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The best golf courses you can play in New York

In terms of which state has the most high-end private courses, New York stands alone. On our latest ranking of America’s 100 Greatest Courses, The Empire State has three courses inside the top 10 (No. 4 Shinnecock Hills, No. 7 National Golf Links of America and No. 9 Fishers Island) and 15 inside our top 100, both more than any other state.

Aside from Bethpage Black, though, all those courses inside the top 100 are private. When looking at public courses, New York is not as strong, with just two courses on our latest 100 Greatest Public list. Still, there is plenty of quality golf spread across the state. From the easternmost point on Long Island to Niagara Falls on the Canadian border, this collection of the best courses you can play in New York covers all corners of the state.

Scroll down for the complete list of the best public courses in New York. We urge you to click through to each individual course page for bonus photography, drone footage and reviews from our course panelists. Plus, you can now leave your own ratings on the courses you’ve played.

Here are the best golf courses you can play in New York:

Bethpage State Park: Black
Dom Furore
Public
Bethpage State Park: Black
Farmingdale, NY, United States
Sprawling Bethpage Black, designed in the mid-1930s to be “the public Pine Valley,” became the darling of the USGA in the early 2000s, when it played the 2002 and 2009 U.S. Opens. Then it became a darling of the PGA Tour as host of the 2011 and 2016 Barclays. Now the PGA of America has embraced The Black, which hosted the 2019 PGA Championship (winner: Brooks Koepka) and the upcoming 2025 Ryder Cup. Heady stuff for a layout that was once a scruffy state-park haunt where one needed to sleep in the parking lot in order to get a tee time. Now, you need fast fingers on the state park's website once tee times are available—as prime reservations at The Black are known for going in seconds.
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Turning Stone Resort Casino: Atunyote
Russell Kirk
Dustin Johnson and Matt Kuchar each captured PGA Tour titles at Turning Stone’s Atunyote course when it hosted a tour event from 2006-2010. Turning Stone’s signature layout—one of three 18-hole courses at the resort—was previously ranked for four years on our 100 Greatest Public list, reaching as high as No. 55 in 2013-2014, and returns now after a nine-year absence. The Tom Fazio parkland design plays through woodlands and around pristine ponds that create a tranquil setting.
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Turning Stone Resort Casino: Kaluhyat
Russell Kirk
3.2
37 Panelists
Just like Turning Stone’s Atunyote course, the Kaluhyat layout was also previously ranked for four years on our 100 Greatest Public list, climbing as high as No. 71 in 2013-2014. Unlike the relatively flat Atunyote track, the Robert Trent Jones Jr.-designed Kaluhyat course has plenty of elevation changes, including some up to 50 feet. The elevation changes provide many scenic vistas of the surrounding upstate terrain.
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Bally's Golf Links at Ferry Point
Stephen Szurlej
3.9
103 Panelists
Bally's Golf Links Ferry Point, formerly Trump Ferry Point, is a Jack Nicklaus, John Stanford and Jim Lipe design that sits atop an old NYC trash dump. Ferry Point opened in 2014 and debuted at No. 95 on 2017-2018 100 Greatest Public ranking. It's currently ranked 35th on our Best in New York list. Reports estimate the cost of the Bronx links to be near $127 million.
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Turning Stone Resort Casino: Shenendoah
Joann Dost
3.8
55 Panelists
Like Turning Stone’s other two 18-hole tracks, the Shenendoah course is a past member of our 100 Greatest Public list, reaching as high as No. 52 in 2005-2006. The Rick Smith design offers plenty of variety, including both tree-lined parkland and open links-style holes.
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Saratoga National Golf Club
Evan Schiller
Public
Saratoga National Golf Club
Saratoga Springs, NY
3.1
24 Panelists
Less than 45 minutes north of Albany, Saratoga National is a scenic yet challenging public layout. There are many forced carries over ponds, marshlands and creeks to reach fairways and greens, including at the par-3 15th, where the green is surrounded by water. Creeks run through many fairways, especially on the back nine, requiring sound strategy to either lay up short or knock it over.
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The Otesaga's Leatherstocking Golf Course
Courtesy of The Otesaga Resort Hotel
Public
The Otesaga's Leatherstocking Golf Course
Cooperstown, NY, United States
4.2
33 Panelists
