15 Beautiful Golf Courses to Play in New York State

Photo of Julia Goicochea
27 July 2017

Recipients of sought-after honors, hosts of globally-known sporting events, and the creations of legendary golf architects: it’s easy to see why these courses boast some of the state’s most coveted tee times. For a round that’s as charming as it is challenging, visit the 15 most beautiful golf courses in New York State.

Shinnecock Hills Golf Club

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Shinnecock Hills Golf Club
Shinnecock Hills Golf Club | courtesy of Shinecock Hills Golf Club, credit: Joe Raynor  
For three centuries, Shinnecock Hills Golf Club has played host to the sport’s premier event, the USGA’s U.S. Open. Considered to be one of the oldest links in North America, the architecture here has remained largely unaltered for nearly 50 years. With renowned architects like C.B. Macdonald and William S. Flynn behind the course’s design, it’s easy to understand how Shinnecock Hills Golf Club has attracted generations of golfers.

Friar’s Head Golf Club

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Comprising sand dunes, farmland, and meadows, Friar’s Head Golf Club is an ideal destination for outdoorsy athletes. The rugged course, designed by architects Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw, features holes in sand dunes at 200 feet above the Long Island Sound, as well as in low-lying potato fields. A relatively young course, Friar’s Head has consistently crept higher in rankings of the best courses in North America.

Winged Foot Golf Club (East)

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Surveying Winged Foot Golf Club’s East course, it’s hard to believe the course served as a parking lot during recent U.S. Opens. One half of a two-course complex, Winged Foot East shares the same features as its more famous counterpart while also offering scarcely-seen-today ‘corner-pocket’ hole locations.

Hiland Park Country Club

Adirondacks | Mélanie Plante/Flickr
Exploring Hiland Park Country Club, it’s easy to understand why the space is a popular pick for special events. The 18-hole course here boasts 6,732 yards of golf, a course rating of 72.8, and a staggering slope rating of 130. Impressive as these stats are, none can compete with the course’s best feature: its stunning panoramic views of the Southern Adirondack Mountain Range.

Bethpage State Park G.C. (Black)

The host of multiple U.S. Opens and Barclays, as well as the future site of the 2019 PGA Championship and 2024 Ryder Cup, Bethpage State Park’s Black course has achieved fame in the global sports world. Of the park’s five 18-hole regulation courses, on which 300,000 rounds of golf are played annually, Bethpage Black boasts the most celebrated— and coveted— tee times.

Hudson National Golf Club

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Hudson River
Hudson River | Mobilus In Mobil/Flickr
The best part of any round on the Hudson National Golf Club is the course itself. Situated atop stunning cliffs over the Hudson River Valley, the course features a rugged terrain comprising over 130,000 cubic feet of rock, feathery fescue, and an unobscured view of miles of New York’s Hudson River.

Quaker Ridge

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History buffs shouldn’t miss Quaker Ridge, a century-old golf course with a rich past. While Quaker Ridge was first born as a modest 9-hole layout in 1915, its history is anything but modest. Founding father George Washington is rumored to have walked the grounds where Quaker Ridge’s 10th hole now lies, while famous composer George Gershwin was a member during his lifetime. Today, the historic course boasts 20 holes and a cult-following of in-the-know athletes.

Fishers Island Club

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With its views of the New England shoreline and its Cape Cod-inspired architecture, Fishers Island Club makes every game feel like a getaway. In addition to its stellar 18 holes, this links-style golf course features panoramas of the Atlantic Ocean, Long Island Sound, and more.

Sleepy Hollow Country Club

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Thanks to contributions by legendary course designers Charles Blair Macdonald, A.W. Tillinghast, and Seth Raynor, the course at Sleepy Hollow Country Club is anything but sleepy. The 27-hole course and former host of Champion’s Tour ‘Commemorative’ from 1986 to 1993, as well as the 2002 U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship, boasts waterfront views, abundant greenery, and a 1,700-square foot temperature-controlled golf learning center.

Pound Ridge Golf Club

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Pound Ridge Golf Club
Pound Ridge Golf Club | courtesy of Pound Ridge Golf Club
Located mere minutes outside of New York City, Pound Ridge Golf Club provides players with the best of two worlds. Experience a natural oasis complete with over 170 acres of rock walls, wooded hills, and streams just north of the bustling Big Apple. Only at Pound Ridge can visitors explore a world-famous destination city in between rounds— if they can tear themselves from the scenery, that is.

Leatherstocking Golf Course

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Lake Otsego
Lake Otsego
At Leatherstocking Golf Course, nature is the greatest challenger a player will meet. This 18-hole championship course emphasizes its natural environment, featuring contour terrain complete with a cornucopia of challenging hills. Tip: forgo a cart in favor of a walking workout— the course’s scenery, including its views of Ostego Lake, are best explored on foot.

The Sagamore Golf Course

Lake George
Lake George | Wikicommons
Golf fanatics flock to The Sagamore Golf Course, a championship course endorsed by Golf Magazine, Golf Digest, and more. The Sagamore’s breathtaking views of Lake George and rich fairways are some of the most beautiful sights a golfer can ask for. The course’s award-winning Pro Shop is also an attraction.

Atunyote at Turning Stone Casino

The recipient of some 20 coveted honors — including host to multiple PGA tournaments and sport leaders like Tiger Woods and Matt Kuchar — Atunyote boasts some of the sport’s most sought-after tee times. In keeping with its name (the Oneida word for eagle), this course features 7,315 yards of wide-open spaces and commanding natural scenery.

Seneca Hickory Stick

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It should come as no surprise that a course located mere minutes from Niagara Falls boasts some beautiful sights of its own. Rare Shellbark Hickory trees, idyllic lakes and ponds, and native foliage characterize the course at Seneca Hickory Stick.

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