Silver Lake Golf Club

Silver Lake Golf Club

Silver Lake Golf Club: The Working Man’s Golf Club

Silver Lake Golf Club is located right in the heart of New York City. They are 1.8 miles away from the fairy. All you have to do is fly into Staten Island, get on the fairy and play golf within the hour. Silver Lake Golf Club is better known as the “Working Man’s Golf Club.” New York City is filled with thousands of police officers, firefighters, city workers, and people who get their hands dirty every single day. This Golf Club is a perfect way to escape the madness of the city and play a little golf. Golf Life had the opportunity to play a couple rounds and find out why this golf course is so awesome!

The members and people that make up the Silver Lake Golf Club is what sets themselves apart from any other golf club around the nation. The people are everything you look for from a Golf Club. They are all nice, energetic and, occasionally, fireballs.  Being as that the Golf Club is in New York, you are sure to find your share of New Yorkers who love to talk and point out your mistakes. Most notably is on the first tee. The first tee backs up against the patio of the Veranda. From the patio, you can see the next four sum tee off. If you miss the fairway or don’t get it past the red tees, be ready, because you will get an earful.

This golf course has 18 challenging, yet satisfying holes. Between elevated tees and elevated greens, you are sure to go up and down hills and undulations. Silver Lake Golf Club is a perfect mixture of fun, nice people and great golf. Next time you are in New York, be sure to check out the “Working Man’s Golf Club!” Check out our course review in the video above!

Bethpage Black Course Review

Bethpage Black Course Review

A Summer Day at Bethpage Black

by: Jason Bruno

Bethpage Black welcome sign

The sign speaks for itself. A longtime favorite of ours, it doesn’t get much better than the facility at Bethpage Black that includes 5 eighteen hole golf courses: Blue, Green, Yellow, Red and the world famous Black course – regarded by many as A.W Tillinghasts’ best work.

Bethpage Black Clubhouse

Our first trip to Bethpage Black in over a decade was on a beautiful summer day in late July. Fresh off the 6am flight from West Palm Beach into La Guardia, I had just enough time to grab a quick brunch at the local Bethpage diner (and a meeting with a longtime friend, who I hadn’t seen in years) and bolt for a quick warm up for my 12:51 starting time on the Black course. Since I was in town to cover the PGA Championship at Baltusrol, the hierarchy at Bethpage saw fit to give me a primo time slot, but since I was in that tee time as a solo player – the starter paired up a father and son duo to join me. I was relieved, because nobody wants to walk a top 100 layout for 5 hours by themselves. Meeting new people is part of the experience when you travel, especially on the links – it certainly makes for a much more enjoyable afternoon.

Bethpage Black Scorecard front

Mark and Sean were my playing partners for the day (Sean attends and plays a bit of college golf in Georgia and was home for the summer), natives of Long Island’s North Shore, Sean tries to get out on the Black a few times each summer before returning to school. Mark and I choose to play the middle tees at 6704 yards – with a rating and slope of 74.0/145, while Sean played the back tees that have a staggering rating and slope of 78.1/152 (although listed at 7465 yards, many tees were pushed forward just behind our tee box for daily play. I’d estimate it played at 7000 yards). The remarkable thing is the rating/slope are on an 80 year old classic design – no OB stakes and the only water hazard is a small pond that fronts the par 3 eighth green. Also, the putting surfaces on the Black are fairly pedestrian in their undulations and pitch (The green speeds were perfect – a smooth 10 on the stimpmeter). When people ask, I always refer to the Black as the toughest totally fair layout you’ll ever play. You’ll use every club in your bag, will be required to maneuver the golf ball in all directions and likely will not suffer a single penalty stroke during your stroll on the routing that hosted the 2002 and 2009 U.S Open Championships (and will be the host venue for the 2019 PGA Championship & 2024 Ryder Cup). I’ve never come close to scoring to my handicap on Tillinghast’s “Mona Lisa” (and either does anybody else), but a day of hitting golf shots on a design of this ilk is always a treat (and a challenge).