Just down the road from the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, The Otesaga’s Leatherstocking course plays along the scenic shores of Lake Otsego. The rolling layout finishes strong with the par-3 17th playing over water and the par-5 18th teeing off from a narrow island peninsula to a fairway bending around the lake.
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Pound Ridge Golf Club
Public
Pound Ridge Golf Club
Pound Ridge, NY, United States
3.7
31 Panelists
This is Pete Dye at his prettiest—and toughest. Pound Ridge, which sits 40 miles northeast of Manhattan, mixes perfectly manicured fairways and greens with a long, demanding, undulated layout. It's a visually intimidating course with a number of blind tee shots, huge bunker complexes and some long carries, and Instagrammable beauty at every turn. In typical fashion, Dye wedged a lot of trouble into this 175-acre site with woods, wetlands, water hazards, rocks and boulders coming into play. (His advice? Bring extra balls.) There is little to no room for error on most tee and approach shots, but that's what makes it a must-play (and with five sets of tees ranging from 5,151 to 7,165 yards, you have options). The property features some of the highest points in the area, offering expansive views of the surrounding Westchester countryside—an area known for its private courses.
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Montauk Downs State Park Golf Course
LC Lambrecht
3.6
46 Panelists
Situated about a mile from the Atlantic Ocean on the tip of Long Island, Montauk Downs is a challenging municipal that New York residents can play for under $50. Given the proximity to the ocean, the wind is often strong and can make the course play vastly different from day to day.
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Bethpage State Park: Red
Public
Bethpage State Park: Red
Farmingdale, NY
A.W. Tillinghast’s Red course opened in 1935—a year before the famed Black—and is considered by many, including us, to be Bethpage’s second-best layout. The challenge of the Red starts on the first tee, where the typical crowd gathered by the starter’s booth watches as golfers try to find the narrow fairway guarded by thick rough. Though the opening and closing stretch of holes are tree-lined, the routing shakes free at the par-4 eighth and breaks into a vast plain littered with fescue and bunkers. Here it emulates the same kind of rugged muscularity and wasp-waist bunkering the Black is known for, though with slightly more room to play off the tee and less dire consequence for missing shots. But in the Red you get the whiff of a major championship design and something far more profound than any run-of-the-mill "second best" golf course.
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Ravenwood Golf Club
Public
Ravenwood Golf Club
Victor, NY
3.8
20 Panelists
Situated just outside Rochester, Ravenwood is a challenging public course with forgiving fairways but small, tricky greens. The course, which can tip out at over 7,000 yards, has quite a bit of elevation change and can be a strenuous walk.
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Seneca Hickory Stick Golf
Public
Seneca Hickory Stick Golf
Lewiston, NY
3.4
17 Panelists
Seneca Hickory Stick, designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr., pairs well with a trip to Niagara Falls, less than 20 minutes down the road. The relatively flat course with wide fairways has many intriguing features, including a double green, fescue-lipped bunkers and several large ponds.
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The Sagamore Resort
Public
The Sagamore Resort
Bolton Landing, NY, United States
Originally built in 1928, the Donald Ross-designed Sagamore Golf Course is a tree-lined layout with undulating greens. There are plenty of elevation changes, including at the downhill par-4 opener, which offers scenic vistas of nearby Lake George and the Adirondacks in the distance. A shuttle runs between the course and resort, about 10 minutes away.
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The Links At Union Vale
Courtesy of the club/LC Lambrecht
Public
The Links At Union Vale
Lagrangeville, NY
About 70 miles north of New York City along the Taconic Parkway, architect Stephen Kay created The Links at Union Vale for a group of Irish investors who were frustrated with how difficult it was to find a tee time in the NYC area. Kay, a Queens native, built the course on 200 acres of former cattle and farmland with a meager $600,000 budget. The 18-hole layout is yet another fun public option in the New York area from Kay, who might not get as much credit as some of his contemporaries, but is undoubtedly deserving of accolades for creating courses that are fun yet interesting to navigate for every level of golfer. —Stephen Hennessey, dep. managing editor
