Shinnecock Hills - New York - USA

Shinnecock Hills Golf Club,
200 Tuckahoe Road,
Southampton,
New York (NY) 11968,
USA


  • +1 631 283 3525


Shinnecock Hills Golf Club is an old club with old traditions and Scottish professional Willie Davis, aided by 150 Indians from the neighbouring Shinnecock Reservation, can take credit for what was probably the inaugural authentic US golf course design which dates back to 1891 when Davis laid out the first twelve holes. Head professional Willie Dunn added a further six holes by 1894.

When new land became available during the Great War, Charles B. Macdonald and Seth Raynor added six new holes and overhauled the course. The design firm of Howard Toomey and William Flynn built twelve new holes and altered Macdonald's design from 1929 to 1931. Some historians believe Dick Wilson should also be given some credit.

Not only was Shinnecock Hills Golf Club one of the five founding members of the USGA but also it was where one of the first specifically designed golf clubhouses was built. Stanford White designed the clubhouse in the shingled style of the region and it sits majestically on the highest point of the property. A few steps away from the white columned building is the first tee box from where you can see Peconic Bay shimmering in the distance and, in the foreground, lies the open, 300-acre expansive golf course which tumbles away from the clubhouse.

“Shinnecock Hills fully utilises the outstanding features of the area – the strong prevailing winds off the Atlantic to the southwest, the sandy and rolling terrain and the thick, reed-like grasses that border the fairways.” Wrote Charles Price in the New World Atlas of Golf. “While not truly linksland – the grass of the fairways and greens is more of an inland texture – the ambience and windy bleakness of Shinnecock Hills on an average day evoke feelings of the British seaside links.”

Ben Hogan was a fan of Shinnecock Hills and in a letter to a Shinnecock club member he once wrote: “Each hole is different and requires a great amount of skill to play properly. Each hole has complete definition. You know exactly where to shoot. All in all, I think it is one of the finest courses I have ever played.”

James Foulis won the first U.S. Open to be staged at Shinnecock Hills in 1896, but it was another 90 years before the club would host another. Raymond Floyd prevailed in 1986 and Corey Pavin in 1995. In 2004, Retief Goosen claimed his second U.S. Open title, beating Phil Mickelson by two shots in a controversial event. The tournament returned to Southampton for the fifth time in 2018 when (amid further controversy) Brooks Koepka successfully defended the title he won at Erin Hills in 2017.

2018 US Open - Shinnecock Hills ready for world’s best

Shinnecock's superb short holes - 118th US Open

Koepka defends US Open title at Shinnecock Hills

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Reviews for Shinnecock Hills

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Description: Not only was Shinnecock Hills Golf Club one of the five founding members of the USGA but also it was where one of the first specifically designed golf clubhouses was built. Rating: 9.4 out of 10 Reviews: 18
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Larry Berle
I was the only one there, save a couple of employees. The sun, a massive orange ball, greeted me as it rose slowly over the end of Long Island. I took my time touring the locker room’s photos and views and thinking of all the great golfers who have sat on these benches and used these lockers. The room had a magical feeling to it. I found the pro shop, met my caddie Bobby, and went to hit balls on the driving range. I am hitting balls where Arnie or Jack once stood, I thought. About a half-hour later another foursome showed up, so Bobby and I decided to get going, so as not to get in their way. I parred Numbers 1 and 2 and was hitting the ball quite well as we moved quickly along the dew-swept fairways. Then, as we walked off the 8th green, Bobby turned to me and said, “These holes were just a friendly welcome to Shinnecock. Now the real golf begins.” And so it did. From the fairway below, the 9th green looked like it sat up on a pedestal, and it was as hard to hit as it looked. Now I knew why the course was not just called Shinnecock. The hills of Shinnecock Hills were coming into play…

As we stood on the 12th fairway, Bobby said, “See that big mound on the left side of the green? You’ll never see a pin over there, because there’s a horse buried under there and it’s sacred to the Indians.” The course sits on the Shinnecock Indian reservation. When the club was founded in 1891, it signed a 100-year lease with the tribe. When I first played there in 1998, its renewal was still unresolved…

