The Glen Oaks Club moved to its current location during the early ‘70s, with 27 holes of golf designed by Joe Finger. The design of the championship "White" and "Blue" nines have been significantly overhauled by Joel Weiman since, however (he and superintendent Craig Currier had collaborated previously at Bethpage Black).
That vision involved opening up the fairways (a task partially assisted by Hurricane Sandy during 2012). Examples of the “opening” are best exemplified in the shared fairways available between three sets of holes: 5 and 11, 8 and 13, and 14 and 18.
For as much as the course was allowed to breathe under Weiman, the hazards presented won’t allow players to breathe easy. Several holes feature greens guarded by ponds, and the rest have bountiful white sand bunkers to keep inaccurate players nervous.
The nine additional holes, relatively untouched from the Finger era, remains and its fairways also occasionally intermingle with those of the more celebrated route of 18.
A composite course was ready in time for The Northern Trust in 2017 when Dustin Johnson beat Jordan Spieth in a playoff.
In 2021, Glen Oaks Club hosted the third of four stages of the Aramco Team Series – the first team event of its kind on any professional golf tour and the first LET event to be staged in America – when three female professionals team up with an amateur. In New York's team event, Jessica Korda led her team to victory while Charley Hull won the individual title. The unique series spans three continents with tournaments in London (Centurion Club), Sotogrande (La Reserva), New York (Glen Oaks) and Jeddah (Royal Greens).
The recent updating of the course truly helped matters considerably. I was fortunate play the course both pre and post and the work that's been done clearly resulted in a far more challenging and fun course to play.
When the club hosted The Northern Trust in 2017 the players who competed that I talked to were quite complimentary of the set-up. It did not hurt matters when one of the top three players in the world -- Dustin Johnson -- emerges with victory over Jordan Spieth in a playoff.
The clutter from the trees previously only served to hamper the shotmaking needed.
While the course consists of 27-holes -- the White and Blue combination work best. For The Northern Trust event a composite course was played.
The course provides roughly 60 feet of elevation change and with 260-acres of land there's plenty of room so one does not feel cramped.
Glen Oaks is not in the same league with the likes of nearby courses such as Piping Rock, Meadowbrook and Garden City GC -- which are all within eight miles of Glen Oaks.
Nonetheless, Glen Oaks is a testing layout with impeccable turf grooming. Modern design is clearly its motif and the updating has truly bolstered its case today.
M. James Ward