You can’t go any farther east than Montauk Downs to play golf on Long Island, and most would agree that a tee time way out at “The End” is worth the drive through the Hamptons.
Like Bethpage Black, Montauk Downs is a New York State facility that is often ranked among the best public golf destinations in New York and the top municipal courses in the country. The course is located on high ground halfway between the Atlantic Ocean to the south and Block Island Sound up north. That leaves golfers to fight against strong, swirling winds as they battle the 7,000-yard Robert Trent Jones layout.
Its signature hole is a long, wind-exposed par-3 12th that plays over a shallow valley. Montauk also challenges players with water-carry approaches on the par-5 seventh and par-4 16th. Rounds come to an end at the 18th tee, which provides a birds-eye view of the course and its pyramid-shaped clubhouse.
Montauk Downs was originally built in 1927 by Captain H.C. Tippett. It was meant to be a cornerstone piece of Carl Fisher’s seaside resort covering the entire Montauk peninsula. While those plans never came to be, the Downs lived on. It was fully redesigned by Jones in 1968, then renovated by his son Rees Jones in the early 2000s.
There is a driving range between the third and fourth holes and a pro shop inside the clubhouse.