Postcard from Long Island: A Day at Friar's Head, National Golf Links

Stunning: A great sunset for a great day at the finishing hole at National Golf Links of Amerca.

Stunning: A great sunset for a great day at the finishing hole at National Golf Links of Amerca.

I’m on the road, staying at a fine motel outside Southampton, having spent the day playing two of the most stunning golf courses I’ve ever experienced — Friar’s Head, a relatively new Coore and Crenshaw design, and National Golf Links of America, arguably the place where all great golf in North America starts.

I’ve got to be up early to head to western Long Island tomorrow, so this is a bit short and sweet. I had the good fortune to see Bill Coore again after first meeting him in Canada in 2005. Bill had just returned from a visit to Cabot Links with Bandon Dunes owner Mike Keiser. The badly kept secret is that Bill could — at some point — build a second course on Cape Breton Island if the first is a success. Bill walked three or four holes with us, chatting about the projects he has on the go. I mentioned that he’s done very well for the 25 years he’s been in the business.

“Well, Robert, I think we’ve just recently built our 20th golf course,” he said, walking up the 13th hole at Friar’s Head.

“That might be the case,” I replied, “but I bet most designers would trade their quantity for your quality.”

Coore, true to his understated nature, just shrugged and smiled.

The afternoon saw my group, which includes two of Canadian golf’s bright young minds — Jeff Dykeman, who heads up the CPGA’s biz development program, and Angus Glen director of golf Dennis Firth — head to National Golf Links of America, which blew everyone’s minds. Certainly the most fun one can have fully clothed, NGLA was a real treat.

I’ll provide a full write-up later this week — in the meantime enjoy a video clip from Firth in the Road Hole bunker at NGLA:

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Robert Thompson

A bestselling author and award-winning columnist, Robert Thompson has been writing about business and sports, and particularly golf, for almost two decades. His reporting and commentary on golf has appeared in Golf Magazine, the Globe and Mail, T&L Golf and many other media outlets. Currently Robert is a columnist with Global Golf Post, golf analyst for Global News and Shaw Communications, and Senior Writer to ScoreGolf. The Going for the Green blog was launched in 2004.

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