Oceanside's South Bay Country Club emerged last spring from the destruction left behind by Hurricane Sandy and replaced the former Middle Bay Country Club. A year later, out of a legal mess that abruptly ended South Bay's stint along the shore after only one season comes The Golf Club at Middle Bay, the latest edition of the scenic golf course on Skillman Avenue. The course is tentatively scheduled to reopen on May 1.
The "new" Middle Bay shouldn't look much different to golfers who visited South Bay in 2013. The biggest change is at the top, where the longtime property owner, who leased the club to Middle Bay CC and South Bay in the past, will now double as the club operator. Ron Wright remains at Middle Bay as the golf director and golf operations manager.
The club will also feature a semi-private structure similar to what was in place last season at South Bay. Preferred tee-time memberships are currently being offered for weekends and include access to the handicapping system, pro-shop discounts, bag storage and other perks. The course will welcome the public at all other times -- $80 peak rates on weekends, $69 during the week ($55 for seniors) and a loyalty rewards program available for frequent players. Nine-hole and twilight rates have yet to be determined.
Wright says the club is shooting to open the driving range as early as April 22. The 16-stall range was rebuilt early in last year's playing season and opened in July. Nearby, a new halfway house is awaiting town permits and should be ready for thirsty golfers by the end of spring.
Golf On Long Island profiled the course last May and visited again in the summer. Not long after announcing that the course would be open year-round, South Bay abruptly closed due to lease violations. Eventually the course operator was forced to vacate the premises, leaving the future of the site in doubt.
The course is best known for bayside holes -- #7 and #8 -- that offer panoramic views of the south shore waterways and barrier islands. It also mixes in a variety of interior parkland holes. For more on the fairways and greens at The Golf Club at Middle Bay, check out Golf On Long Island's course flyover.