Bethpage Black First Tee Sign

By now this sign on the first tee is as famous as the course itself. Even for the most highly skilled players, the layout requires supreme ball striking to score. Stay out of the gnarly rough and you have a chance to post a decent number. High handicap players need not apply.

Bethpage Black 4th Tee

Bethpage Black was in prime shape just four weeks prior to hosting the Barclay’s and kicking off the Fedex Cup playoffs. If there is a better parkland par 5 in America than the fourth on the Black, than I haven’t seen it yet. My best drive on the outward side flew the left fairway bunker and left only a 5 iron in, but after just missing the green on front left side, par was all I could muster after a mediocre greenside chip from the heavy rye rough. As you’ll quickly learn (it took me a few holes to remember how to best escape from the Northeast nasty stuff), use as much loft as possible. At times, my 58 degree seemed inadequate.

Bethpage Black 5th Tee

The fifth is every bit as “ALL TIME” as the fourth, and in my opinion is the best shot makers hole on the property – a soft fade off the box is required to set up the proper angle to this elevated green that has a bit of a bowl effect (it sits perfectly into the landscape). The approach just begs for a smooth right to left shot shape on one of the best inland par 4 holes in existence. After I play the fourth & fifth I wanna turn around and play them again, (there is no greater compliment to a great design than that) similar feelings to the seventh and eighth at Pebble, fifteenth and sixteenth at Bandon Dunes, the sixteenth and seventeenth at Merion, the fifteenth and sixteenth at Streamsong Red and thirteenth and fourteenth at Seminole just to name a few.

Bethpage Black 14th Tee

The grandstands for the upcoming Fedex Cup Playoffs were already in place on many of the holes. The fourteenth on Bethpage Black is the shortest par 3 on the layout and played about 150 yards to the back left pin position (right in line with the middle of the small white VIP tent. Note the exquisite design of the front right bunker. For all of the criticism Rees Jones takes for his U.S Open restorations, his work on the Black that began nearly 20 years ago is worthy of the highest praise.

Bethpage Black 15th Tee

Everybody that plays this game for a period of time has their nemesis holes. For me that has always been the 15th on the Black. For a hole with no hazards, boundaries or fairway bunkers, it has always had my number. I’ve always referred to it as the “Beast”. Not on this day though . . .

Bethpage Black 15th Fairway

The wind was of the helping variety and slightly left to right. Normally a long iron to a severely elevated putting surface, a busted tee shot left a gap wedge approach. Crisp contact resulted in a straight 12 foot uphill birdie attempt on the most undulated green on Bethpage Black. After leaving the birdie putt on the front lip, the group remained birdie-less, but par was secured on the “Beast”. Breaking that dubious streak was one of the goals before I even boarded the airplane in Florida. Finally, a first in six attempts over a 20 year span. The Beast is dead, at least for that Sunday it was.

Bethpage Black 17th Green Bethpage Black 17th

Just off the green on the 17th, you can see how healthy the rye rough has grown in. The tee was up a few yards on the toughest one shotter at Bethpage and played 185 yards into a left to right breeze. A solid 6 iron left this putt for a deuce, but as with the 16 holes previous – feathers were not to be had. However, I’ll always take a 3 on this hole and bolt up the hill to the tee on 18th hole.

Bethpage Black 18th Hole

The view from the tee box on the last. Never regarded as the toughest hole on Tilly’s classic, it does present the need for a striped tee shot down the center – anything else is an act of sheer folly. The new championship tee, some 60 yards behind the 394 yard middle tee will present the proper challenge for today’s elite players.

Bethpage Black 18th Fairway

A piped 3 wood center cut into the shortgrass left this 138 yd uphill approach in. Desperately striving for birdie (our group remained without paydirt thru 17 holes), I took dead aim but slightly over clubbed and ended up 30 feet above the hole. The last attempt narrowly missed, but there were no complaints on this end after posting a workman like 75 (Bethpage Black is a par 71).

Gorgeous weather, better company and another great memory on my favorite “Muni” in America. Exhausted from a long day of travel and toting around Tilly’s finest design, I made my way towards the Garden State where the assignment of PGA Championship week was on the horizon. This was a summer day in Gotham that was certainly one to remember.

