Easter Sunday is the last chance -- for now -- to get a smooth roll over Lido Golf Club's greens before April aeration begins. The course will be aerating its greens on Monday, April 21 through Friday, April 25.
Up north at Bethpage, the Yellow Course will be closed for aeration on April 22 and 23, followed by the Green Course on April 30 and May 1.
You can always reserve a time on the Black, Red and Blue courses, all of which have already completed their spring maintenance.
The Town of Islip municipal courses are offering an early-spring deal that allows golfers to ride anytime after 11 a.m. for $42 (all fees included). As always, all players must reserve a tee time online and arrive at the course with a printed website coupon.
The April special is valid at Brentwood Tuesday through Sunday, and at Holbrook Wednesday through Monday. Holbrook is often closed for outings on Tuesdays.
Twilight rates begin at 2 p.m. this month at both courses.
Brentwood CC is a Devereux Emmet design that is flat, open and enjoyable for walkers and beginners. A stretch of short par-4s on the back nine make it a good course for scoring low. Holbrook CC is a tougher test thanks to uncomfortably narrow fairways. Tall pines overshadow all playing areas.
To view all valid specials at Brentwood and Holbrook, check their coupons page.
Oceanside's South Bay Country Club emerged last spring from the destruction left behind by Hurricane Sandy and replaced the former Middle Bay Country Club. A year later, out of a legal mess that abruptly ended South Bay's stint along the shore after only one season comes The Golf Club at Middle Bay, the latest edition of the scenic golf course on Skillman Avenue. The course is tentatively scheduled to reopen on May 1.
The "new" Middle Bay shouldn't look much different to golfers who visited South Bay in 2013. The biggest change is at the top, where the longtime property owner, who leased the club to Middle Bay CC and South Bay in the past, will now double as the club operator. Ron Wright remains at Middle Bay as the golf director and golf operations manager.
The club will also feature a semi-private structure similar to what was in place last season at South Bay. Preferred tee-time memberships are currently being offered for weekends and include access to the handicapping system, pro-shop discounts, bag storage and other perks. The course will welcome the public at all other times -- $80 peak rates on weekends, $69 during the week ($55 for seniors) and a loyalty rewards program available for frequent players. Nine-hole and twilight rates have yet to be determined.
Wright says the club is shooting to open the driving range as early as April 22. The 16-stall range was rebuilt early in last year's playing season and opened in July. Nearby, a new halfway house is awaiting town permits and should be ready for thirsty golfers by the end of spring.
Golf On Long Island profiled the course last May and visited again in the summer. Not long after announcing that the course would be open year-round, South Bay abruptly closed due to lease violations. Eventually the course operator was forced to vacate the premises, leaving the future of the site in doubt.
The course is best known for bayside holes -- #7 and #8 -- that offer panoramic views of the south shore waterways and barrier islands. It also mixes in a variety of interior parkland holes. For more on the fairways and greens at The Golf Club at Middle Bay, check out Golf On Long Island's course flyover.
Veterans and active-duty military personnel are eligible to receive discounts at county-operated golf courses in Nassau and Suffolk, according to announcements made this week by both county governments.
In Nassau, a new "Lifetime Leisure Passport" allows veterans and military personnel to play at the county's five municipal golf facilities -- Eisenhower Park, North Woodmere Park, Bay Park, Cantiague Park and Christopher Morley Park -- for a discounted green fee. Veterans can get the new Lifetime Passport at any of the Leisure Pass centers for a one-time fee of $25 (regular resident Leisure Passes are $25, but must be renewed every three years). Only address verification is required every three years to extend the benefits. Active-duty personnel, including spouses and children, can also receive the Pass benefits with valid military identification.
“After having given so much of themselves for our nation, this is the least that Nassau County can do to show our gratitude," said County Executive Ed Mangano in a press release. "It is my hope that we see many more veterans and military families enjoying our parks, golf courses and all that we have to offer recreationally in the months and years to come.”
More information is available at the Nassau County website, or call (516) 572-0200 for additional details.
Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone announced on Wednesday that veteran and military discounts implemented last year as part of a county pilot program are now permanent.
