Fishers Island was designed by Seth Raynor in 1926. Similar to Shoreacres and Camargo, the course features those trademark Seth Raynor greens that almost look like they are sitting up on benches. Yet the large, raised, geometric-shaped greens are in perfect harmony with the ocean horizons, and you can see the ocean from nearly all the fairways. Neither the fairways nor the rough at Fishers Island are watered. Only tees and greens are irrigated, so the fairway conditions are completely dependent on rainfall and weather. When we played the course, the grass was dormant and your lie, even in the fairways, was a chancy thing. If you land in a divot, too bad, divots might not grow back until there’s enough rain. As on Shoreacres, there are many ravines, so you’d better know the distances necessary to carry them. The rough is surrounded by gorse, making Fishers Island feel very much like a links course of Scotland –especially with views of the Long Island Sound on 15 of 18 holes. There’s only one fairway bunker, which I noticed because I was in it. It was a clam day, which is unusual on this course, and with the dormant grass on the fairways, you could get lots of roll. When the wind blows, we were told, this course gets some serious teeth in it.
One thing I have come to expect at exclusive clubs is distinctive clubhouses and locker rooms. Fishers Island has no locker room. On the front wall of the golf shop are a couple dozen cubbyholes. That’s it for locker room facilities: You simply leave your street shoes in a cubbyhole…
I didn’t like the lack of fairway conditioning. Other than that, most of the holes are spectacular because of their views of Long Island Sound, the Yacht Club, and Long Island. Barclay loved Fishers Island, and he should have. He shot 73, but he likes to tell how he couldn’t sink his two-footer on 18 because it was 5:45 and we had to run off the course to make the last ferry of the day at 6 p.m. Larry Berle
Date: December 06, 2014