Bethpage Black Score Card

Bethpage State Park: http://nysparks.com/golf-courses/11/details.aspx

Picture
Jason  Bruno
LinksNation.com & GolfLife.com

Golf Travel: El Cid Resorts

Golf Travel: El Cid Resorts

The Beautiful El Cid Resorts

Are you looking to go on a family vacation, have a destination wedding, spend time with your friend for a bachelor/bachelorette party, El Cid Resorts is the perfect play for you! Golf Life had the opportunity to see first hand what the talk was all about. El Cid Resorts has beautiful beaches, blue skies and an amazing 27 hole golf course! The people are the nicest people you will meet, the food is to die for and the activities from deep sea fishing to paragliding are right at your finger tips.  Check out the video above and see why we had so much fun at this Resort!

Here at Golf Life we are always trying to feature the best courses in the world. If you, a family member or friend know of a course that you would like to see on our TV show or website let us know. Send us and email at info@golflife.com with the details and we will try to make that happen for you!

Salish Cliffs Golf Club

Salish Cliffs Golf Club

Salish Cliffs Golf Club

 

The last stop on our Pacific Northwest summer tour was Salish Cliffs in the town of Shelton, just minutes away from Olympia, Washington. After playing links golf at Bandon Dunes resort, then being on the rugged terrain of Chambers Bay, and hiking it to the desert area for a spin around McLay Kidd’s brilliant design at Gamble Sands, it was time for a traditional style tree lined Northwest routing at Salish Cliffs. This 7,269 yard Gene Bates design features 320 acres and extreme elevation changes through out the routing.

The Clubhouse and course at Salish Cliffs are part of the Little Creek Casino Resort owned by The Squaxin Island Tribe. At just four years since its opening on September, 2011, Salish Cliffs has become a favorite of the region. Views of the Kamilche Valley, and beautiful native flora only add to Gene Bates’ brilliant routing.

Salish Cliffs 1st Hole

The 514 yd par 5 first hole (from the tournament tees – 6766 yards) requires a soft left to right ball flight around tall foliage that guards the right side of the fairway, from there you can give it a go.

photo courtesy of Salish Cliffs

Salish Cliffs 2nd Hole

The second hole is another that moves left to right, this par 4 plays only 276 yards from the Tournament tee and only 250 yards from the Players tee. If you’re gonna get on the board early, these first two holes set you up for good birdie chances.

Salish Cliffs 2nd Green

second green

Salish Cliffs Hole three

233 yard par 3 third hole plays much shorter because of the elevated tee, but there is nowhere for a big miss here. Short is fine, and so is the left bunker . . . but a wayward miss will get swallowed up in the tall fescue surrounds.

Salish Cliffs 3rd Green

third green

Salish Cliffs 4th Hole

401 yard fourth moves slightly right to left to a generous landing area, find the shortgrass here and you’ll likely have no more than a short iron in.

Salish Cliffs 4th Green

The approach to the fourth looks like there’s no where to land it, a Sunday pin for sure.

Salish Cliffs 6th Hole

The gorgeous 168 yard sixth. Other than it’s simple beauty, note the devilish front bunker and false front that persuade you to take an extra club. The back left portion of this green falls away from the player, so only a precise strike will do here.

Salish Cliffs 7th Hole

371 yard seventh, just torch it between the conifers . . . inside the left fairway bunker is your aiming point with the driver, but the prudent play might be a fairway club or hybrid from this box.

Salish Cliffs 8th Hole

The 601 yard eighth from the championship tee, truly a great spot. Although we were in Washington State, there were times when the property at Salish Cliffs reminded me of one of my favorite northeast layouts – Hamilton Farm in Gladstone, New Jersey.

Salish Cliffs 9th Hole

The tee at the 409 yard ninth, thread your tee shot through the opening, but avoid the lake on the left. Just inside the right fairway bunker is a good aiming point.

Salish Cliffs 9th Green

A view of the ninth green form across the lake, both nines finish on a shared green (eighteenth on the left).

