January 4, 2017

Shinnecock Hills Golf Club

Southampton, N.Y. / 7,450 yards, Par 70 / Points: 69.2301
Shinnecock Hills Golf Club
Joe Raynor/Courtesy of Shinnecock Hills GC

4. Shinnecock Hills Golf Club

Willie Davis, 12 1892/ Willie Dunn Jr. (A. 6 1895)/Charles Blair Macdonald (1913)/Charles Blair Macdonald & Seth Raynor (R. 1917)/William Flynn (R. 1931)/William F. Mitchell (1967)/Bill Coore & Ben Crenshaw (R. 2012)

Generally considered to be the earliest links in America, heavily remodeled twice by C.B. Macdonald, then replaced (except for three holes) by William S. Flynn in the early 1930s. It's so sublime that its architecture hasn't really been altered for nearly 50 years, until the team of Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw made several changes in 2012, including restoration of a massive waste area on the sixth hole, to prepare Shinnecock for the 2018 U.S. Open. Shinnecock will also host the 2026 U.S. Open.

100 Greatest History: Ranked since 1967. Highest ranking: No. 2, 2007-08. Previous ranking: 4


Panelist comments:
“Shinnecock Hills was the most remarkable experience I have had. Close your eyes and it could be 1895. This is complemented by a warm, welcoming clubhouse. It is the standard, and each element of the clubhouse is a collective mix of simple, unique and exquisite. That comfortable clubhouse, historic golf course and deep history make for a world-class experience.”

“There might not be a better collection of par 3s in the world. And three par 4s are all-worlders: the ninth, 10th and 14th holes. This is an American classic as fair of a test to play for tour pros and amateur players alike.”

“Fantastic in every way especially since they removed so many trees since the last time I played it. Brings the course back to life and allows the wind to play even more of a factor. Tests every club in the bag. Hard to believe very little earth was moved to create such a great test of golf. Natural setting makes memorability, aesthetics, and ambience off the chart -- outdone only by the choices and difficulty presented by so many shots.”

“Shinnecock Hills is about as complete a golf course as there is. The continual movement of the routing makes the player keep thinking about the wind and having to work the ball with or against it to hold these relatively small and well guarded greens.”

“This is the ultimate examination of tournament golf, which is why the USGA has brought the U.S. Open here across three centuries -- and it’ll host great tournaments across three more. You must drive it boldly, play well-struck approach shots, hit clever recoveries, and you must putt well -- even on four- to five-footers. It’s the standardized testing of golf.”


Stephen Szurlej

Hole No. 18

Joe Raynor/Courtesy of Shinnecock Hills GC

Hole No. 16

Joe Raynor/Courtesy of Shinnecock Hills GC

Hole No. 16

Stephen Szurlej
Joe Raynor/Courtesy of Shinnecock Hills GC

Hole No. 9