New York State Golf Fast Facts

Published: Feb 25, 2014
  • The Empire State has nearly 1,000 golf courses to choose from - everything from little known gems in small towns, magnificent rural landscapes, and some of America's best known, toughest, and most scenic pitches.

  • According to the National Sporting Goods Association, 1.6 million people participated in golf in New York State in 2011.  All players counted were over the age of seven and played at least one round of golf in 2011.

  • In its 2013-14 ranking of America's 100 Greatest Golf Courses, Golf Digest named Oak Hill Country Club (East), Rochester the seventeenth ranked golf course in the U.S.  Did you know that the East course at Oak Hill is the only course in the U.S to have hosted the U.S. Open, U.S. Senior Open, U.S. Amateur, the Senior PGA Championship, the PGA Championship, and the Ryder Cup.  Oak Hill is set to host their third PGA Championship August 5 - 11, 2013. 

    • Four other New York State golf courses rank among the top twenty golf courses in America: Shinnecock Hills, Southampton is ranked number four and is set to host their fifth U.S. Open in 2018; Winged Foot Golf Club (West) in Mamaroneck is number eight; Fishers Island Club, Fishers Island is number 10; the National Golf Links of America - National, Southampton is number eleven.

    • Bethpage State Park also landed in the top 100 at number 42 overall and ranks number eight on both the Top 100 Greatest Public Golf Courses in America and New York State. With five world-class courses including the renowned Black Course, the two-time site of the U.S. Open is one of New York's 29 state park golf courses that rank among the best public courses in the world.

  • Rochester, NY is the birthplace of legendary golfer Walter Hagen. Hagen was born and raised in the Finger Lakes region and learned to play the game at the Country Club of Rochester.  Hagen is one of the most colorful figures in American Golf History as well as one of the game's most prolific champions.  

  • Did you know the PGA of America, the largest working sports organization in the world, was founded in New York City in 1916.  Today The PGA has over 27,000 men and women members who are responsible for growing interest and participation the game of golf across the U.S. The PGA will celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2016. 

  • New York also claims two of the world's most famous golf course architects as native sons - Robert Trent Jones Sr. and Jr. have created nearly 1,000 championship courses around the world. Jones Sr. arrived from England at the turn of the 20th century and grew up in upstate New York, where he attended Cornell University and began his career as a caddy. His son has followed in his footsteps.

  • Legend has it that Yonkers, New York, not Scotland is the birthplace of golf. In 1888, John Reid and his Apple Tree Gang of friends played three holes of golf in a cow pasture, establishing what is now known as the Saint Andrews Country Club in Hastings-on-Hudson in the Hudson Valley Region. 

    • St. Andrews is it also the oldest golf club in continuous use in America.

  • Cooperstown's Leatherstocking Golf Course is one of the most scenic and challenging courses in the east. In 2011, The Otesaga Resort Hotel was named in the Top 10 Northern U.S. Golf Resorts by Condé Nast Traveler Magazine.

  • In 1890, the country's first resort golf club, Hotel Champlain, opened at Bluff Point in New York.

  • In 1895, America's first public course, Van Cortlandt Park, opened in the Bronx. Its location, just off the subway, has made it the most easily accessible golf course in America.

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