The first leg of the FedEx Cup playoffs bring the season’s best players to New York’s Bethpage State Park this week. If you’re on Long Island for the tournament, here are four courses you should check out.
EISENHOWER PARK (RED): In 1914, Eisenhower Park’s Red Course opened as one of five courses at the private super-club Salisbury C.C. The course flourished during the Gilded Age, playing host to the 1926 PGA Championship, where Walter Hagen won his eighth major, but the course went neglected during the Great Depression. Nassau County took control, and today local papers consistently rate the Devereux Emmet design as one of the top public courses on Long Island. ($36-$64, nassaucountyny.gov, 15 minutes from Farmingdale)
TOWN OF OYSTER BAY GOLF COURSE: Hunker down on the front nine at Oyster Bay, home of some of the narrowest fairways you’ll ever see. Working with a mere 121 acres meant Tom Fazio had to shun length in designing this muni back in 1987, but locals nevertheless sing the praises of this very walkable, well-maintained course. ($61-$73, oysterbaytown.com, 10 minutes from Farmingdale)
LONG ISLAND NATIONAL: It might not be super-exclusive Shinnecock Hills or National Golf Links of America, but this North Fork R.T.J. Jr. design has just about everything you could ask for out of an American links: rolling fairways, plenty of obstacles, and golden fields for almost as far as the eye can see. An hour’s drive east of Bethpage is a lengthy trip, but you’ll be glad you made it. ($59-$99, golflongislandnational.com, 1 hour from Farmingdale)
DYKER BEACH GOLF COURSE: Want to golf with some real New Yorkers? Head to Brooklyn’s Dyker Beach, located in the Bay Ridge neighborhood of “Saturday Night Fever” fame. Accessible by subway and offering views of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, New Yorkers love Dyker. It’s not fancy, but it’s in good shape for the amount of play it gets and offers a true urban golf experience. Our advice? Take one of the pre-6 a.m. tee times to beat the crowds that clog the course later in the day. And here’s some interesting history: Legend has it that a young soldier by the name of Earl Woods developed a passion for the game at Dyker Beach while stationed at nearby Fort Hamilton. ($47-$55, dykerbeach.americangolf.com, 1 hour from Farmingdale)