest, if not greatest, public course in the U.S. and is also a good bang for the buck, even for non-residents. Its sister, the Red Course at Bethpage is also excellent and a bit less brutal while maintaining the challenge and interest. The Red is also less expensive. While not in the same league as the Black or Red, the Blue, Green and Yellow at Bethpage courses are less expensive options for a nice day of golf.
Another good choice on Long Island is the Red Course at Eisenhower Park. This Devereaux Emmet design dates back to the early 20th Century and was originally a private club that was taken over by Nassau County during the Great Depression. It is a solid layout that has hosted PGA Tour events and is preferred over the Robert Trent Jones designed White and Blue courses at Eisenhower Park. Westchester has dozens of terrific private courses. Unfortunately, it’s only public options are the six counties owned courses. www.westchestergov.com/parks/golf.htm
Green fees are around $40 without cart, except for Hudson Hills which is more expensive. The cream of the Westchester muni crop is Hudson Hills in the Town of New Castle (Northeast of Ossining). The non-muni public option is the recently opened Pound Ridge Country Club, a semi-private, “Country Club for a day” Pete Dye layout about an hour North of the City. It is a great facility. www.poundridgegolf.com/
Rockland (15-45 minutes North of the GW Bridge): Rockland is on the opposite side of the Hudson from Westchester and is easily reached by car via the George Washington Bridge or Tappan Zee. Rockland has nine courses open to the public, Spook Rock, in Suffern is generally recognized as the best Muni course in the area and used to be rated in the national magazine rankings of top public courses in the U.S. Patriot Hills in Stony Point opened less than ten years ago. http://www.patriothillsgolfclub.com/
Northern NJ (North of Route 80): The West Course at the Knoll Country Club in Parsippany is a semi private club operated by the town of Parsippany. It is a classic Charles Banks layout originally opened as a private club in the late 1920’s. This is a top choice and well worth the drive from the City. The Crystal Springs Resort in Hamburg, NJ has 5 courses. Balleyowen, a faux links is the most popular. The other choices there, Crystal Springs, Black Bear, Great Gorge and Wild Turkey good choices as well. Orange County Mansion Ridge is probably the most popular public course in Orange County. It is an up-scale semi-private Country Club for a day type of course. It is the only Jack Nicklaus designed course in NY. The West Point golf course is a nice option.
See What Your Golf Game is made of in the Constitution State
Eighty-nine public courses and 81 private clubs are sprinkled throughout the Nutmeg State. The annual Buick Championship (formerly the Greater Hartford Open) is played just 10 miles south of Hartford at the TPC at River Highlands, a private course well worth trying to get access to. For Public play, the Crestbrook Park Golf Course in Watertown always rates well. It may be in view of New York City, but a day trip to Liberty National Golf Club, the waterfront golf course that opened in Jersey City in 2006, feels like a true escape. That could be because the easiest way to Liberty National from Manhattan is by catamaran. The club’s custom-built, 47-foot boat makes hourly trips from Chelsea Piers and the Financial District, and there are televisions and snacks on board to occupy members during the 15-minute ride. For a course that was built on a former landfill, Liberty National gets high marks. It hosted the prestigious Barclays Golf Tournament in 2009 and 2013. Fifteen holes on the par 71, 7,346-yard course face the Statue of Liberty and Manhattan skyline.
The New York Golf Center has three locations in New York City and has managed to create a unique niche in the golf retail world. Started by the Rhee family 25 years ago the flagship store on West 35th Street has now grown to a two story facility which includes a Golf Digest rated top 100 fitting center. The private fitting studios can be found in two of the locations; the Herald Square (W 35th Street) and the Grand Central (Park Avenue) facility and are a unique factor in that they have state of the art fitting technology thus giving the customer custom fit and custom built clubs under one roof. Josh Chervokas, COO of New York Golf Center explains “We feature world class custom build services through our partner Cool Clubs in Scottsdale Arizona who’s state of the art build shop is responsible for the crafting the tools of choice for more than 75 PGA tour professionals. Fittings feature only Trackman launch monitors and offer the latest premium golf equipment from Taylor Made, Callaway, Titleist, Ping, Mizuno, Miura and more. All specifications can be customized to a player’s specific needs to insure maximum performance and the best golfing experience.”
There has been a shift in the way golfers are purchasing they are making decisions to buy everything from clubs, footwear, balls and clothing from the perspective of technology rather than brand. One of the areas where there is a noticeable difference is in club fitting and the technology available. It is no longer one size fits all as Chervokas explains “You would never go out and buy one side clothing or shoes and just fit into them. That is what people were doing prior with golf clubs. The one size fits all is on longer the best option when we can help people get what is best for them then they play better golf and have more fun on the course and isn’t that the objective for all of us”.
The goal at the New York Golf Center is to provide a premium golf experience and that also includes top of the line merchandise including things for the discerning golfer like a special case of Scotty Cameron limited edition putters for sale. They also have a pro shop at Chelsea Piers providing golfers the opportunity to try clubs while playing in the state of the art multi-tier hitting facility that overlooks the Hudson River and the Statue of Liberty. Truly a New York experience.