East End Elites

June 14, 2004

Thanks to the 2002 "People's Open" at Bethpage State Park, in
Farmingdale, N.Y., a specific image of Long Island golf has
developed: It's where blue-collar diehards sleep in their cars
waiting for tee times, and when the U.S. Open is in town, the local
rabble disrupt play with boozy heckling. There may be some truth to
that perception in Nassau County, but out on the East End the scene
is far different. The Hamptons and their equally swell neighboring
townships are home to some of America's most celebrated golf clubs,
replete with 19th-century pedigrees and exclusive memberships
defined by old and new money. Shinnecock Hills, host of next week's
U.S. Open, is the most famous of the East End clubs, but it is only
one of many sandy jewels. Here's our peek behind the hedges of the
top six.
--Alan Shipnuck

SHINNECOCK HILLS GOLF CLUB

FOUNDED
1891

ARCHITECT
Willie Dunn (redesigned by Charles Blair Macdonald and Seth Raynor
in 1916; redesigned by Howard C. Toomey and William S. Flynn in
1931)

COURSE DESCRIPTION
18 punches to the nose

ESTIMATED COST OF MEMBERSHIP
$50,000

TYPICAL MEMBER
Quotes Herb Wind and carries the Rules of Golf

HOW TO GET INVITED
Join the USGA executive committee

NOTABLE MEMBERS
Raymond Floyd, Jack Whitaker

SIGNATURE PRETENSION
Every member claims to be a single-digit handicapper

WHAT GUESTS REMEMBER
The glorious vista from the 1st tee; losing two sleeves of
balls--on the front nine

THE CLUB'S LARGER MEANING
America's first world-class championship course, Shinnecock hosted
the second U.S. Open, in 1896

ATLANTIC GOLF CLUB

FOUNDED
1992

ARCHITECT
Rees Jones

COURSE DESCRIPTION
Brutal and linksy, replete with forced carries and well-fortified
greens

ESTIMATED COST OF MEMBERSHIP
$275,000

TYPICAL MEMBER
Isn't WASPy enough to get into the big three

HOW TO GET INVITED
Have been a major donor to Joe Lieberman's presidential campaign

NOTABLE MEMBERS
Mayor Mike Bloomberg, Senator Frank Lautenberg, Senator Jon
Corzine, Boomer Esiason, Larry Brown, Rees Jones (honorary)

SIGNATURE PRETENSION
Original club logo was a lighthouse, even though none are visible
from the course

WHAT GUESTS REMEMBER
The three-club wind

THE CLUB'S LARGER MEANING
The forerunner to the most recent golf boom in the East End

NATIONAL GOLF LINKS OF AMERICA

FOUNDED
1904

ARCHITECT
Charles Blair Macdonald

COURSE DESCRIPTION
Quirky design makes it thrilling mini-golf for serious
players--with a windmill to prove it

ESTIMATED COST OF MEMBERSHIP
$75,000

TYPICAL MEMBER
Works at Morgan Stanley, gets the best table at Sparks and
considers cigars a major food group

HOW TO GET INVITED
Ring the bell at the New York Stock Exchange

NOTABLE MEMBER
Rees Jones

SIGNATURE PRETENSION
Jackets must be worn in clubhouse

WHAT GUESTS REMEMBER
The drenching shower heads and the whole lobsters that are served
with every lunch

THE CLUB'S LARGER MEANING
Macdonald spent 30 years perfecting the National as an ode to
Scottish golf, and its influence on course design in the U.S. is
incalculable

FRIAR'S HEAD

FOUNDED
2002

ARCHITECT
Ben Crenshaw and Bill Coore

COURSE DESCRIPTION
A classic example of the new golden age in architecture--natural,
understated and sublime

ESTIMATED COST OF MEMBERSHIP
$250,000

TYPICAL MEMBER
Carries a one-iron

HOW TO GET INVITED
Win the Crump Cup

NOTABLE MEMBER
Club founder Ken Bakst, the 1997 Mid-Am champ

SIGNATURE PRETENSION
None of the holes have yardage markers--it's all guesswork

WHAT GUESTS REMEMBER
All those beautiful ball-eating bunkers

THE CLUB'S LARGER MEANING
Understated, discreet and low-key? In the Hamptons? Impossible!

