The Cantiague Park Golf Course is a 1,878-yard par-30 in Hicksville, located minutes away from the Wantagh Parkway, Northern State Parkway and Long Island Expressway. Of the four Nassau County-operated nine-hole courses, only Christopher Morley Park is shorter. Cantiague features three short par-4s ranging from 257 to 272 yards, and six mid-length to long par-3s.
Like its counterparts at Christopher Morley, North Woodmere and Bay Park, Cantiague is a popular destination for beginners and young players. The course is flat, hazard-free and easy to walk. Experienced players can fine-tune their long irons here -- three of Cantiague's par-3s stretch at least 180 yards. Anyone in the mood to let loose with the driver is better off crossing the road to Cantiague's 36-stall driving range.
Cantiague opens with a 259-yard par-4. Three small bunkers pinch diagonally into the left fairway but should be cleared with a well-struck hybrid or wood. The green on the 173-yard second hole is hugged by a pair of large bunkers on the entire left and right sides, and a backside pin is guarded by a ridge and back-to-front slope. Sand traps offer considerably less protection on the 150-yard third and, later, the 157-yard seventh.
There is some hidden danger on the 200-yard fourth, where shots to the right can slip down into a recess against or under the perimeter fence. Strong shots into the center of the quirky green can also funnel through the putting surface and off the back. At 257 yards, the fifth green can be reached with the driver, though the target line is slightly obscured by trees in the bend of the fairway. The 272-yard sixth is Cantiague's longest hole. Its elevated green is shielded in the front by two bunkers, one of which sports raised lips that threaten to reject any sand shot that's not sufficiently lofted.
A bunker on the 228-yard, par-3 eighth serves as a similar kind of deterrent. Tee shots can easily plug into the right-side bunker's steep front face, making for a potentially unpleasant attempt at a sand save. The ninth hole is a long 182-yarder with a large, flat green.
I may be off on my estimate, but Cantiague seems to be the busiest of the four short County courses. During peak times this can lead to slow, frustrating rounds. Recently I got stuck behind an inexplicable and rarely-before-seen eightsome (it might have been a tensome, but I lost count). Lucky for me, I was part of the last group out for the day and decided to just stay behind and exercise my irons on the early par-3s.
Considering the volume, Cantiague's fairways and greens are in very good shape. Even after days of rain, puddles are confined to areas out of play. Some greens, like #2 and #6, have a pronounced back-to-front slope. Rough can be fairly high and thick in some spots, especially in open areas or clearings away from the targets.
HOLE(S) TO REMEMBER:
The fourth hole, a 200-yard par-3, is interesting because of its pitched putting surface. The green not only slopes down from its high point on the right side, but also from the center down toward the back. Shots that reach the center of the green with some speed will likely scoot straight off the backside. It's best to avoid the right side, where the slope, a bunker and a drop-off into an area of rough and trees triple-team your chances at par.
AREA(S) TO AVOID:
Flat, open and water-free, Cantiague doesn't present too many dangerous areas. Swing away.
West John Street, Hicksville 11801
(516) 571-7061 / 7062 (wait time)
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