“Members of the military serve to protect the freedoms of this country,” said County Legislator Jay Schneiderman in a press release. “This is one small way we can show our appreciation to the men and women of the armed forces.”
The veteran and military 18-hole rates will be $17 on weekdays, $30 on weekends/holidays and $11 for twilight rounds, valid at the Suffolk's four county-operated courses -- Timber Point, Bergen Point, West Sayville and Indian Island. Veterans must submit DD Form 214 or a Suffolk County Veteran Resident ID card issued by the Suffolk County Veterans Agency.
Visit the Suffolk County website for more details, or call the Parks Department at (631) 854-4949 for information.
The transition from winter to spring golf season has been extremely slow to get moving, much to the dismay of eager area golfers. So while stuck inside waiting for the return of enjoyable course conditions, you might as well turn your attention to the transition from spring to summer, especially if there's a junior golfer waiting there beside you.
For adult golfers, summer means searching for weekend tee times, stocking up on new lightweight golf shirts and settling in for a post-round beer and cigar. For juniors, summer is a time to take their developing game to the next level under the guidance of local professionals.
Teaching pros across Long Island -- including some who have received national recognition for their work as golf and junior-golf instructors -- have developed summer camp programs that school young players in key fundamentals, the swing, etiquette and other aspects of the game. These golf camps offered at a handful of Long Island courses are designed to either put the first building blocks in place for newcomers or provide expert guidance for skilled juniors looking to enhance their abilities, all in a fun environment with contests, prizes and more.
The following is a basic overview of 2014 summer junior golf camps available and open for registration at various public courses around Long Island. For more information, follow the links below to the course websites and junior camp pages.
(Please note that this is not a complete list of Long Island summer golf camps. If courses or facilities in your area are not included here, contact them directly to learn about any available camps, clinics and instructional programs.)
Crab Meadow: The High School Development Program is a unique instruction and competition experience designed for the intermediate player looking to advance his or her game. On-course play includes lessons in course management, short game, reading greens, club selection and bunker play, as well as head-to-head match competition. Three-hour sessions take place on Thursdays in July and August. Cost for the program is $375 (green fees included). Call (631) 499-8005 for additional program info.
Dix Hills Park: Basic Program open to junior players from age 6 to 14 with limited or no golf experience. The program stresses safety, rules and etiquette through games and contests in a fun atmosphere. Club Division open to boys and girls who are ready for on-course instruction and play. Campers in this program receive advanced instruction and are introduced to various competition formats. Six-week sessions take place on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays and begin the week of July 8. (Club Division is Thursdays only.) Cost is $325 (Basic)/$350 (Club). Visit the junior golf program page for more info.
Gold Coast Golf Center at the Town of Oyster Bay Golf Course: A total of 12 weekly sessions are available beginning in June. Half-day camps for kids age 5 to 7 focus on fundamentals in an environment designed to foster development and interest in the sport. A transitional camp, which includes on-course play, is open to golfers from age 8 to 10. Full-day camps include on-course instruction and are open to juniors age 10 and up. Also available is a travel camp that is geared toward intermediate players and those who compete in tournaments or school play. Other programs and discounts are available. Call (516) 682-4776 or visit the registration page for full camp info.
Harbor Links Golf Course: All camps begin the week of June 30. Weekly programs for kids age 6 to 9 run Tuesday to Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and include games and drills that help develop important skills and fundamentals. Separate programs for teens age 10 to 16 are split into AM and PM sessions and run Monday to Friday. These cover the full swing, short game, course management, rules and etiquette, and conclude with a two-day "Junior Scramble" team tournament. Cost is $450 for the 6-9 camp and $585 for the 10-16 camp, with discounts available for family and friends. For all program information, schedules and registration forms, visit the Harbor Links website.
Holbrook Country Club: One-hour sessions offered every Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to noon, and Wednesdays through Fridays from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m., starting in July. Juniors can attend any six sessions for $175; no reservation necessary. For more, visit Holbrook's Junior Golf page or contact Rob Callahan at (516) 695-1464.
