The Rockaway Hunting Club claims itself to be the oldest country club in the United States, in that it is the longest-operating property in the nation that is now a country club (it gained the latter title after the club at Brookline). It was founded as a club for horsemen, and boasted one of the best polo teams in history; founding member Foxhall Keene was the game’s best player eight years-running...but he was also an accomplished golfer. He competed in both the U.S. Open and was defeated in the U.S. Amateur quarterfinal by Walter Travis.
The golf course at the club is now the star attraction (the polo fields have long since disappeared). Such a historic club also has a significant history in the architects that have shaped it over the years. The list begins with Tom Bendelow, continuing in turn to Deveraux Emmett, A.W. Tillinghast, and Perry Maxwell. Most recently, Gil Hanse and Jim Wagner took their turn at restoring the Golden Age features of the club. One architect notably not featured in the roster at Rockaway is the aforementioned Travis.
The routing plays alongside the marshes of the Rockaways and the Woodmere Channel.