The 2015 season is underway in Oceanside at The Golf Club at Middle Bay, though players eager to get to the course's signature waterfront holes will have to take a few extra swings before reaching them.
Middle Bay's new hole configuration made its debut earlier this month, amid other upgrades around the facility. The course flipped its two nines and made a slight modification to the new back side. In this updated layout, the bayside par-3 7th and par-4 8th open up the back as #10 and #11.
Play begins on what was previously the 10th hole, a 344-yard par-4 that faces south toward the bay. The new front nine continues around the course's interior section before concluding on Middle Bay's original par-5 closer. After the scenic stretch that was formerly holes 7 through 9, the 13th picks up at the original #1. Most notable about the new order is that the old #6 -- a long, sweeping dogleg par-5 that bends right toward the clubhouse -- is the new 18th.
The change sets up a more dramatic finish. It also heightens the challenge early in the round, since players are now sent directly into the most wind-exposed portion of the course.
Golf director Ron Wright told Golf On Long Island that the facility has completed a $100,000 bulkhead project and is now in the midst of installing new cart paths and a GPS system. The cafe will be open on May 1. Due to still-dormant turf conditions, riding is cart-path-only through the rest of April.
For more on Middle Bay, check out the course flyover.
[PICTURED: The scenic par-3 up against the bay is no longer #7; it now opens the back nine as #10.]