The game of golf is good wherever you are; we all love hitting long drives and sinking 15-foot putts. However, there is something special about playing the best public Golf courses in New York. These courses are some of the best in the United States and are the envy of the world. People flock from far and wide, and even the very best who have played the game are awe-struck and have struggled to master these courses.
I have compiled my five best public courses in New York and have written a summary of the best parts of each. These courses are all premium courses and will cost a pretty penny to play. As such, the bottom of this list has another 15 of the best public courses in New York.
What is there to add about this breathtaking course? It is based in Long Island and is a mecca for public golf in the United States. Bethpage has five courses including the famous Bethpage Black which played host to the 2019 PGA Championship and will be the venue 2024 Ryder Cup.
My favorite memory of Bethpage Black is Tiger’s 2002 US Open victory where he shot three-under to take the trophy. We all know how the controversy the courted by the USGA with the way they like to set up the course. Still, it is a measure of the course when one of, if not the, greatest golfers of all time can only shoot 3-under par over four rounds at a time when he was at the absolute peak of his golfing powers.
If you are up for the challenger, Bethpage is one of the toughest courses anywhere in the world, but play well, and be rewarded with a noteworthy score. Not that you will be overly fussed about your score in any event – just walking this hallowed turf will be satisfying enough.
Jack Nicklaus and John Sanford designed this links-like course. It regularly features in ‘top-10’ golf course lists for New York and the east coast. This well-maintained and manicured course is in top condition and its greens are legendary. The thing that struck me about Ferry Point was how you are playing a course which could be in the highlands of Scotland while have views overlooking the famous New York City skyline. This surreal experience makes this one of the best public golf courses in New York.
After your round you can chill out in the new clubhouse which claims to be ‘redefining the public golf experience’. Whilst I don’t think Ferry Links is redefining public golf (the other options on this list prove this) it certainly is at the height of luxury.
Atunyote is a Tom Fazio creation that hosted the final rounds of the 2006 and 2016 PGA Club Professional Championship and had a four-year run of the PGA Tour’s Turning Stone Resort Championship. Turning Stone features three tough championship-calibre eighteens, a nine-hole par-three course, and a nine-hole knockabout. The parkland layout is as stunning as it is tough and you will find every nerve and sinew as a golfer tested. My advice would be to drop the scorecard and just enjoy the round. Many a professional has been caught out by Atunyote, and while we all dream of shooting a sub-70 score on a course like this, I wouldn’t get too annoyed if your score approaches three-figures. Trust me; people have done a lot worse.
This course is the perfect place to find peace and quiet on the outskirts of NYC. Of all the courses on this list, this is my personal favourite. It doesn’t have a corporate feel and is built for golfers who recognise and appreciate a well-manicured course. Not all great courses make you feel an urge to return, but this one beckons you back. On any given Sunday, you will have a fighting chance to make a good score, and that is what I love about this course – you always feel rewarded for your best shots, and if you have a good day, you will go low.
It is not just me who loves this course. Pound Ridge is well-renowned by many high profile publications, to name a few:
- Golf Magazine – A Rare Top-Notch Public Course Near NYC
- Golf Magazine – #1 – 10 U.S. Open-Worthy Public Courses
- Golf Magazine – #4 – Best Public Courses in New York
- NY Post – Best 18 Public Golf Holes in the NYC Metro Area
- LINKS – Most Underrated Pete Dye Courses You Should Play, 2020
- GolfDigest – #4 – Best New Public Courses of 2009
- Golf Week – #6 – Best New York Courses You Can Play, 2020
Now, this course is fantastic from 1st to 18th, but it would be reminiscent of me not to start by talking about the 17th. This 195 yard par-3 carries over water to a green sloping down to the water, making it one of the most intimidating tee shots on the course. And, when you think that you are home and dry (maybe! There is a lot of water), you are then faced with an Island tee-box on the 18th and a drive which has trouble down the left. Some courses fizzle out after 18 holes, but this one comes alive on the final two.
Overall, the picturesque lakeside setting makes this one of the most stunning yet challenging courses on the east coast. My tip – take plenty of golf balls because you are sure to lose a few.