The hamlet of Dix Hills in western Suffolk County features a pair of nine-hole golf facilities located about two miles from one another. The Dix Hills Park Golf Course is the shorter of the two, a 1,930-yard par-31 owned by the Town of Huntington and operated by Kemper Sports. The course is heavily wooded and works the hills of the region into its layout. The tall trees and the changing elevation combine to give each hole a secluded feel that is uncommon on a typical nine-hole muni.
To the benefit of the players, especially new ones, the holes at Dix Hills Park play either flat or down the hills, not up. The climbs are saved for the walks to the elevated fourth and sixth tees. The four par-4s on the course are relatively short but still allow for the driver to see a little action. The par-3s range between 121 and 166 yards with one exception -- #2, a 248-yarder with a tee box perched above the fairway.
The opening hole at Dix Hills Park is a 283-yard par-4 that plays very subtly uphill. Two sand traps guard the right side of a small, flat green. Players can attack the long par-3 second hole from an elevated tee that will add a few extra yards to drives and give big hitters an opportunity to reach the putting surface in regulation. However, a large bunker in front hurts the cause, and two backside traps will gobble up any bombs that fail to hold the green.
After the 166-yard third, players climb a hill to reach #4 (above), a 130-yarder that plays straight down. The green falls off behind the hole, but a back-to-front slope does all it can to prevent balls from trickling off the rear. The par-4 fifth sports a wide-mouthed bunker in front and, like all the holes at Dix Hills Park, threatens wayward tee shots with a thickly wooded perimeter. The final two par-3s follow -- the 140-yard sixth with two steep bunkers on the green's left, and the downhill 121-yard seventh.
Dix Hills Park concludes with par-4s of 265 and 312 yards. The right side of the fairway on #8 is hilly and can cause some uncomfortable lies. There is a small ridge on the front of the green and drop-offs behind the green and left. The ninth hole is the longest on the course but also offers the most breathing room, its wide fairway leading to the course's largest green.
The course recently began a renovation project that will gradually improve tee boxes and bunkers over the next three years. According to a notice in the clubhouse, three holes will undergo renovations each season, with only one worked on at a time to maintain the quality of each round. As of mid-May, one tee box is under repair and it appears one of two bunkers on the sixth hole has already been replaced with new sand.
Greens are generally flat and a bit slow. Bunkers, at least the ones yet to be replaced, are coarse and pebbly. Visually, the tall trees provide a pleasant backdrop to the sunken greens as well as a feeling of privacy between holes.
HOLE(S) TO REMEMBER:
#2 is a rare par-3 that nearly touches the 250-yard mark. Its elevated tee is good for a few extra yards, making the green a fun target for powerful drives. But bunkers in both the front and back of the green add a hazardous element to the ever-present threat of an unplayable ball into the woods. Players who don't possess the length to reach the green can attack the fairway but will need to get up and down, potentially over a large trap, to make par.
AREA(S) TO AVOID:
Every tee shot on the course runs the risk of being mishit into the woods. There isn't much danger from tee to green, but a swing that's a bit off-kilter can lead to punch-outs and lost balls.
575 Vanderbilt Parkway, Dix Hills 11746
Have thoughts and opinions on Dix Hills Park? Share them with other Golf On Long Island readers by posting in the comments section below.