Best Summer Golf Destinations: The East

1 of 10 Courtesy of Samoset Resort
1. Samoset Resort, Rockport, ME; 800-341-1650, Samoset may have its share of design quirks, such as the gargantuan, if somewhat out-of-place closing par 4, but it also has some of the most spectacular seaside holes on the East Coast. Once you’ve met with the Penobscot Bay at the 227-yard, par-3 third, and curved around the Atlantic Ocean on the par-5 fourth, where the Rockland Breakwater (and its historic lighthouse) juts out nearly a mile into the Bay, you’re hooked for good.
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5 of 10 Bethpage State Park
5. Bethpage State Park, Farmingdale, N.Y.; 516-249-0700 In the education of a golfer, Bethpage Black is a bar exam. Ranked No. 6 in our Top 100 Courses You Can Play, the Black bullies players even before they tee off with a sign at the first tee stating: “Warning—The Black Course is an extremely difficult course which we recommend only for highly skilled golfers.” Among the most highly skilled were Tiger Woods and Lucas Glover, who captured the 2002 and 2009 U.S. Opens here, respectively. True, you may have to spend the night in your car just to sign up to play, but it’s worth the discomfort—simply to experience more on-course. Situated in the center of Long Island, Bethpage boasts a fistful of other courses, but most highly prized is the Red. Nowhere near as brawny as its big brother, the Red nevertheless dishes out plenty of bogies, especially on its tougher-than-old-beef-jerky first hole, a monstrous 470-yard par-4.
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8 of 10 Turning Stone Resort
8. Turning Stone Resort & Casino, Verona, NY; 800-771-7711, Three championship courses, an excellent hotel and casino gaming? As a summer destination, situated 40 minutes east of Syracuse, Turning Stone is hard to beat. Start with the exclusive Tom Fazio-designed Atunyote, a superbly conditioned, risk/reward funfest that played host to the PGA Tour from 2006-2010, toss in the low-profile Shenendoah, a Rick Smith creation, its fairways framed by wispy fescue grasses and add in the toughest track of all, Kaluhyat, the handiwork of Robert Trent Jones Jr. and you have a triple play that’s as welcome as three ‘7s’ in a Turning Stone casino slot machine.
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