[UPDATE, May 19: Tallgrass will remain open through the summer, according to Newsday's Mark Herrmann.]
[UPDATE, April 9: Tallgrass has advised holders of gift cards to redeem them for golf, food and merchandise as soon as possible while the course is still open for business.]
The ongoing saga in Shoreham regarding the future of Tallgrass Golf Course is nearing its conclusion, and the ending doesn't appear to be a happy one for Long Island and East End golfers.
Tallgrass, the Gil Hanse layout recently named by Golfweek as one of the best publicly accessible golf courses in New York State, is likely to close for business sometime in April. The property's future is in solar energy -- a development called Shoreham Solar Commons, run by Chicago-based Invenergy, will level the land and cover it with tens of thousands of solar panels.
A Tallgrass employee confirmed that rumors of the course's closing are "correct." The Shoreham course will likely host its final round sometime in April, with a possible end date as early as the beginning of the month.
Rumblings about the course's potential development have circulated for several seasons, but talk of its replacement by a solar farm began to heat up last summer when Shoreham Solar Commons filed detailed site plans with the Town of Brookhaven. Tallgrass remained confident as recently as January that the development threat would pass by, at least for the 2016 season. Shoreham residents and the local civic organization spoke out against the development at a Brookhaven Planning Board meeting in January.
Earlier this month, however, Brookhaven approved the plans and special permits associated with the solar development.
Tallgrass opened in 2000 in the midst of Long Island's most recent golf-course boom, a high time that introduced new courses like Long Island National, The Links at Shirley, Stonebridge and Great Rock, among others, during a busy three-year stretch. Gil Hanse, whose recent work includes the new 2016 Olympic course in Brazil, designed the course on a former sod farm.
In 2010, following years of similar development rumors that swirled around the course (Tallgrass "is here to stay" read course ads in 2008), new management came on board and stabilized its future. That year, Tallgrass began a seven-year run on Golfweek's "Best Courses You Can Play" list. At the time, Newsday's Mark Herrmann contrasted the fall of The Links at Shirley with the boom at Tallgrass.
Now, eight years after proclaiming it's here to stay, Tallgrass will soon be gone.