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Centennial Golf Club: Lakes/Meadows/Fairways
LC Lambrecht
Situated just over an hour north of New York City, Centennial is a public 27-hole facility that plays over 340 acres of rolling hills. The numerous elevation changes create scenic views while the natural rock outcroppings and ponds provide challenge. In addition to the three nine-hole layouts, Centennial has a double-ended driving range, a short game area and three additional putting greens.
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The Links At Hiawatha Landing
Public
The Links At Hiawatha Landing
Apalachin, NY
3.7
11 Panelists
The Links at Hiawatha Landing is a picturesque course with many holes framed by thick fescue. The course, located about 15 minutes west of Binghamton and just over the Pennsylvania border, offers affordable rates as low as $35 for residents during the summer months.
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Smithtown Landing Country Club
Public
Smithtown Landing Country Club
Smithtown, NY
About 50 miles east of New York City on Long Island, Smithtown Landing is a municipal facility with undulating fairways and subtle doglegs. In addition to the 18-hole layout, there is a nine-hole par-3 course nicknamed “The Learning Links” that is perfect for beginners and kids.
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Harbor Links
Public
Harbor Links
Port Washington, NY
Built on a former sand mine, Harbor Links is a links-style design that has unique features, including several split fairways and a large, rocky bluff. Conveniently located just west of New York City in Port Washington, Harbor Links is a quality public option in the metro area.
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Seven Oaks Golf Club
Courtesy of the club
Public
Seven Oaks Golf Club
Hamilton, NY
Seven Oaks Golf Club, located in Hamilton, N.Y., is home to the Colgate men’s golf team and is situated on the northern end of campus. In the early 1930s, Robert Trent Jones Sr. visited campus to begin designing one of his first courses. However, the Great Depression and World War II put the project on hold for over 20 years. It was not until 1956 when work began on the first nine holes, which opened in 1958. Today, the course is a parkland design with several water hazards and large, gently undulating greens.
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Conklin Players Club
Public
Conklin Players Club
Conklin, NY
Near the Pennsylvania border just southeast of Binghamton, Conklin Players Club is a scenic layout with views of the surrounding hills that are especially picturesque in the fall. The course includes an island green (albeit a generous one) and a tee box on a small peninsula surrounded by water.
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The Golf Club At Mansion Ridge
Dave Sansom
Public
The Golf Club At Mansion Ridge
Monroe, NY
This Jack Nicklaus Signature design is built on a 220-acre estate about an hour outside New York City. Historic rock outcroppings line a few holes and solid conditioning and a varied layout with some nice undulation make this a public option worth traveling to.
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The Links at Greystone
Public
The Links at Greystone
Walworth, NY
The Links at Greystone, which gets its name from the stones lining the water on many holes, is a relatively open layout with large, dramatic greens. There are numerous steep elevation changes, including several holes that play significantly uphill. The greens at this Rochester-area track have plenty of movement and are best described on the course website: “Missing the green in the right spot is almost always better than hitting the green in the wrong one.”
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Patriot Hills Golf Club
Public
Patriot Hills Golf Club
Stony Point, NY
A number of elevated tee boxes with massive elevation changes is a distinct feature of this invigorating design that winds through mountainous terrain off the Palisades Interstate Parkway. Parts of the back nine wind through a deserted mental institute, adding to the quirkiness of this challenging test.
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Dyker Beach Golf Course
(C)2012 Dsquared productions inc. Murphy/Scully
Public
Dyker Beach Golf Course
Brooklyn, NY
Situated in Brooklyn’s southwest corner in the shadow of the Verrazano Bridge, Dyker Beach is one of two New York City layouts on our Best Courses You Can Play in New York list, along with Trump Golf Links at Ferry Point. Far and away the cheaper of the two, Dyker Beach is an enjoyable parkland track that offers weekday rates under $40. What’s more, juniors can play Dyker Beach on weekdays for just $7.75.
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