The Garden City Golf Club is one of the most notoriously private clubs in the United States, which — ironically — makes it one of the most sought-after by golf aficionados. This, again ironically, helps maintain the privacy of the Garden City Country Club even more. A few miles from the more famous Garden City, the country club also features a Walter Travis route for its members.
The course makes the most of its relatively-small parcel on a part of Long Island that’s become quite populated, and was relatively so even in Travis’s day. Playing just 6,540 from the tips, the course consists of a traditional out-and-back route, not returning to the clubhouse after nine. Although it seems like getting back to the clubhouse from any point should not be an issue on such a small piece of property, this proves untrue due to the Long Island Railroad, which cuts right through the course as it heads to the Nassau Boulevard station.
Players will play the first two holes along the north end of the railway before crossing over to play 14 holes, and then returning to the clubhouse side for the concluding two holes.
Unfortunately, the Country Club gets far less attention than the nearby Men's Club at Garden City. The layout is helped by the range of internal contours on the greens but the main anchor is the less than engaging shots one faces from many of the tees. They are fairly ordinary and with the length of today's clubs and balls -- the lack of overall distance doesn't impact playing angles as it did from years ago.
Four of the holes are separated by the Long Island railroad tracks and the holes on the far side are a good mixture but the lack of land movement can often blur one into the other.
There are exceptions - the par-4 3rd is nicely done as the fairway tilts from right-to-left and the green is quite vexing for those failing to hit the proper approach shot.
The dog-leg right par-4 6th is also challenging. The par-4 7th is a beautiful looking hole -- the fescue grass and adjoining mounding is quite an eyeful.
As I said at the outset -- you do have a good mixture of putting greens with different movements and shapes.
The par-5 12th, with its elevated green, is done well. One must play a series of quality golf shots to make the most of your opportunity.
Those who are Travis fans will enjoy the layout but the added features one sees at the upper echelon layouts of his are a bit muted here.
Nonetheless, it's worth checking out if the situation happens for a round here.
M. James Ward