SHINNECOCK HILLS GOLF CLUB
Shinnecock Hills Golf Club is a links-style golf club located in an unincorporated area of the Town of Southampton on Long Island, New York, situated between the Peconic Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. The club traces its roots to an 1889–1890 trip by William K. Vanderbilt, Edward Meade, and Duncan Cryder, to Biarritz in southern France where they encountered champion golfer Willie Dunn, from Scotland, who was building a golf course at the resort.
Willies David, the club professional from the Royal Montreal Club, designed a 12-hole course that opened in late summer 1891. Members of the Shinnecock Indian Nation helped build the course, which sits on the large expanse of land the Nation claims was illegally taken from them by earlier settlers of the area in 1859. The Club today honors its connection to the Nation’s heritage with its emblem depicting a Native American chief. Stanford White designed the 1892 clubhouse, said to be the oldest golf clubhouse in the United States. A nine-hole ladies-only course was designed and built at Shinnecock Hills in 1893, the first ladies’ golf course in American history
In 1894, Dunn arrived and added six more holes bringing the total to 18. That same year Dunn won the tournament which was an inaugural attempt to establish a national championship at Newport, Rhode Island, but this victory was not recognized as official. Later in 1894, Shinnecock Hills was one of five founding clubs of the United States Golf Association, established in New York City. The new USGA held the first U.S. Open in 1895 in Newport, Rhode Island
William Flynn extensively redesigned the course in 1931 into a 6,740-yard (6,163 m) configuration. Flynn’s design retains five of the holes by Macdonald and Raynor, and the green of a sixth hole designed by those two. Prior to the 2004 U.S. Open, the course was extended to a length of 6,996 yards (6,397 m) by the addition of extra tees.
Shinnecock is laid out utilizing the natural topography of the Shinnecock Hills, and resembles a number of the courses on the British Isles. It has long been recognized as one of the top courses of the world, and has been the scene of notable U.S.G.A. events since its beginning. These include the second U.S. Open Championship and U.S. Amateur in 1896, the Women’s Amateur in 1900, and the Walker Cup Match in 1977. The U.S. Open Championship was held at Shinnecock again in 1986, and in 1995 for the 100th anniversary of the Open, and again in 2004 and 2018.
The 2026 U.S. Open Championship will be held at Shinnecock.
The Clubhouse, built in 1892, was the work of the architectural firm of McKim, Mead and White. While in character it remains substantially the same as a century ago, it has enjoyed several expansions and renovations in the intervening decades, before undergoing a major restoration completed in 2016.
Shinnecock is a private club. All guests must be signed in by an accompanying member, at the front desk before play. No guests will be permitted to tee off without a green fee ticket.
Shinnecock is a course that won’t favor a particular style of play. It has enough width to allow the shorter player to use accuracy while not taking the driver out of the long player’s hands. The green complexes’ rolled-over edges and short grass surrounds create a razor thin margin of error. The undulating fairways will produce a bevy of uneven lies that, coupled with ever-changing wind directions, will make it excruciating to control distances.
The severe nature of the slopes of the greens will test a player’s touch and also command respect and thoughtful approach play. Shinnecock Hills will crown the week’s most well-rounded and skilled golfer.
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