Saturday, September 24, 2016
Roadgolf: Montauk Downs State Park GC, Montauk, Long Island
I've been wanting to do this for a long time. I first played here in way back in '06 while I was still pretty new to the game, and once more a year or two later. Considerable time passed (for whatever reason) and now I'm finally back.
Montauk is about a two and half hour drive from the city, out past the busier Hamptons. It is a modest, sparsely populated town known mostly for fishing.
Contrary to what the empty parking lot suggests, the course is open for business.
Like the Bethpage complex, the Downs is operated by the state parks department. To the delight of ID card-bearing New York state golfers, they actually do a very fine job operating these premium courses while keeping prices at bargain basement levels. Resident rates start at $26 for weekday twilights and top out at $48 on the weekend.
The pro shop is impeccably stocked. Who is buying all this stuff? Is my question.
The clubhouse reminds me of some kind of Egyptian inspired fort or battlement. It's distinctive I'll give it that.
Out the back of the clubhouse you get a good sense of the wide openness of the course.
I like the no horseplay rule. That's just straight up common sense.
My third trip around this place is much like the previous ones--deserted! Considering the high level of upkeep, I have a hard time imagining profitability here. But hey, that's the beauty of government right? Sometimes at least. Call me a socialist but I have no problem with Albany having to reach into the till to keep a place like this going. Call it a public service. Facilities like Montauk Downs benefit all state residents. Well they could, in theory, if only more NYS residents were into golf. But hey, that's their failure to take advantage, and why should we be punished for it?
It tends to be windy out on the end of Long Island. And this course is plenty difficult as it is.
There are some truly high-caliber difficult holes here.
Deer love this place. Probably for the same reason that I do: because it's usually free of people.
The back nine is tough. For me, it seems to go on and on. That's okay, I'm getting a fuller experience this way.
Playing through, guys.
I got my butt handed to me. 109. There were numerous 7s and 8s, a 9 and even a 10. I'd get into detail but I really don't want to take away from the majesty of this place. Who wants to hear a bunch of chatter about push-slices and steep impacts and what not? (I will admit that for the first time in my life, I had to slink into the pro-shop at the turn to buy more balls.) Sad that it has come to this but, I had a good time, and isn't that what's really important?