Although the acclaimed clubs on the Great Peconic Bay may seem as far from New York City as a Long Islander can get, even more solitude can be found in the Hamptons, even farther out. One of the sleeper clubs in an area that also features names such as The Bridge and Atlantic golf clubs, is the Noyac Golf Club, located in Sag Harbor.
Noyac actually predates those other two clubs, which were both created by Rees Jones in the past few decades. This elder was built during 1963 by William Mitchell. He managed to fit 7,000 yards of golf on a tight piece of property, and tight play will be the order of the day for those challenging its thin fairways and small, well-defended greens (the sand hazards that provide such defense were revamped by Stephen Kay and Ross Forbes during 2007).
One of the most impressive specimens is No. 9, a short par five (just over 500 yards from the back tees) that staves off eagle attempts with its double-dogleg shape, slope, and ample sand guarding all corners as well as the putting surface.
Before the inclusion of the most recent new courses inhabiting the east end of Long Island such as Friar's Head, Sebonack, East Hampton, The Bridge, Atlantic, Laurel Links, et al - there are a few courses the cognoscenti simply overlooked.
Noyac is a creature of the early 1960s and architect William Mitchell followed a pattern of bringing to life larger-than-life design elements favored at that time. Mitchell created a number of layouts on Long Island and his work often gets little attention given a number of his efforts were on the public side.
Noyac is truly hidden among a parkland setting -- lined with mature trees.
The strategic calculus at Noyac starts with test of one's tee game. Being able to work-the-ball when called upon is a central requirement. Noyac features several strong dog-leg holes and being able to shape shots when called upon pays off for those able to execute. One of the most memorable holes is the 18th -- a stout dog-leg par-4 of 451 yards.
The routing is quite thorough and the hole diversity is good. What's missing is detailing of the putting surfaces and the surrounding areas. Much on that front is rather benign -- lacking a consistent sophistication that would add to the golf experience and the overall shotmaking challenge.
Noyac is a creature of the 1960s architectural style that has faded into the shadows - a bit of meaningful sunshine via the hiring of an architect who can wisely update the course could well provide the needed impetus in ratcheting up what's present now.
M. James Ward
Thanks for your thoughtful review of Noyac Golf Club. The course truly is a “hidden gem” in an area with some of the best in the world.
The Club has worked extensively with architect Ross Forbes to renovate all greens, bunkers and many other areas of the facility over the past 8-10 years. Shot values and conditioning have improved significantly due to his work. If you have not visited within the past 2-3 years, I’d welcome you to come play and see the improvements that have been made.
The Club will be hosting the Long Island Amateur this coming summer, which will showcase the golf course to the best players on Long Island - hopefully you may consider covering the event and the course!
Thanks again for your comments, hopefully you can visit this season.
Head Golf Professional
Noyac Golf Club