The 2010 Masters Tournament begins this week. Although you may not be ready to play next to Tiger, there are plenty of places to practice until you are. The New York area boasts some of country’s best courses, all just a quick drive (or an even faster private jet flight) from Manhattan.
Pine Valley Golf Club
Pine Valley Golf Club is consistently ranked as one of the best courses in the country. The facilities and clubhouse are more understated than many of the clubs on this list since the real focus is on the arduous course. In fact, Pine Valley’s 7,000 yards are some of the toughest to play in the country. Sean Connery and President George H.W. Bush are both rumored to be among the select and secret group of 1,000 members. Membership is by invitation only and the all-male club still only allows women to play on Sundays.
Atlantic Ave Clementon, NJ; 856.783.3000
Shinnecock Hills Golf Club
At more than 100 years old, Shinnecock is a truly historic golf course. It is one of the oldest golf clubs in the nation and one of the original members of the U.S. Golf Association. It was host to the second ever U.S. Open in 1896 and home to the first golf clubhouse in the country. The difficult and expansive Southampton course still maintains its best of the best status today. A favorite among industry publications, it went on to host the U.S. Open again in 1986, 1995, and 2004.
200 Tuckahoe Rd; 631.283.4042
National Golf Links Of America
When the National was founded at the turn of the century, original memberships cost $1,000. Needless to say, prices have gone up at the elite Southampton club. It is smaller than the other courses on this list, which therefore makes it unable to accommodate larger championships, though no less haute. However, the epic course is excellent and membership is incredibly exclusive. The National is also known for its breathtaking views, lobster lunches, and the windmill that sits in the middle of the course. The club hosted the first Walker Cup in 1922 and was chosen to host the Walker Cup again in 2013.
16 Sebonac Rd; 631.283.0410
Sebonack Golf Club
Sebonack is by far the youngest course on the list. When it opened, many wondered if it would be able to compete with neighboring institutions like Shinnecock and the National. It also made headlines with its purported $650,000 price tag for membership. However, at less than five years old, the club has become an almost instant success. It has already ascended to a top fifty ranking and is set to host the 2013 Women’s Open. The course, designed by golf legend Jack Nicklaus and golf architect Tom Doak, has been praised as one of the best new courses out there.
405 Sebonac Rd; 631.287.4444
Bethpage State Park Golf Courses, Black Course
The Black Course at Bethpage State Park may be a public golf course, but don’t let that dissuade you; its quality is on par with the others on this list. It hosted its first U.S. Open in 2002 when Tiger Woods won for the second time, and the 2009 Open when Lucas Glover claimed the title. Being a public course, the competition for tee times is stiffer than the its private competitors. However, its 7,386 are lauded as some of the best and toughest out there.
99 Quaker Meeting House Rd; 516.249.0701