MAIDSTONE CLUB

FOUNDED
1891

ARCHITECT
William H. Ticker (redesigned by Willie Park Jr. in 1825)

COURSE DESCRIPTION
A wondrous journey through the dunesland with a carefully
cultivated air of neglect

ESTIMATED COST OF MEMBERSHIP
$50,000

TYPICAL MEMBER
Always brings the kids to the club and is overly proud of the
renowned grass tennis courts

HOW TO GET INVITED
Your father belonged to Skull and Bones with the chairman of the
membership committee

NOTABLE MEMBERS
Rees Jones, Chevy Chase

SIGNATURE PRETENSION
Teenagers roam the unwatered fairways in tennis shoes, oblivious to
course's pedigree; referring to beach-bumming as "ocean bathing"

WHAT GUESTS REMEMBER
Dining on the sand

THE CLUB'S LARGER MEANING
Hard-core Hamptonites are too cool to care about golf

THE BRIDGE

FOUNDED
2002

ARCHITECT
Rees Jones

COURSE DESCRIPTION
With its grand scale and sweeping views, it looks like a million
bucks. Actually, $25 million

ESTIMATED COST OF MEMBERSHIP
$500,000

TYPICAL MEMBER
Cashed out before the Internet bubble burst

HOW TO GET INVITED
Be seen dining with the Donald at Le Cirque 2000

NOTABLE MEMBERS
Club founder Robert M. Rubin, a retired commodities trader and
neophyte golfer; Rees Jones (honorary)

SIGNATURE PRETENSION
Did we mention the half mil to get in?

WHAT GUESTS REMEMBER
The black-and-white-checkered flags (the course was built on the
site of the old Bridgehampton Race Circuit)

THE CLUB'S LARGER MEANING
Even in the Hamptons you can buy acceptance

COLOR IILUSTRATION: ILLUSTRATION BY GARY HOVLAND SIX COLOR ILLUSTRATIONS COLOR PHOTO: PHOTOGRAPH BY FRED VUICH 16TH COLOR PHOTO: PHOTOGRAPH BY FRED VUICH FORE FATHERS One of the five clubs that founded the USGA, Shinnecock is hosting its eighth national championship. COLOR PHOTO: LOU CAPOZZOLA 10TH COLOR PHOTO: PHOTOGRAPH BY FRED VUICH LANDLOCKED Named for an ocean, it's the only East Ender not on the water, but Atlantic has plenty of sand in its large, unique bunkers.
COLOR PHOTO: LOU CAPOZZOLA 16TH COLOR PHOTO: PHOTOGRAPH BY FRED VUICH GOOD NEIGHBOR It's so close to Shinnecock that several of their holes run adjacently, and its landmark windmill is visible from Shinnecock's clubhouse. COLOR PHOTO: LOU CAPOZZOLA 10TH COLOR PHOTO: PHOTOGRAPH BY FRED VUICH NEW KID Sitting on a bluff above the beach, this newcomer brings the scraggy beauty of Pine Valley to the East End. COLOR PHOTO: PHOTOGRAPH BY FRED VUICH 3RD COLOR PHOTO: PHOTOGRAPH BY FRED VUICH BEACHFRONT The course and club literally spill onto the sands of Long Island Sound, enhancing Maidstone's beachy vibe. COLOR PHOTO: LOU CAPOZZOLA 16TH COLOR PHOTO: PHOTOGRAPH BY FRED VUICH FAST LANE Remnants of high-octane living are visible on the grounds and in the membership, which must pony up a lot to belong.

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)