The Empire State, in many ways the symbol of the United States and the home of Lady Liberty, is one of the biggest tourist attractions in America but what about the golf? It is probably worth splitting this intro into two parts, golf in and around New York City and then golf in New York State, so let’s have it.
Many golfers will visit The Big Apple and although there are many things to do here, you obviously need to get your golf fix in too. Van Cortlandt is as central as it gets with the course being located in the North Bronx, a mere subway ride away from Manhattan. ‘The Vannie’ as it is affectionately known, is in fact is the oldest public golf course in America and was the home course of Babe Ruth. This tiny course is truly a golfing oasis in one of the busiest cities in the world. About one hour away from Manhattan, on Long Island, is one of the most revered courses on the US Open circuit, Bethpage Black. The facility at Bethpage consists of five courses in total but The Black Course is the famous, having hosted two US Opens and the Barclays Championship, which it will host in 2016. Further up Long Island is Shinnecock Hills, another US Open venue and one of the five founding clubs of the USGA. This is a fairly exclusive club and a member’s sign-on is required but if you get the chance this is a special course to play.
New York is a great state to visit and consists of more than just NYC. So let’s cast the net wider and see what else is out there. One of the biggest cities in New York is Rochester and it plays home to Oak Hill Country Club, the venue for the 1995 Ryder Cup as well as a US Open and PGA Championships. Designed by Donald Ross, the two courses (East (major venue) and West courses) have been in operation since 1901. Saratoga Springs is the horse racing capital of New York and a favourite holiday destination for many locals, it is also the home of Saratoga National, a hidden gem of a golf course upstate. The course opened in 2001 and is a fantastic place to play!
So good they named it twice, New York is a tremendous destination for golf!