When we were done with the round, Bobby and I headed back to the 10th tee and played 10, 11 and 12 again. Shinnecock Hills is a wonderful place and playing it alone was a truly magical experience. Imagine having one of the world’s greatest golf courses all to yourself for a few hours. Larry Berle.
November 12, 2014
8 / 10
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Keith Baxter
November 12, 2014
The above review is an edited extract from A Golfer’s Dream, which has been reproduced with the author’s kind permission. A Golfer’s Dream, by Larry Berle, tells the story of how a regular guy conquered America’s Top 100 Golf Courses (following Golf Digest’s 2001/2002 list). Larry has exclusively rated for us every course in the hundred, using our golf ball rating system. However, Larry did not rate the 100 courses against every golf course he has played, but instead he rated them in relation to each other within the hundred. Consequently, in some cases, his rating may seem rather low. A Golfer’s Dream is available in Kindle format and also on Kindle Unlimited via Amazon... click the link for more. 
David Davis
Two weeks ago Thursday I became one of the extremely fortunate few to have had the opportunity to play Shinnecock Hills Golf Club. As someone with a tremendous passion for GCA this is truly as good as it gets. I often find some of the non-golf related nuances interesting at the best clubs in the world. They are things you don’t expect and while noteworthy from an experiential point of view have no negative impacts on the courses or experiences themselves. Shinnecock to my surprise has a two-lane road running through the middle of the course. The way I drove up to the club I really thought it was their private road,Shinnecock Hills Golf Course - Photo by reviewer well at least until I was nearly ran over walking across the street from the parking lot to the clubhouse. That’s when I realized it must be a through road. Another point of interest is that all these top clubs have modest understated clubhouses and pro-shops often a fraction of the size of many of the more modern clubs. Shinnecock’s iconic clubhouse sits perched atop this hill looking out over much of the course providing an idyllic location for a lovely meal or drink.

The course itself often resembles what you might find on a Scottish links even though conditioning is quite different. When I played it was a touch on the lush side although still fairly firm, of course not to be compared to hard and fast fairways found at most UK links. What Shinnecock does boast is some of the finest architecture and one of the all time great routings. No two holes alike and an amazing mix of short and long holes all moving in different directions with respect to the wind. As to wind there is plenty of it out on the east end of Long Island. On our day the average wind was about 25 mph (40 kmh). This added to the great challenge Shinnecock presents. My favorite part of the course came after the turn, theShinnecock Hills Golf Course - Photo by reviewer stretch of holes across the road were simply awesome. 10 offers up a blind drive and a tough approach in the wind to a narrow raised green with run-offs all around. Miss the green and you’re sure to find trouble. The par 3 11th better known as the shortest par 5 in golf presents you with an uphill tee shot into a cross wind to a raised green surrounded by run offs and huge bunkers. The green is about 10 paces wide and slopes back to front providing the smallest of chances to stop the perfectly struck tee shot. This hole would be worth spending a day watching players endure the great tragedy it presents. It ranks up there with the best par 3’s I’ve ever played.

Make no mistake, Shinnecock is a players course and extremely tough test of golf, it’s also one of the few routings that exist where it would be extremely difficult to imagine improving, the only suggestion I could make would be that I would love to see it playing as firm as a UK links. Truly one of the great masterpieces and an experience I will never forget!
November 04, 2014
10 / 10
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Javier Pintos
During June 2013 I was confirmed to play both PINE VALLEY and MERION (East) on consecutive days in late August. Can it be better? Sure! One of my friends with whom I was going to play these courses insisted my in giving a try at Shinnecock. I was not sure as my contact is not a member but she knew a lot of people, my doubt was making a try where there was no chances, but he insisted and the email went out of my inbox. Two days later I had an email from my friend, a member at Maidstone, with the title "SUCCESS"! We were confirmed to tee off at Monday August 26th with Bob, a member who very kindly invited us to test one of the truest tests in golf.

The next days until the trip were so slow I maybe played the course 100 times in my mind (always Shinnecock Hills Golf Course - Photo by reviewerbreaking par, of course!). But this long wait I was sure it was going to be paid by a fantastic round of golf. After 6 days in Myrtle Beach, we flew to Newark and drove to Philadelphia to play Pine Valley and Merion, and then drove again to The Hamptons for one last night. It was the last night of the trip and we were really looking forward to it. Although we were supposed to get to the Club at 12pm, we did a little bit earlier (10.30am!) and we did a lot more than we had imagined: we were toured around the entire Club House (quite small and charming), we were showed trophies, photos, scorecards and plenty of the history of the Club. Then, around 11.30am we walked and took pictures of plenty of the holes around the Club House and what was really astonishing was the shape in which the course was, simply perfect! Towards noon we used the practice range for not more than 30 minutes, with very strong wind in our faces and then we smashed the ProShop buying everything we could: bag tags, shirts, sweaters, a flag, a golf bag, balls, it was a lot of money!! 20 minutes to 1pm our host arrived and we went directly to 10th tee (originally 1st) and started to play.

