With the U.S. Open on Long Island in June 2018, maybe you think you have a little tour pro on your hands. Or maybe you just want to introduce your son or daughter to golf minus the windmills.
There are five par-3 golf courses on Long Island that offer young players a chance to experience the game with more than just a putter. For less than $20 per round on average, beginners can manage their way around with a light bag, a few balls, tees, and plenty of enthusiasm.
More experienced players will enjoy the opportunity to enhance their short-game precision. Either way, it’s a great opportunity for parent-child bonding over one of Long Island’s signature activities.
So tee it high and let it fly. All five of these courses are in Suffolk County; a few short-length courses exist in Nassau, but some of their par-4 holes might be unreachable for young players. Note: Most par-3 courses require adult supervision of pre-teen players. All players should practice on-course etiquette, including allowing faster groups to play through.
E. Donald Conroy Golf Course at Sumpwams Creek — Babylon
This 9-hole course measures more than 1,100 yards and no hole is longer than 180 yards. It can be played in less than 90 minutes, but on a quiet day, practice with multiple balls. Greens fees are modest, and Town of Babylon residents receive a discount.
Heartland Golf Park — Edgewood
Nostalgic Long Islanders will thrill to the replica holes featured here, where young players can be inspired to greatness by a faux Augusta National or Pebble Beach. Greens fees begin at a mere $10 and the park includes a driving range and mini-course.
Smithtown Landing Golf Club — Smithtown
This Town of Smithtown facility measures about 1,150 yards and features views of the Nissequogue River. Note: It shares real estate with the full-length course and its parking areas can get busy.
The East End
Cedars Golf Club — Cutchogue
This well-maintained course has introduced North Forkers to the game for more than a half-century. The nine holes measure 1,120 yards across 13 acres. Clubs and pull-cart rentals are available.
Sandy Pond Golf Course — Riverhead
Sandy Pond was reconstructed in 2012. It’s so old-school that players often pay greens fees via the honor system. The course, not far from Tanger Outlets for post-round shopping, totals about 1,100 yards.