“Attractively situated along the eastern flank of Hempstead Harbor, North Shore Country Club is a classic, fairly eccentric Golden Age layout which, despite long being considered an A.W. Tillinghast design, appears actually to have [been] built by Seth Raynor in 1916.” Wrote Daniel Wexler in The American Private Golf Club Guide.
“The history of North Shore is very interesting,” wrote the intrepid Rudo in his blog Rudo’s Golf Travels. “Around 1913 some younger members of New York’s Harmonie Club (an eating and entertainment club with primarily German Jewish members) pushed the older members of Harmonie’s Board to pursue purchase of a golf course… Harmonie ended up purchasing the Glenwood Club on Long Island’s North Shore. Glenwood had built a course designed by Devereux Emmet, who had watched C. B. Macdonald and Seth Raynor construct the National… but Glenwood was not well received. Within eight months of purchasing Glenwood, Harmonie had retained Seth Raynor to redesign the course.”
“One of Raynor’s first solo designs,” commented Tom Doak in The Confidential Guide to Golf Courses, “its early vintage was a drawback because the most interesting driving features were located only 180-200 yards off the tee, and tees backed up against property lines left little room to address the issue. The club almost disappeared a few years ago under extreme financial pressure – they lost 30 members to the Bernard Madoff scandal – before it was rescued by Donald Zucker, whom had learned to play golf here years earlier. He asked us how to give the course a bit more character and variety, and to do so we reversed the two starting and two finishing holes, creating a shot par-4 2nd, a wild version of Macdonald’s “Short” hole at the 17th (missing from the original design, which had only three par-3 holes), and a very long par-5 18th coming home from the old 2nd green to the old 1st tee. But the par-5 16th, which crosses a deep gully twice, is still the most arresting hole.”
This is a hidden gem amongst Long Island golf courses.
The original design by Charles Blair MacDonald and Seth Raynor is both formidable and fun, featuring dramatic elevation changes in the back nine with challenging, undulating greens throughout the entire course.
While the course isn't the longest or hardest, it is a great track to play for all handicap levels. The course is maintained in a fantastic manner and is easily one of the biggest selling points. The greens are always in perfect shape and often can be rolling around a 12 on the stimp. In an area where there are a lot of top 100 courses it can be overshadowed at times but is definitely worth playing. There are a number of signature Raynor/Macdonald course features between a Redan hole, a double plateau hole as well as a classic dogleg.