We had a small chat with Bob in which he told us the late news on the course, future plans for 2018 and that Rory McIlroy had scored 64 from the very back tees 2 days ago. He said the course was in its best shape ever, and believe me it was, greens rolling at 11 feet, fairways as carpets, the rough deep and dense and we Shinnecock Hills Golf Course - Photo by reviewerwere added a very strong wind in our face on 16th and 18th. Every hole has something special, although there are some that can be added some details: - 10th has a very deep downhill after the right side crossbunker, then up again, it is better not to get to the bottom as approach shot is very small (I did!). - 11th green is VERY small and tough. - 16th is one of the best par 5s I have played, with a very long green. - 18th if you go and stand on where Pavin hit that 4 wood, you will really see how tough the shot was. - 2nd played downwind 225yds and they expect to put a tee up to 250yds ... cruel!! - 6th is the nicest and toughest on the course, that hazard can eat balls. - 7th (REDAN) looks simple but that putting surface is diabolic. I had a 20ft for birdie and had to aim it 8 feet to the right of the hole. - 9th and that upright second shot are soo good! Into the wind the hole must be really yough, as the green is something like 15ft above from the fairway level.

It was a great round of golf, I scored a decent 78 from the tips but I remained virgin as it was 8 bogeys and 10 pars, no birdies at all. But we enjoyed it so much that I will be very greatful to the lady who made the call to make us play. If you sometime get the chance to play, just enjoy and try to get as much history of the course as you can from the Member, it really pays. One more: the folloing day Luke Donald played there (he tweeted some pics), how close we were of meeting him and Rory!! Click here to read Javier's article in full.
December 26, 2013
10 / 10
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Mac Plumart
Absolute perfection!! This is the best pure golf course I've seen in the United States. Playable for all, but a ball busting test for the better golfers who want to try to go low.
August 12, 2011
10 / 10
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Bobby
Played here in 2004 just after the US Open. Amazing course and club. The angles of attack to many of the holes are just superb. Many of the holes look decievingly simple at first but then they get the better of you. The 13th comes to mind. Par three redan 7th is also an absolute gem.
May 24, 2009
10 / 10
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W
Host to four US Opens (so far), Shinnecock is rightly revered as a hugely challenging golf course and it more than lives up to its tough reputation. After a good lunch and a cursory glance towards the outstanding practice facilities, we tried to unleash our best on this fabulous course. Shinnecock Hills really does have some big undulations and the changes in elevation are stark (the golf course is a favourite tobogganing place for Long Islanders) with the clubhouse sitting proudly atop the hill where the course starts, returns after nine (with a great cocktail bar serving refreshing ‘southsides’) and finishes on a wickedly fast and subtle green. Phil Mickelson and Ernie Els let an Open slip here, and it is easy to see how. The opening holes are strong, but so are those around the middle and towards the end. There isn’t a weak hole, the scenery is spectacular and the feeling of playing here is one of awe. The Par 3s are superb, with the 11th described by some as the shortest Par 5 in the America. The finish at both 9 and 18 is spectacular with the iconic clubhouse and fluttering club flag. From start to finish, 1-18, clubhouse to cocktail bar, a day at Shinnecock is a very special experience.
December 13, 2007
10 / 10
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Tim Shearer
Absolutely fantastic course. Caddy golf at it's finest. The view from the first tee looking out over the entire course, National Golf Links in the distance and Sebonic Sound beyond that. The course experience is fantastic but to fully enjoy the outing, you must have an after game cocktail on the veranda of the clubhouse.
October 18, 2007
10 / 10
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ian green
February 02, 2008
its not sebonac sound its peconic bay and sebonac g.c.
John
I managed to get a game at Shinnecock Hills in 2004 and it was a truly remarkable experience. First off, this is a serious course and each hole is quite unique and differs from the last. The routing takes you towards each point on the compass and when the winds swirls around you can expect to shoot perhaps 10 shots above your handicap. My overriding feeling about this course is that it is incredibly fair, with few blind shots and the hazards laid out before you. Four stunning par threes stick in the mind and the collection of holes around the turn are magnificent. The clubhouse experience is almost as delicious as the course with its panoramic views. I am sure you can see at least a dozen holes from the clubhouse. To cap the whole deal off, the members are just normal friendly folk. Shinnecock Hills is in a class of its own for me and I’d give it the maximum marks for everything except the pace of play which is a little on the slow side for my liking. Magnificent club.
August 30, 2006
10 / 10
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