The bulk of Long Island’s publicly accessible golf courses were open for play on Monday, with the state courses at Bethpage, Sunken Meadow and Montauk Downs coming on board along with the Suffolk County courses at Bergen Point, West Sayville and Indian Island.
The Town of Islip is planing to open its three courses on Friday, according to the town’s media relations director Caroline Smith. The Gull Haven Golf Course will be a walking facility.
Sean McLaughlin, the Sayville High School golf coach, finds playing in the coronavirus environment different, but there are some good things about it.
“I think that now that it’s walking only there are more avid golfers, pretty experienced,” McGlaughlin said on Monday. “We walked around Rock Hill in three-and-a-half hours. It’s so peaceful now. It reminds me of golf in England, there’s no carts. Very enjoyable right now.”
As for the social distancing factor, it takes some thought.
“The social distancing thing hasn’t been an issue,” he said. “I made like four birdies on Saturday and you want to give your [partner] a high-five, but you have to stop yourself. If someone is hitting a tee shot and you wanted to whisper something to somebody else, you’ve got to remember you can’t. Those are the realities. But overall the golf experience has been great.”
Mike Pomerico, president of Nassau Players Club at Bethpage, played on Saturday at Eisenhower Park and found the process quite civil.
“The driving range, they took out every other mat, so people are spaced properly there,” Pomerico said. “Once the range was full, they closed the gate so when someone would come out, then someone else could go in so you didn’t have people waiting around inside the range.”
NASSAU COUNTY PUBLIC COURSES
Bethpage State Park (5 courses)
Eisenhower Park (3 courses)
Glen Cove Golf Club
Merrick Road Park Golf Course
SUFFOLK COUNTY PUBLIC COURSES
Northport GC at VA Hospital
Sumpwams Creek Golf Course