The Sands Point Club was founded under a different name, and was open for just a few years with a nine-hole course before it was bought out from the previous owner. That group — with the majority of decisions being made by future Governor of New York Averell Harriman — aimed to bring the course to 18 holes and a minimum distance of 6,000 yards. They wrote to A.W. Tillinghast in the pursuit, who replied with typical frankness: “Is the property worthy of modern course? Most assuredly. Is the present plan good? No. It is very bad.”
Tillinghast most assuredly managed to find a championship course among the rubble of the existing very bad nine, and the result is the Sands Point Club. Robert Trent Jones extended the course to a more modern length during 1961, but the approach of play remains the same. Although the original polo field disappeared long ago, replaced by the current practice area, the original design elements of Tillie are well-recognizable, thanks to a number of renovation projects over the years from Ron Forse, Keith Foster, and Kevin Hargrave.