The 40 best golf courses in New York (2022/2023)
As part of GOLF’s course rating process for 2022-23, our fleet of 100-plus expert panelists identified the best golf courses in New York. Browse the links below to check out all of our course rankings, or scroll down to see the best courses in New York.
GOLF’s other course rankings: Top 100 Courses in the World | Top 100 Courses in the U.S. | Top 100 Courses You Can Play | Top 100 Value Courses in the U.S. | America’s Best Municipal Courses | The 100 Best Short Courses in the World
1 = Top 100 Course in the U.S.
P = Public/Resort Course
V = Top 100 Value Course in the U.S.
M = Top 30 Municipal Course in the U.S.
Ed. note: Some courses were omitted from our rankings because they did not receive enough votes.
The best golf courses in New York (2022/2023)
1. Shinnecock Hills (Southampton) 
Venue for five U.S. Opens since 1986, most recently in 2018, this is William Flynn’s design masterpiece. Apart from being handed a magnificently spacious piece of land upon which to work, Flynn was given something else nearly as valuable: time. Work started in 1928 and the course didn’t open until 1931. True, the Great Depression began during construction but the grace with which the holes flow across the property is a tribute to the hands-on, slow-build process.
2. National Golf Links of America (Southampton) 
NGLA, or “National,” as it’s known, brought Seth Raynor and C.B. Macdonald together for the first time and what they created still stands as a marvel of strategic design. Some of its template holes, including the Alps 3rd, the Redan 4th, the Short 6th and the Leven 17th, are arguably superior to their namesake holes in the United Kingdom that Macdonald copied. Legendary golf writer Bernard Darwin summed it up nicely when he opined, “The National Links is a truly great course; even as I write I feel my allegiance to Westward Ho!, to Hoylake, to St. Andrews tottering to its fall.”
3. Fishers Island (Fishers Island) 
Accessible by ferry or air, this exclusive retreat off the Connecticut coast is populated by the oldest of the Old Money crowd, many of whom still enjoy hoofing it. Why wouldn’t they, given the classic Seth Raynor design that tracks along the island’s northeast edge, the delightful tumbling terrain and the spectacular views of Long Island Sound. The 3rd, 4th and 5th are as intoxicating as any three-hole stretch on the eastern seaboard. Fishers joined our World Top 100 at No. 73 in 1989 — and has never looked back.
4. Friar’s Head (Baiting Hollow) 
Tree-dotted dunes, open meadows and bluff-top views of Long Island Sound highlight play at this 2003 Bill Coore-Ben Crenshaw design that Phil Mickelson has called his favorite modern course. Holes such as the par-5 14th call to mind an East Coast version of Cypress Point. Constant refinements, no matter how small, have Friar’s Head as dialed-in as any course in the country.
5. Winged Foot – West Course (Mamaroneck) 
Hale Irwin survived the 1974 “Massacre at Winged Foot” U.S. Open to win at seven over par. Geoff Ogilvy didn’t fare much better in 2006, when his five-over total took home the trophy. Mark Brooks, 1996 PGA champion, summed up this Golden Age A.W. Tillinghast design this way: “There are probably six hard holes, six really hard holes and six impossible holes.” Frighteningly contoured, pear-shaped greens, cavernous bunkers and a procession of rugged par-4s define the trouble. On a “difficulty” scale of 1 to 10, Jack Nicklaus once rated the West course a 12. That said, Gil Hanse’s astonishing green expansion has brought back an exciting element of creativity with which few parkland courses can contend.
6. Garden City (Garden City) 
Devereux Emmet and Walter Travis share credit for this old-school design that plays across Hempstead Plain on Long Island. The water is 10 miles both north and south, so sea breezes are a frequent companion. Laurie Auchterlonie won the 1902 U.S. Open here with record scores, owing to the debut of the longer, more durable Haskell ball. Garden City’s tilted greens, like the 10th and 15th, are lay-of-the-land architecture at its highest form. To understand what it means to “get the most from the land,” study the small parcel around the clubhouse that contains the 1st, 2nd and 18th holes, each stellar in its own right.
