2018 U.S. Open: Visitor's Guide to Long Island and the Hamptons

By Ryan Watson

photo courtesy USGA

The 2018 U.S. Open is scheduled to take place June 14-17 at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club in Southampton, NY. This is Shinnecock Golf Club’s fifth time hosting the event and it promises to be as competitive as ever. As one of golf’s four major championship, the U.S. Open is one of the most prestigious and difficult tournaments in the professional game. Fans planning on catching the action can also visit many of the great courses and attractions in the area. GolfLink has put together a travel guide to the region to make sure you get the most out of your trip. 


Visiting the Hamptons

The town of Southampton is located on the eastern part of Long Island often referred to collectively as the Hamptons. This region is best known for the extremely wealthy residents who often spend their summers in the luxurious mansions that dot the area. Visitors should expect to pay a premium for the beautiful scenery and excellent amenities, but the region is full of history and has several sights that shouldn’t be missed. 

The picturesque Montauk Point Lighthouse shouldn't be missed on the east end of Long Island, and the attached museum provides a good primer on the area’s seafaring past. A visit to the Sylvester Manor, a colonial manor on beautiful Shelter Island provides an even greater look at the region’s history. The land was bought in the 17th century and used initially as a barrel making operation to provide containers to the lucrative shipping industry and more recently has been turned into educational farm with an eye to preserving the manor’s history.

Next, any visitor to the Hamptons has to spend time on the beach. Be advised, many beaches require you to reserve your parking in advance. Avoid this by heading to Sagg Main Beach in Sagaponack which offers daily parking passes purchased when you enter the beach, just be sure to arrive early. Enjoy the Atlantic Ocean by surfing, swimming, or just lounging in the sand. For food, be sure to try the local favorite Lobster Roll, the name of the favorite food at this restaurant. Choose from a classic cold lobster roll or the hot and buttery variety, and enjoy the melt in your mouth goodness. For cocktails, head to the American Hotel for delicious drinks in a hotel built in the mid-19th century whaling boom for classic elegance. The last must-do activity is to take in the quirky shops and atmosphere in Southampton. Rent a bike from a local shop and explore the miles of antique stores, bookshops, bakeries and cafes. 


Courses to Play

The Hamptons and Long Island as a whole are known to be top golfing destination. The following are the best public courses you can play during your stay for the 2018 U.S. Open. 

Harbor Links Golf Course

photo courtesy City of North Hempstead

1 Fairway Dr.
Port Washington, NY 11050
(516) 767-4816

Harbor Links is a relatively recent addition to the storied Long Island golfing world, being completed in 1998. The course was designed by Dr. Michael Hurdzan on a reclaimed sand mine. The course is a links style course that is a difficult, but fair, play. Golfers note the particularly challenging undulating greens and interesting layout full of natural sand bunkers and ample wastes. The popularity of this course has caused a particular issue with pace of play, with numerous golfers complaining about the slow length of the round. Visitors can beat the congestion by scheduling an early tee time to beat the crowds while enjoying one of Long Island’s premier courses. 


Cherry Creek Links

photo courtesy Cherry Creek Links

900 Reeves Ave.
Riverhead, NY 11901
(631) 369-6500

One of Long Island’s favorite public courses, Cherry Creek Links is a Charles Jurgen designed course that combines elements of both links and parkland designs. The layout is a long 7,200 yards and is one that will favor the accurate big hitters. Fairways are generally generous, so the course is enjoyable for more casual players. However, the undulating greens often guarded by mounds and bunkers provide plenty of challenge and an accurate short game is necessary to beat this course. 


Montauk Downs State Park

photo courtesy New York State Parks

50 S Fairview Ave.
Montauk, NY 11954
(631) 668-5000

Located on the eastern edge of Long Island, Montauk Downs has long been overshadowed by the better known Bethpage State Park courses. However, Montauk Downs provides one of the best golf experiences in the region and is conveniently located in the Hamptons close to many popular tourist destinations. The original course was redesigned by Robert Trent Jones and sons Rees and Robert Jr. to update the layout. The course is beautiful, feeling very isolated with dense forests, natural ponds and rough coming into play often. Go off the beaten plan and see why many golfers refer to Montauk Downs as the hidden gem of Long Island golf. 


Crab Meadow Golf Course

photo courtesy golfonlongisland.com

220 Waterside Rd.
Northport, NY 11768
(631) 757-8800

Crab Meadows Golf Course is located along the Long Island Sound and is known for its rolling hills and elevation changes. The course is only 6,574 yards long, but often plays longer with both downhill and especially challenging uphill holes. The course is forgiving and would be a good play for mid-handicappers or golfers recovering from a day of indulgence in the sun. Visitors will enjoy the pretty views and laid back atmosphere as they finish their round off. 


Bethpage State Park

photo courtesy New York State Parks

99 Quaker Meeting House Rd.
Farmingdale, NY 11735
(516) 249-0700

Bethpage State Park is the undisputed king of Long Island golf. The state park boasts the Red and Black courses. While the Red Course is deserving a playthrough if you have time, the Black course represents the best that Long Island can offer. The Black Course was first opened in 1936 as a solid public course butits pedigree comes from Rees Jones’ effort in updating the course in 1998, 2008, and 2015. This is a difficult course that rewards long accurate drives with a chance to hit the relative flat greens. But any mistake could find you stuck in some excellent and incredibly challenging greenside or fairway bunkers. The challenge, as well as the beauty of the course, has seen it host two U.S. Opens and it has been awarded both the 2019 PGA Championship and the 2024 Ryder Cup. 






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