Established in the late 1800s, Shinnecock Hills Golf Club is one of the legendary clubs in this part of Long Island, along with The National, which is right next door, and Maidstone, said to be the finest and loveliest of the trio. Shinnecock is both one of the first US courses and also the closest any US course comes to being an authentic links. The graceful clubhouse surveys the layout, which proceeds over gently hilly ground. The front nine holes vary in orientation as they work their way down and then back up to the clubhouse. The back nine are even more compelling, and build to a closing stretch that was the scene of much drama in the 1986, 1995 and 2004 US Opens. The length may now be insufficient for tournament play; one only hopes that nothing too drastic will be done to this masterpiece in preparation for the scheduled 2018 Open.