The Red Course at Eisenhower Park recently received a four-star rating from Golf Digest in its latest edition of the Best Places To Play for 2008-09, joining a handful of fellow Long Island courses rated four stars ("outstanding") and above.
Golf Digest notes the Red's value and great conditioning, specifically citing its "phenomenal big greens" and "beautiful walk in the park." Newsday also ranks it as one of the best public courses on LI.
Its new four-star status is bright news for the Red, which has been the subject of somewhat negative press of late. Last year Nassau County took a beating for making carts mandatory on the Red in an effort supposedly designed to speed up play, but the change was ripped apart by long-time walkers and those who saw the change as a transparent money grab. The plan was quickly scrapped. Then, as of this Summer, the future of the Commerce Bank Championship became a question mark due to sponsorship issues.
Though the Red, White and Blue at Eisenhower are the closest and most convenient courses for me to play, I usually prefer to head east where the crowds are thinner and the layouts are a little more creative. Rounds at all three of the Eisenhower courses tend to move at a rather sluggish pace.
Twelve Long Island courses received four or more stars from Golf Digest in its latest Places To Play listing. Bethpage Black is the lone five-star ("superb") layout, and Bethpage Red and Green, Montauk Downs and Harbor Links each received 4 1/2. The Red joins Bethpage Blue and Yellow, Island's End, Long Island National, Mill Pond and Pine Hills as four-star selections, which the Digest describes as courses to "plan your next vacation around."