7. Maidstone (Easthampton) 
Maidstone’s glorious edge-of-the-Atlantic location is once again fully evident, thanks to a recent restoration by Coore & Crenshaw. Maintaining coastal dunes is an art form: expose too much sand and it blows away; cover it up and you lose a sense of place. Maidstone has struck the perfect balance. Adding to the pleasure of its romantic location is an exceptional set of Willie and John Park greens, many of which feature dramatic false fronts. Maidstone is a dream course to play regularly, in part because its asks change daily with the weather.
8. Bethpage – Black Course (Farmingdale) [1, P, V, M]
The Black intimidates golfers with a sign at the 1st tee that recommends the course “only for highly skilled golfers.” Among them? Tiger Woods, who won the 2002 “People’s Open,” as that U.S. Open came to be known. Woods was the only golfer to break par for 72 holes, owing to rugged, uphill par-4s, massive bunkers and the wrist-fracturing rough found on this Rees Jones-restored A.W. Tillinghast layout. The Black is one of the great routings, highlighted by the masterful way Tillinghast placed the fairways and greens from the 2nd hole in a valley all the way through the dogleg left 9th. The par-5 4th and its iconic cross-bunkering is a world-beater.
9. Sleepy Hollow (Briarcliff Manor) 
This Westchester County course has always enjoyed a spectacular component to it, courtesy of breathtaking views of the Hudson River, particularly at the 15th and 16th holes. What its holes lacked was playing interest from 50 yards and in. That changed in 2016 when Gil Hanse embarked on a two-year project to imbue the greens with a C.B. Macdonald flair that, well, even Macdonald would appreciate.
10. Oak Hill – East (Rochester) 
Championship golf is a double-edged sword. Hosting major events on a regular basis confers prestige and pride to any membership. Conversely, many sites deemed worthy were built approximately a century ago when hickory-shafted clubs were the norm. Immense pressure is placed on clubs to have their course evolve to handle equipment advancements. One banal way? Increase the use of penal water hazards. Such happened at Oak Hill in the late 1970s. Much to its credit, the club recently reversed course, recognizing that Donald Ross’s work should be brought back to the greatest extent possible. Among other things, Andrew Green saw to it that the incongruent water features were removed and made sure that the mighty East Course was once again a cohesive Golden Age masterpiece without blemishes.
11. Winged Foot – East Course (Mamaroneck) 
Neither as long nor as tough as its illustrious West sibling, the East enjoys its own devoted fanbase for its variety and the encouraging manner in which ground game options are now presented. Great attention has been paid to the mow lines, with short tight fairway grass on the high side of the entrance to all the greens. More than a few Winged Foot devotees consider the 13th and 17th the best par-3s on the property, a seemingly outlandish claim until you play them. Spend time putting on greens like the 1st and 11th and you will wonder what A.W. Tillinghast understood about green construction that eludes other architects.
12. Quaker Ridge (Scarsdale) 
This quiet club across the street from Winged Foot has counts Jack Nicklaus and Pete Dye among its admirers. Its outstanding cluster of gently rolling par-4s, notably the 6th and the 11th, provided a terrific canvas for amateurs such as Justin Rose and Jason Gore in the 1997 Walker Cup. Dating to 1916, the course was made over by A.W. Tillinghast in 1926 and Gil Hanse’s restoration this past decade has the course at peak. The par-3 9th is one of the hidden gem one-shotters in the Northeast, though it may take a few rounds to figure out why.
13. The Creek Club (Locust Valley) 
An epic combination of parkland and seaside golf, this McDonald-Raynor classic serves up a greatest hits of the duo’s favorite design elements. After a solid but sedate tree-lined opening five holes, the course explodes into glory at the spectacular 6th, which plays into a famous reverse Redan green. From there, players hit down to Long Island Sound. Hole Nos. 10 through 14 wind through sand and water, an unforgettable trip to the beach highlighted by a massive island Biarritz green.
