Fifty years ago, with the Long Island golf industry in the midst of a boom period, a local farmer turned his attention away from the fields and toward the fairways, setting the groundwork for a new family business that would provide a half-century worth of golf to players in and around Middle Island. That's the boiled-down story of the Spring Lake Golf Club, a fixture on the local golf scene since 1967, as described by Newsday's Mark Herrmann earlier this month in a profile of the public course in its 50th-anniversary season..
Charles Jurgens, along with his brothers Fred and Herman and course designer Charles K. Martin, built the course in the late 1960s, a decade that saw dozens of new public and private golf facilities pop up in Nassau and Suffolk to accommodate the new suburbanites flocking east to Long Island. Three generations later the family business of running the 18-hole Thunderbird course and nine-hole Sandpiper course remains successful.
[Jurgens'] life’s work involved putting in the original irrigation system and outlining the fairways, pacing off yardages from Martin’s intricate pencil drawings (which still exist and were out on a clubhouse table yesterday). His nephew Rick started working at Spring Lake as a teenager and is now the manager. Rick’s son Tyler is a key member of superintendent Don Amsler’s greens staff and is married to the head pro, the former Cristy Grzymala. Their two children, five and one, are well known to the golfers who keep showing up.
“Being a family business, it becomes personal,” Cristy said. “They look forward to hearing about our lives and what’s going on.”
The Jurgenses have built and/or owned other courses, including Indian Hills, Heatherwood, Swan Lake and Cherry Creek. But Spring Lake — with its 18- and nine-hole courses — is the flagship, still doing 50,000 rounds a year despite a national decrease in golf participation." -- Mark Herrmann, Newsday, 9/14/2017
Spring Lake's parkland setup, with trees closely hugging just about every hole, has been given a boost over the past few seasons thanks to faster green speeds. A new drainage system has the course in "the best shape it has ever been in,” Rick Jurgens told Newsday. “The greens are a lot quicker than they’ve been, a lot smoother than they’ve been in the past.”