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Article: Unveiling the Hidden Gems: The Best NYC Public Golf Courses

Image of NYC golf course, for a blog about which NYC golf courses are the best, ranked.

Unveiling the Hidden Gems: The Best NYC Public Golf Courses

Best Public Golf Courses NYC

Introduction to NYC Public Golf Courses

Attention all golf enthusiasts and adventurers! Picture yourself swinging under the vibrant NYC skyline, challenging yourself on lush greens, and soaking in the beauty of well-designed courses. If you crave an unforgettable golfing experience without breaking the bank, we've got you covered. Welcome to the land of hidden gems and stunning fairways - the best public golf courses in NYC! Whether you're a seasoned pro or a beginner eager to dive into the sport, this list will offer you a delightful mix of golfing havens, tales of legendary putts, and practical tips for your golfing journey.  


As an avid golfer, and picking up the game while living in NYC along with my friends who didn't play much prior, we have been to the best public courses around NYC.  We certainly most frequent Dyker and Forrest Park due to the convenience, but continue to experience new ones on a consistent basis.  

These are rated based on our experience playing them at VivanTee, there are a handful we haven't experienced so I can not make a comment, such as, including Marine Park, Bethpage, and others. So this is purely opinion based, but would love to hear your thoughts if you have a strong opinion one way or the other!  Also, recommendations of your favorites that maybe didn't make the list.

I will also note, if you are from out of town visiting, more than likely NYC golf courses will not be up to snuff to your local muni.  After traveling around the country and playing various courses, I realize that NYC munis take a beating, so to speak.  


Before we embark on our golfing adventure, let's address some common questions you may have:

  • What makes public golf courses special?
  • Public golf courses, unlike private ones, are open to the public and offer an inclusive atmosphere. They are affordable and accessible, making them an excellent choice for golfers of all skill levels. NYC boasts several outstanding public courses that provide breathtaking views and unique challenges.
  • Which course is closest to NYC?
  • Purely location based, downtown would be Dyker Beach.  Williamsburg would be either Forrest Park or Dyker Beach.  Uptown, would be either Pelham Bay/Split Rock or Van Cortlandt.  Midtown is kind of the not so convenient location, so take your pick.  Although the ferry is always a nice option to get to Bronx courses.

List of Beast Public Golf Courses NYC

Now, let's tee off and explore the top five public golf courses in NYC:

1. Pelham Bay/Split Rock Golf Course

Located in the picturesque Bronx, Pelham Bay Golf Course secures the number one spot on our list. The positives of this course are numerous, starting with its expansive layout, longer than most courses in the area, providing ample opportunities to perfect your drive. The added convenience of a Cart Girl on the course ensures you stay refreshed during your game. Moreover, Pelham Bay offers two distinct courses, catering to varying levels of difficulty.

Transportation to the course is a breeze, with ferries available from Wall Street, Mid-Town, and the Upper East Side, making it easily accessible to golfers from different parts of the city. However, like every course, it has its drawbacks - mosquitos tend to be more active during the summer months, and it may not be the most convenient option for those residing further downtown.

2. Silver Lake Golf Course, Staten Island

Coming in at number two, Silver Lake Golf Course boasts an immaculate landscape and well-kept fairways, promising an enjoyable golfing experience. The course offers a variety of food options, including grills and a top-notch bar, ensuring you can refuel and relax after a satisfying round.

Situated in Staten Island, reaching Silver Lake requires a ferry ride or an Uber trip. While it does get busy, especially on weekends, the stunning scenery and well-designed holes make it worth the journey. 

3. Dyker Beach Golf Course

Nestled close to downtown Manhattan, Dyker Beach Golf Course earns a spot in the top three due to its convenience as a quick Uber ride if you live downtown or have a car and well-managed greens. Unlike some other courses, Dyker Beach is known for rarely experiencing backups, allowing golfers to enjoy a smooth and unhurried game.  You will also experience some breathtaking views of the Verrazzano Bridge on some holes.  

The course offers a monthly membership program with cart included, making it a cost-effective choice for avid golfers who prefer to play frequently. Additionally, the food at Dyker Beach is a standout feature - a treat for your taste buds after a rewarding day on the links. However, be prepared to bring your own refreshments as the Cart Girl may not always be available.

4. Van Cortlandt Golf Course

Steeped in history, Van Cortlandt Golf Course proudly holds the title of the oldest public muni in the USA. This legendary course is not just about age; it has character and charm that captivate golfers from all walks of life. With a Cart Girl to cater to your needs and pristine grounds, this course remains a timeless favorite.

However, Van Cortlandt's layout may not be ideal for those who prefer walking during their game. The holes are grouped in sets of six, requiring longer walks between each grouping. Despite this, the course's rich heritage and well-maintained fairways continue to draw golfers seeking a classic golfing experience.

5. Forrest Park Golf Course, Queens

Last but not least, Forrest Park Golf Course, situated in Queens, is a budget-friendly option for golfers looking to hone their skills without emptying their wallets. While the course lacks Cart Girls and refreshment options at the 9th hole, its affordability and ease of access make it an attractive choice.


There you have it, fellow golfers - the best public golf courses in NYC. From the lush fairways of Pelham Bay to the historic charm of Van Cortlandt, each course has its unique allure and challenges. Whether you're a passionate golfer or an eager novice, these public courses offer an unparalleled experience in the heart of the city.

We would love to hear from you!  Comment below if we missed any, or if you disagree with the list.  

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