Laid out on a confined parcel of land at East Setauket, New York, in 1917 by Devereux Emmet, the course at St George’s Golf & Country Club extends to a mere 6,200 yards, indicating that hardly a thing has changed here in a century, apart from a sympathetic Gil Hanse restoration at the start of the new millennium.
Devereux Emmet was a close friend of CB Macdonald and the influence of this friendship is hugely evidence in Emmet’s work at St. George’s, especially with the mind-blowing throwback green shapes and bunker designs.
The club was established in 1917, and in 2008, the club embarked on a multi-year project to bring the course back to its Golden Age roots. Glorious aerial photos are on display in the clubhouse showing the property with no trees and incredible bunker shapes. More than 8,000 trees were removed in recent years, bunkers that were lost were restored, fairways were joined as a result of massive rough removal – and with the help of Gil Hanse, this course is easily in the top 10 or 12 courses on Long Island (stand back and appreciate what that statement actually means given the competition with a 50-mile stretch).
I was hugely impressed with this remarkable layout that flies tremendously under the radar and quickly gives you a glimpse of what golf courses looked like at the start of the last century.