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Golf New York

Many of the best courses are conveniently situated on the Island, Long Island, which makes for a mere 25 mile ride from JFK International Airport. Bethpage State Park Golf (Black) Course in Farmingdale ranks #3 out of all the public courses in the U.S. Shinnecock Hills Golf Club in Southampton, a William Flynn design of 6,813 yards is a par 70 course opened in 1971. But these two giants are just a head above the many others waiting for you in the Big Apple.

Winged Foot Golf Club (West Course) in Mamaroneck comes in #1 in the state, edging out Bethpage by a small margin. With as solid as Bethpage is, it’s hard to imagine a course that exceeds it, but Winged Foot is America’s oldest championship. The majesty this course is bathed in makes one humbly aware that he is on hallowed ground, and not just for the game itself. Washington’s troops camped there, as did Native American tribes before them. Even the noble gesture of building the course in the first place is noteworthy. 220 men using 6 teams of horses and 19 tractors scraped out 36 unforgettable holes. Along the way they felled some 7800 trees and moved 24,000 cubic yards of dirt to build the greens. This team blasted out 7,200 tons of rock to form fairways and bunkers. Then installed 21,000 feet of drain pipe and another 25,000 feet of irrigation pipe. Then they sewed 10.5 tons of grass seed, and then another 3.5 tons for the greens. The course opened in 1923. The result? A spectacular tradition, a course rating of 76.1 with a slope rating of 145. Winged Foot has hosted the Championship five times now: 1929, 1959, 1974, and 1984 and in 2006. Hallowed ground, indeed!

Oak Hill Country Club in Rochester gives New York its 4th appearance in the top ten (combined public and private) in the nation, and proves that great golf in New York isn’t just the providence of the Island. Tiger Woods describes it as the "hardest, fairest course" he’s ever played. Through a bizarre history that begins along the Genesee River in 1901 and ends up at a new location entirely in 1926, Donald Ross designed this incredible course, overseeing the planting of 75 THOUSAND trees in the process! What we inherit is true greatness, in the form of Oak Hill. Since those planting days, the tree has grown to stunning maturity. Only 10 people have been under par during competitions at Oak Hill. When they host the 2008 Senior PGA Championship, Oak Hill will have claim to that no other golf club in the world has hosted the PGA Championship, Ryder Cup, U.S. Open, U.S. Amateur, U.S. Senior Open and the Senior PGA Championships. Is it worth playing? Ya think?