Shinnecock Hills Golf Club

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Shinnecock Hills G.C.
Clubhouse in May 2006
Club information
Coordinates 40°53′46″N 72°26′24″W / 40.896°N 72.440°W / 40.896; -72.440Coordinates: 40°53′46″N 72°26′24″W / 40.896°N 72.440°W / 40.896; -72.440
Location Southampton, N.Y.
Established 1891
Type Private Equity
Total holes 18
Tournaments hosted U.S. Open (4 times)
Designed by William Flynn 1937...C.B. MacDonald 1901...Willie Dunn 1894...Willie Davis 1891
Par 70
Length 6,996 yards (6,397 m)
(2004 U.S. Open)
Course rating 74.5
Slope rating 140
Shinnecock Hills Golf Club
Nearest city Southampton, New York
Area 259 acres (1.05 km2)
Built 1892
Architectural style Bungalow/craftsman
NRHP Reference # 00001211[1]
Added to NRHP September 29, 2000

Shinnecock Hills Golf Club is a links-style golf club located in the town of Southampton on Long Island, New York. It has hosted the U.S. Open four times in three different centuries and is scheduled to host again in 2018. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2000.[1][2]

It claims to be the oldest formal organized golf club in the United States (1891), to have the oldest golf clubhouse in the U.S. (1892), and to have been the first to admit women, which it did from the start.


The club traces its roots to an 1889–90 trip by William K. Vanderbilt, Edward Meade and Duncan Cryder, to Biarritz in southern France where they encountered Willie Dunn, from Scotland, who was building a golf course at the resort.[3]

Back in the United States, Meade and Cryder scouted for a place for a golf course near New York City. They chose the sandhills adjoining the Long Island Rail Road just east of the Shinnecock Canal. The 80-acre (320,000 m2) parcel was purchased for $2,500 and 44 original members signed up for $100 each.[3]

Willie Davis from the Royal Montreal Club designed a 12-hole course that opened in late summer 1891.[3] Members of Shinnecock Indian Nation helped build the course[citation needed] (which is on land they have laid claim to and which remains in litigation). Stanford White designed the club house which opened in 1892 and is said to be the oldest golf club house in the United States.[3] In 1893 a 9-hole ladies-only course was designed and built at Shinnecock Hills.[4]

In 1894 Dunn arrived and added six more holes bringing the total to 18. That same year Dunn won an informal attempt to establish a national championship at Newport, Rhode Island. The following year Shinnecock was one of five founding clubs of the United States Golf Association, which held the first U.S. Open in 1895 in Newport.[3]

In 1896 Shinnecock hosted the second U.S. Open. Many of the golfers broke 80 on a course which was playing less than 5,000 yards. This led to demands to make the course more difficult. Participating in the 1896 open was black player John Shippen.

The popular ladies' course was abandoned in 1901 to allow for a lengthening and redesign by Charles B. Macdonald and Seth Raynor, retaining five of Dunn's original holes.[4]

William Flynn redesigned the course in 1937 into a 6,740-yard (6,163 m) configuration. Flynn's design retains five of Macdonald and Raynor's holes and the green of a sixth hole. 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.

Land claim dispute[edit]

There is a question mark over the club's ownership of these lands as the area of Shinnecock Hills is claimed by the Shinnecock Indian Nation as their land, illegally seized in a white land grab in 1859.[5]

In 2005 the nation filed a lawsuit against the state, seeking the return of 3,500 acres (14 km2) in Southampton, New York around the tribe's reservation and billions of dollars in reparations. The disputed property includes the Shinnecock Hills Golf Club, which Native American representatives say is the location of tribe burial grounds.[6]

The core of the lawsuit is over a 1703 deal between Southampton and the tribe for a 1,000-year lease. The suit charges that a group of powerful investors conspired to break the lease in 1859 by sending the state legislature a fraudulent petition from a number of Shinnecock tribesmen. Although other tribal members immediately protested that the petition was a forgery, the legislature approved the sale of 3,500 acres (14 km2) of former tribal land.

Notable events hosted[edit]

Year Event Winner Total To par Margin
of victory
Runner(s)-up Winner's
share ($)
2026 U.S. Open
2018 U.S. Open
2004 U.S. Open South Africa Retief Goosen 276 –4 2 strokes United States Phil Mickelson 1,125,000
1995 U.S. Open United States Corey Pavin 280 E 2 strokes Australia Greg Norman 350,000
1986 U.S. Open United States Raymond Floyd 279 –1 2 strokes United States Chip Beck
United States Lanny Wadkins
1977 Walker Cup  United States 24 matches 16 to 8 United Kingdom Great Britain & Republic of Ireland Ireland n/a
1896 U.S. Open Scotland James Foulis 152 n/a 3 strokes England Horace Rawlins 150
 1896  U.S. Amateur Scotland H. J. Whigham match play 8 & 7 United States Joseph G. Thorp n/a


Shinnecock Hills Golf Club
Tee Rating/Slope 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Out 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 In Total
Red 74.50/140 391 221 456 409 529 456 184 361 411 3418 412 158 469 372 447 408 542 169 426 3403 6821
Green 71.10/133 380 193 422 373 487 415 173 319 373 3135 402 150 427 354 436 357 464 149 374 3113 6248
Par --- 4 3 4 4 5 4 3 4 4 35 4 3 4 4 4 4 5 3 4 35 70
White N/A/0 366 146 395 303 413 368 133 281 307 2712 337 121 396 325 361 288 406 140 289 2663 5375


Shinnecock Hills was ranked second in Golf Digest's 100 Greatest Courses Ranking for 2007, 2008, and third in 2009.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]