Indian Island Country Club: Weekly full-day camps include lunch, prizes, skills contests and on-course competition. Camps are open to boys and girls of all skill levels between the ages of 7 and 16. Fees are $495 per week, per camper, with family, returnee and multi-week discounts available. Sessions begin June 30 and last through August. See the Indian Island camp brochure for all details.
Island's End Golf & Country Club: Weekly sessions begin July 8 and are open to intermediate and advanced junior golfers age 10 and up (younger players with high skill levels will be accepted). Programs run Monday to Friday from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m., with an extra hour on Friday for on-course instruction. All campers receive a junior golf gift. Cost is $200 for each week-long session. Visit the Island's End website for more information.
Long Island Golf Camps / Mike Reilly Golf Academy: Long Island Golf Camps runs programs at two public courses -- Peninsula Golf Club (Massapequa) and Sumpwams Creek/E. Donald Conroy Golf Course (Babylon). The Peninsula camp is a week-long, full-day program (9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.) with sessions beginning June 23. It includes instruction on different aspects of the swing, daily lunch, on-course play and a Friday tournament. Babylon camps run Monday to Friday and are split into AM and PM programs. Instruction takes place on the course and short-game area. Enrollment is $550 for the Peninsula camp and $239 for the Babylon camp. For schedules and registration, and for information on a third camp program held at the private Colonial Springs Golf Club, visit the Long Island Golf Camps website.
Mill Pond: Camps are available in 3-day and 5-day sessions beginning the week of July 8. The shorter programs are beginner-oriented with a focus on fundamentals for new players. Juniors with some playing experience will receive instruction on course management, rules and etiquette. Week-long programs are geared to more experienced juniors, with course instruction included during the last two days. Cost is $160 (3-day) and $240 (5-day), with $20 discounts for Town of Brookhaven residents. Visit the Mill Pond website or call (631) 732-8249 for info on registration, schedule and program format.
Poxabogue Golf Center: A total of ten sessions run from the week of June 23 to the week of August 25. Sessions are Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 12 noon, and are open to boys and girls from age 7 to 16. Campers will learn basics of the full swing, short game, course management, rules and etiquette, and will receive a hat, snacks and giveaways. Cost is $349 per session. See the camp application for details.
Smithtown Landing Country Club: Five different camp programs led by PGA professional and Hall of Famer Michael Hebron begin the week of June 30 and run until late August. Morning sessions take place weekly from 8:30 to 1:00 and an afternoon session (on Mondays) meets from 2:00 to 5:30. Campers receive a shirt and will get to play on Smithtown Landing's par-3 course. Enrollment ranges from $345 to $495, with discounts available for family and multiple sessions. Visit the course website or check out the camp application form for more details.
Stonebridge Golf Links: Three different programs are available for beginners through intermediate players. Half-day sessions are geared to beginners age 6 to 9 and focus on fundamentals, rules, etiquette and course/club basics. Full-day camps help experienced players age 10 and up improve on skills and knowledge through on-course play and instruction. Weekly camps meet on four consecutive Tuesday afternoons, with different aspects of the game covered each week plus on-course play. Cost is $120 for weekly camps, $200 for half-day and $350 for full-day. See the camp brochure for session schedules and registration info.
Timber Point Golf Course: Six-week Basic Program is designed for new players from age 7 to 10, and focuses on fundamentals, safety, rules and etiquette through fun games and contests. Club Division (four-week and eight-week programs available) is open to experienced juniors from age 11 to 15 and includes advanced instruction and on-course play. Basic and Club sessions begin the week of July 1 and run through mid-August. Call (631) 581-2401 or see the camp sign-up form for price, schedule and registration information.
West Sayville Golf Course: Eight-week programs (total of eight four-hour sessions) are available on Tuesdays through Fridays beginning July 8. Campers receive instruction at the range and on the course, with instruction concentrating on all aspects of the swing, including grip, stance and alignment, plus bunker play and video analysis. The $475 fee also includes shirt, hat and rule book. Visit the course website and download the camp registration form for more information.
Shoreham's Tallgrass Golf Course jumped to #7, trailing only the Black, historic Leatherstocking Golf Course in Cooperstown, two courses at the Turning Stone Resort and Casino, Pound Ridge and Saratoga National. Bethpage Red and Montauk Downs follow a few spots behind at #12 and #13, respectively.
