Scenes from Rockaway Hunting Club, a classic course in Sandy's path

Scenes from Rockaway Hunting Club, a classic course in Sandy’s path

Hurricane Sandy left a boat in the fairway at No. 15 at Rockaway Hunting Club in Lawrence, N.Y.
Ryan George

Ryan George, the head professional at Rockaway Hunting Club in Lawrence, N.Y., was waiting out Hurricane Sandy in his house about five minutes from the club when the transformers started exploding.

"I could tell this was going to be bad," he said. "It was like a lightning display."

A year removed from Hurricane Irene, George knew the golf course would endure some flooding. Irene left about four or five holes under water. What Sandy left behind was much worse.

When the hurricane finally passed, George went out to assess the damage. It didn't take long for him to realize just how bad it was.

For starters, there was a boat in the middle of the 15th fairway.

"Pretty shocking," George said. "No one ever saw water come up that far."

The Rockaway Hunting Club is located off Brosewere Bay on Long Island, only a few a miles from some of the areas hit hardest by Hurricane Sandy, including Breezy Point. Established in 1878, it is the oldest country club in the U.S., according to its Web site. It started as a polo and hunting club before later adding a golf course.

Fortunately for the club, the pro shop and clubhouse were spared any flooding. After nearly two weeks in the dark, the power finally came back on Saturday. It was a first step in trying to return the club to normal operations.

After Irene, George said the club opened again in less than a month. Because it's November, opening the course for play isn't a priority right now. Instead, George said, they've been focused on helping dozens of members who live near the club, and they collected supplies to donate to the residents of Staten Island, Breezy Point and Long Beach.

As for that boat in the 15th fairway, George said they'll have to wait for the ground to freeze before they can bring a truck out to remove it.

"We can let that boat sit there for a little bit," he said.

George took many pictures of the golf course and the destruction Hurricane Sandy left behind. You can see them here.