14. Piping Rock (Locust Valley) 
Fresh off his work at National Golf Links of America, C.B. Macdonald started adding to his repertoire of template designs at this golf-meets-Gatsby Long Island club. The Biarritz and Knoll holes made their debut here, for instance. Among architecture buffs, Piping Rock’s Knoll 13th with its raised green that falls off starkly on all sides remains its finest iteration. The front nine wraps around a former polo field while the back heads into the hillier portion of the property. The course is also home to one of Macdonald’s finest par 5s, the 6th, which features a bedeviling back plateau ringed by trouble.
15. Glens Falls (Glens Falls) 
With so much content and information available in 2020, stumbling across a “hidden gem” has become progressively more difficult. Yet, this Ross course 30 minutes north of Saratoga Springs was off the radar as recently as five years ago. Situated between the Adirondacks and Green Mountains, the short par-4 5th with its “top hat” green through the par-3 9th to a Volcano green complex are as good a series of Ross holes as you’ll find. The excitement doesn’t let up with the course finishing with its penultimate hole across hilly land to a green in a saddle and a par-3 finisher played across the edge of a lake.
16. Sebonack (Southampton)
17. Blind Brook (Rye Brook)
18. Whippoorwill (Armonk)
19. St. George’s (Setauket)
20. Atlantic (Bridgehampton)
21. Wykagl (New Rochelle)
22. Monroe Golf Club (Monroe)
23. Fenway (Scarsdale)
24. Westhampton (Westhampton Beach)
25. Westchester – West Course (Rye)
26. Meadow Brook (Jericho)
27. Rockaway Hunting Club (Lawrence)
28. Oak Hill – West Course (Rochester)
29. Hudson National (Croton-on-Hudson)
30. Southampton (Southampton)
31. Century (Purchase)
32. CC of Buffalo (Buffalo)
33. The Bridge (Bridgehampton)
34. Siwanoy (Pelham)
35. East Hampton (East Hampton)
36. Sunningdale (Scarsdale)
37. Engineers (Glen Head)
38. Sands Point Golf Club (Sands Point)
39. Yahnundasis (New Hartford)
40. Huntington (Huntington)
How we rank our courses
For GOLF’s course rankings lists, each panelist is provided a list of hundreds of courses and “buckets,” or groupings. If they believe the course to be among the best in its category (World, U.S. Value, etc.), they check the corresponding box to place it in a specific bucket. Panelists are also free to write in courses they felt should have been included on the ballot. Points were assigned to each bucket; to arrive at an average score for each course, we divide its aggregate score by the number of votes. From those point tallies, the courses are then ranked accordingly.
The key to the process is the experience and expertise of our panel. Hailing from 15 nations and all the worldwide golf meccas, each of our 115 handpicked panelists has a keen eye for architecture, both regionally and globally. Many of our panelists have played more than 1,000 courses in 20-plus countries.
Because we don’t prescribe a set method to assess courses as other ranks do, no one opinion carries the day — our rank is a democracy. Some panelists believe that enjoyment is the ultimate goal, and thus prioritize design attributes such as width and playing angles, while frowning on upon having to constantly hunt for balls in thick rough. Other panelists value challenge and the demands of hitting every club in the bag. Still others consider a course’s surroundings and overall environment of paramount importance, thereby emphasizing the setting and naturalness of the course. In the end, allowing raters to freely express their tastes is what produces the desired eclecticism in our Top 100 lists.
Panelist integrity is vital. Voters with any ties or associations to eligible courses must flag such conflicts. Panelists also know not to let the quality of their play influence their ballot — same for a luxe experience or clubhouse. While opulence may make for a more a memorable outing, it’s not what GOLF’s course lists are about. Our focus is on design and architecture. We study the course, not the trappings around it.
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