On the Classic Courses list, Bethpage Black rose one spot from #21 last year into the top 20 in 2014. This list, which ranks courses built before 1960, includes eight other Long Island clubs, with Shinnecock Hills and National Golf Links in the top five.
For more on all four courses, including Closer Looks at Tallgrass #8 and Red #13, check out the course flyovers via the above links.
New York State is preparing to announce a $65 million Jones Beach restoration project that will renovate old, historic structures and add new food and recreation facilities, according to Newsday. The park's pitch-and-putt golf course, closed since Hurricane Sandy, will be replaced by one of those new additions.
Bordered by the beach on the south and overseen by the park's iconic tower, the Jones Beach course will make way for an "adventure play area" of zip lines, rock-climbing walls and water features, the Newsday report says. The site is between Jones Beach's Central Mall and East Bathhouse, both of which will be undergoing their own renovations.
The pitch-and-putt course was a frequent victim of flooding and coastal storms. In 2010, the course was closed until the summer due to necessary turf repairs following a series of nor'easters. Last May, more than six months after Hurricane Sandy, a Jones Beach staffer said the damaged course had been sitting untouched since the storm.
The $65 million restoration will also include new athletic fields, picnic areas, food vendors and fee booths. For more on the project, see Newsday's March 20 report.
Kids and teens across Long Island have a few more weeks to tune up before the 2014 USSSA Junior Golf Tour gets underway. Once it tees off it's a race to the top of the leaderboard and a spot in the organization's national championship.
The 2014 USSSA Junior Golf Tour begins next month with a two-day event on April 5-6 at Mill Pond Golf Course in Medford, the first stop on the way to the USSSA Junior Golf Championship at TPC Louisiana outside New Orleans. The Tour continues later this season with tournaments at Smithtown Landing Country Club and Spring Lake Golf Club. Boys and girls age 9 to 18 are welcome to compete in any of the qualifying events.
Registration is open through the Global Recreation Network, which operates the Long Island branch of the USSSA Tour. Now entering its third season running Junior Golf Tour events, Global Recreation is eager to send more young players to the national championship. GRN holds around a half-dozen tournaments each season, with past winners earning spots on the national stage in Orlando.
The most notable feature of the Junior Golf Tour is the pro-style treatment that players receive from the GRN staff. "Our mission with every sport we organize is to treat amateurs like professionals," says Global Rec president and CEO Ray Coyne. "We want every kid that participates in our events to have an incredible experience no matter what skill level."
Videographers and staff reporters are on hand at the events to conduct interviews with each player, some of which are streamed live on the GRN website, and photographers capture memorable images on and off the course. Photos, videos and player profiles from the 2013 Tour can be seen in the Junior Golf section of the GRN website.
Players can register in three age groups: 9-11, 12-14 and 15-18. Contact GRN for information on entry fees, deadlines and other requirements.
The next qualifier is scheduled for May 17-18 at Smithtown Landing.
For more information on the Junior Tour and all its offerings, visit GlobalRec.net or contact Ray Coyne at (631) 482-3264, ext. 701, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
USSSA, a leading national sports association best known for slow-pitch softball, gives amateur athletes the chance to compete in local and national championships in a growing number of sports. USSSA's Junior Golf Championship Tour is one of the association's newest offerings. Based in Mount Sinai, Global Recreation Network runs USSSA events and tournaments on Long Island, including adult softball, youth baseball and junior golf.
Golfing Magazine's annual Free Golf Program is back in 2014, and so is its Early Bird Special, which gives local golfers a discount on already-discounted rates at top courses across the Island.
For $39 now through the end of April, the Hicksville-based magazine's Free Golf Program includes a one-year subscription plus a certificate that entitles holders to "free" green fees at nearly a dozen Long Island courses. (Only cart fees are required.) After April the subscription rises to $49. Participating courses will be announced later in the spring. Certificates are valid for one round at each course until the end of the year.
On top of that, the certificate is also valid at dozens of courses across upstate New York and New England. Here on the Island, the 2013 program included 12 courses from as far west as the new South Bay Country Club in Oceanside to the eastern tip at Island's End in Greenport.