How To Play Shinnecock Hills

Shinnecock Hills Golf Course

Shinnecock Hills Golf Course


Guest post by Annabel Taylor

Time and time again, the panel of experts of Golf Magazine have ranked Shinnecock Hills among the World’s top golf courses. It has a long and proud history.

Three Americans, Duncan Cryder, Edward Mead and William Vanderbilt were vacationing in France during the winter of 1889, when they witnessed the game of golf. After returning back to the United States, the three made the decision that they would build a golf course in South Hampton, on Long Island, New York. With the help of one hundred and fifty Shinnecock Indians from the nearby reservation, construction of a 12-hole course was ultimately completed in 1891. Subsequently, it was named the Shinnecock Hills Golf Club after the Indians who had helped construct it and it became the very first golf club of its sort in the United States.

In 1893, a ladies-only 9-hole course was designed and constructed at Shinnecock Hills, but it only lasted a short while. It was abandoned to make room for a lengthening and redesign of the White Course by Charles B. MacDonald and Seth Raynor. By 1895 6 more holes were added to the original course by Willie Dunn, bringing the total to 18.

That year, Shinnecock joined four other courses to found the United States Golf Association. The U.S. Amateur and U.S. Open tournaments were held at the course in 1896.

By 1931 the course had undergone major renovations as a result of nearby highway development, and the team of Flynn and Toomey had to complete another redesign to accommodate a road that split the course in two. Today Shinnecock Hills still retains much of the 1931 redesign.

Shinnecock Hills

Shinnecock Hills – Fairway

Due to the hilly terrain, and thick native grasses, Shinnecock Hills still presents quite a challenge both from the fairway and off the tee. However, it features elevated tee boxes so players get a clear view of fairway bunkers, hazards and sand areas that must be carried. Despite being difficult, it is a fair course.

Mounds, rough and sand are featured by the par-4, 474-yard 6th hole as a result of which the fairway’s landing area is partially obscured. The Redan-style par-3, 189-yard 7th hole will prove to be helpful for most players since it plays into the overcoming wind. The par-3, 158-yard uphill 11th hole plays downhill, which makes it very tricky.

In the modern era, Shinnecock Hills has hosted three U.S. Open Championships. In 1986, a 43-year old Raymond Floyd won the championship. Corey Pavin secured his victory by there in 1995. Retief Goosen displayed his amazing putting in 2004 by overcoming some of the harshest conditions in the history of the U.S. Open. In 2018, the golf course will once again be host to the U.S. Open.

As one of the finest golf courses of its kind in the United States, golf enthusiasts from all over the globe journey to Shinnecock Hills. It is rated above some of the most prestigious courses in the world — above Bandon and Pacific Dunes, Pebble Beach and Pinehurst. The club is very private and there are tight restrictions on who is allowed to play the course. You must know a member who will sponsor you.

However, there is one day a year when the Shinnecock doors open to the public. A charity event, the Annual Project A.L.S. Golf Classic is held, usually in May, and anyone with the will and the $, can join the tournament. Call the golf course for more information on this event.

During golf season It is wise to contact the golf course in advance if you want to play a round of golf at the club. International golfers may even apply for ESTA applications so that the need to have a visa is waived.


Annabel Taylor lives in UK and is an avid reader and blogger. Since her early years she’s had a passion for writing. Her areas of interest are food, reviews (Book/Movie), Travel, Fashion, Lifestyle and fitness. She works as a guest blogger on her chosen areas of interest and currently writes on behalf of Turkey Visa.



  2 comments for “How To Play Shinnecock Hills

  1. Anna says:

    FYI–Shinnecock is doing a charity event in June 2015, call the Project A.L.S. office for tickets 212-420-7382

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *