Just how good is the golf in the pastoral banquet of greenery that’s located north of Manhattan? Well, there’s the famed Winged Foot Country Club in Mamaroneck, New York, design by A.W. Tillinghast which has hosted five U.S. Opens (a sixth is slated for 2020), a PGA Championship, and numerous other national tournaments. Less than two miles down the road is Quaker Ridge Golf Club, another masterpiece born from the genius of Tillinghast. And incredibly, as golfers expand their radius to include all of New York’s Westchester County and nearby Fairfield County in Connecticut, they will continue to stumble upon world-class courses so good that, were they located in most any other part of the country, each would easily be the best course not only in their county but the entire state.
To help you find your course, Cameron Swain has shined a spotlight in Elliman Magazine on the two legendary clubs mentioned above, plus a couple of other privates that you should definitely know about. And to get you playing on perfect green fairways right away, we’ve also included two great public courses in the area well worth bragging about.
Who better to assert the brilliance of this 36-hole standout than Westchester County’s Met Golfer magazine, the nation’s top regional golf publication? “What else is there to say about a facility with two courses worthy of national championships?” asks the magazine’s managing editor, Jeff Neuman. “The West is a formidable challenge for any golfer; the East is more fun but may have the more difficult set of greens. The clubhouse is iconic, and the membership takes seriously its place in golf’s history and its future.”
Another Tillinghast treasure, this old-school private course “manages to combine parkland elegance with a degree of quirkiness and mirth that helps it stand out in a very strong region of the country.” So says the long-time architecture editor for Golfweek magazine, Bradley S. Klein. According to James A. Frank, the former editor of Golf Magazine and current editor of LINKS digital magazine, it’s “famous for its opening six holes, which all bend, making it hell if you slice. Like many of the older Westchester courses, it’s a brilliant use of very little land.”
As Jeff Neuman puts it of this Greenwich legend, “Stanwich Club is a big, brawny golf course, always in immaculate condition, with super slick greens.” But apparently the need for speed is proving to be popular among A-list celebrities. Says James A. Frank, “Stanwich is attracting new, younger members, New York City hotshots and athletes among them.”
A nearly treeless stretch of land on the Connecticut shores of Long Island Sound, the 18 holes here offer “the feel of a blowy, saltwater encounter,” as Bradley Klein reverentially puts it. It is a place for those who love links-style golf, adds Jeff Neuman, providing “exhilarating openness and breezes off the sound. A pleasure to play and walk!”
The developers of this premier Westchester County public layout had one thought in mind before breaking ground: Get the most influential golf course architect of the past five decades, Pete Dye. The man responsible for TPC Sawgrass, The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island, Casa de Campo, Harbour Town Golf Links, Whistling Straits, Crooked Stick, and many others didn’t disappoint. As Jeff Neuman says, “Pound Ridge is a rolling funhouse of a course, with bold contours and generous greens.”
Winner of a U.S. Open and two PGA Championships, Centennial course architect Larry Nelson famously called this 340-acre setting, with its rolling hills, ponds, natural rock outcroppings and stunning views, “the most naturally suited to golf” that he has ever seen. John Steinbreder, senior writer for Global Golf Post and the author of 20 books on golf, praises: “Larry Nelson did a masterful job making Centennial as fun to play as it is scenic, and for golfers of all ages and abilities.”