Calling all golf course nerds and amateur golf aficionados, keep the summer of 2030 in the back of your mind. You’ll want to take a trip to Long Island.
National Golf Links of America is set to host the 2030 Curtis Cup, a match between the best amateurs from the United States and their Great Britain and Ireland counterparts. NGLA, as you may know, is one of the best courses on the planet. No. 5, according to GOLF’s Top 100 Courses in the World.
Set on the shores of the Great Peconic Bay, and running inland to border against its neighbor Shinnecock Hills, National Golf Links was designed by legendary architect C.B. Macdonald, and finished in 1911. It’s about as exclusive as exclusive gets. But in eight years, it will let down its barriers to the public for one of the best ways to experience high-level golf.
“The club has been such an integral part of Walker Cup history, so for its leadership to offer to host a Curtis Cup speaks volumes about their commitment to the amateur and women’s game. We cannot wait to work with their leadership in the effort to stage another memorable match.”
Adding to the course’s exclusivity is the fact that it has only twice before hosted premier golf events. Never a major championship, never a singles event. Strictly two Walker Cups, back in 1922 and most recently in 2013. The Americans, led by future Tour stars like Justin Thomas and Max Homa, won in 2013, 17-9.
The main reason for your interest as golf-obsessed fans is that amateur events like the Walker and Curtis Cup are low-frills. They’re casual, all the while being two of the biggest amateur events in the world. And as a result, they make for the best access to elite courses and up-and-coming elite talent. Take last week, for example.
Understanding Southern Hills, last week’s PGA Championship host course, only comes from outside the ropes. There are course marshals all over the property telling you when you can and cannot walk, where you can and cannot roam. Getting close to Tiger Woods is nearly impossible. But getting close to Justin Thomas back at the 2013 Walker Cup? That’s no issue at all.
That intimacy extends to the intricacies of the course, too. And there might not be a better golf course in all of America. GOLF’s architecture editor, Ran Morrissett, captured its brilliance well here:
“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.’”