Stunning development out of Wading River. Great Rock Golf Club, the popular semi-private course known for its lightning-fast greens, will not open this March. Great Rock and its on-site restaurant, Blackwells, are out of business. The fate of the golf course is uncertain.
[UPDATE: Great Rock Golf Club reopened in June 2014 under new ownership.]
With the 2014 playing season only a few weeks away, the public golf scene on the East End is in a state of upheaval. Long Island National has completed its transformation into a private club, and Calverton Links, which abruptly closed for the season last fall, will likely not reopen.
The Great Rock news comes as a shock given its popularity, course quality and its above-and-beyond approach to service and maintenance.
Opened in 2001, Great Rock earned a reputation for providing an elevated, club-style level of service, from the bag drop at the start of the day to its conclusion in a classy, wood-accented tap room. Several of its holes -- most notably the 10th, with the namesake rock overlooking the green -- were highlighted by Newsday and Golfing Magazine. The staff routinely responded to feedback and redesigned some of its greens in recent years to make them more player-friendly while maintaining their challenging nature. The staff was also featured in a Newsday column in 2010, which emphasized the club's focus on customer service.
UPDATE (3/19): The Riverhead News-Review has some background on the property.