Going Home

Perry Dye

Here at The A Position we’re given a topic to address (or not) each month for The A List feature, and the April challenge was to rhapsodize about our favorite golf island. We even cornered Perry Dye, one of Pete’s designing sons, and put the question to him. Since he worked for four years on Roatan, completing work on the Black Pearl course at the Pristine Bay resort in Honduras, it’s not hard to guess his pick. (Although he seems more taken with the bonefishing than the golf.)

My colleagues and I have about 20 islands of different sorts covered from Australia to Sardinia and around the world, including one mythical one if I read Casey Alexander’s contribution correctly! Click here to see where we’ve roamed.

I stayed a little closer to home, my old New York home that is. The round I refer to at the end was the subject of a longer piece now buried somewhere in the archives. I’ll excavate it here one of these days, Lord willing and the creek don’t rise.

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At 118 miles it’s the longest island in the contiguous U.S., and the biggest: by size Long Island is larger than Rhode Island; if it were a state its 7.5 million people would rank it 13th in population.

It also packs in two major airports and five U.S. Open sites. (No points for naming Bethpage Black and Shinnecock; a tip of the cap for coming up with Fresh Meadow, 1932; Inwood, 1923, and Garden City, 1902.)

To me, it was just home, a fence separating us from the third hole of the Hempstead Golf & Country Club, where my parents were members. This partial A.W. Tillinghast design was my young playground, and where I developed a love/hate relationship with the game.

By the time I’d moved from New York to Vermont, I discovered it was all love, and returning to the old course years later to play with another born again golfer–my brother–was one of the finer things I’ve ever done.

 

Author teeing off at par-3 eighth hole at Hempstead Golf and Country Club, Long Island, NY

6 Responses to “Going Home”

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  1. Tom Bedell

    This was awhile back, before all the trouble began. I’m swinging again and it doesn’t feel so bad, but the results still have post-op clinging to them.

  2. Tom Bedell

    One of the best. Unless we also consider tanning Jimmy’s and birthday boy Bobby’s hides at Hempstead.

  3. Rick

    I happened on your site while, in a burst of nostalgia, I explored sites with references to Hempstead Golf Club. I caddied there for many years and also worked briefly as assistant starter on the weekends. I remember your parents and even caddied for them. Your dad always took a cart, but at least this one time he didn’t. I met Kip years ago at a wine gig in New York. Those trees to the left of the 8th hole weren’t there when I looped there (or else they were tiny). It’s been a long time, but I still remember every part of the course. I now live in Toronto and play at Scarboro Golf Club, the only Tillinghast course in Canada.

  4. Tom Bedell

    Rick, this is pretty amazing, particularly that you caddied for the folks. But then, when I do dig up that old story, there’s another amazing coincidence to relate. When were you there? Was Roy still the pro, Walter, or…? By all means, tell me more, or email me at [email protected].

    Maybe we can tee it up sometime and tell some old tales. We have one nine-hole Tillinghast course in Vermont, but I’ve never played it–don’t think it’s up to his usual standards in any case.

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