Salish Cliffs 10th Hole

568 yard tenth is the longest par 5 on the inward side, three solid shots are required here for any chance to score.

Salish Cliffs 11th Hole

428 yard eleventh is like being in an evergreen colosseum, take a moment and soak it in. This is one of the few holes at SC where there is nowhere to miss.

Salish Cliffs Bunkers

Bates’ bunkering and green complexes at Salish are worth the price of admission alone. The bent grass surfaces are consistently slick and smooth with plenty of movement . . . very few dead straight putts on this Gene Bates design.

Salish Cliffs 12th Hole

394 yard twelfth is all about getting in play, but if you take note of the tree line ahead you can see the how the hole gently meanders to the right.

Salish Cliffs 12th Green

Although the hole gently moves right, a draw approach into the twelfth green is preferred . . . as you can see, missing this target left leaves an extremely difficult par save.

Salish Cliffs 13th Hole

The 188 yard thirteenth features one of the most undulating putting surfaces on the course, find the proper level or a three putt is very likely. After squandering numerous birdie chances throughout the day, I hit it tight here and lipped out yet another.

Salish Cliffs 14th Hole

414 yard Fourteenth is completely unique to the rest of the course, the fairway and putting surface seem to sit lower on the property and the hole plays more lateral than linear. The approach is to a wide surface just over a small creek that is surrounded by wild flowers. This part of the routing feels akin to a ballad in the middle of a hard rockin live set (if you will).

Salish Cliffs 15th Hole

The approach to the fifteenth, although it’s a short shot – it’s another where Bates keeps you from seeing the surface from the fairway adding just a hint of uncertainty, and therefore requires pinpoint accuracy.

Salish Cliffs 15th Green

A close up view of Bates’ sand work shows extreme detail, reminiscent of the great work by Hurdzan and Fry.

Salish Cliffs 16th Hole

428 yard sixteenth is a stunner, tough and beautiful. Play it safe to the left or take on the fairway bunkers.

Salish Cliffs 17th Hole

Seventeenth plays straight downhill 161 yards from the back tee. The lid finally came off the jar here . . . birdie at last. All of the one shotters at SC are worthy (and with great variety).

Salish Cliffs 18th Hole

514 yard eighteenth hole is a magnificent finishing hole, your aiming point is the left fairway bunker in the distance – avoid the right side as everything funnels towards the tall fescue and lake just right of the fairway.

Salish Cliffs 18th Green

The ninth and eighteenth holes wrap around a lake, the long fescue is a certain lost ball for anything that misses just 5 yards right of the wide fairway.

Salish Cliffs Golf CLub

Approach to the last, your last chance for glory.

Salish Cliffs Symbol

To be honest, even though Salish Cliffs had been on my radar since our last trip to the area in 2012, I wasn’t expecting to be wowed only because I had just spent 14 days at Bandon Dunes, Chambers Bay and Gamble Sands – three of the best public access facilities in America. The entire staff at SC is knowledgeable and friendly, the weather was picture perfect (that never hurts), and the course and its splendid natural surroundings exceeded expectations by miles. If you’re a resident of Washington State or you’re traveling to the area and haven’t played Salish Cliffs, it has earned our admiration as a Must Play! Washington resident and good friend Jeff Rawlins joined me for the day and was equally impressed by the expereince. When you arrive, tell the staff we sent you. . .

Salish Cliffs Scorecard

For more info visit: http://www.salish-cliffs.com/

Special Thanks to David Kass

Picture
Jason  Bruno
LinksNation.com & GolfLife.com
Isleta Resort Golf Club

Isleta Resort Golf Club

Learn More About the Isleta Resort Golf Club

Golf Life takes you to a top golf destination at Isleta Resort Golf Club. Rise to the personal challenge of all three lush 9-hole golf courses. Nestled at the edge of the spectacular Bosque, Isleta Eagle Golf Course is one of the southwest’s premiere golf destinations with beautifully manicured grounds that rise and roll seamlessly into lakes, water hazards, and relenting sand bunkers.

You can take your family on vacation, take your bachelor party to a great golf destination or just spend the day with the Isleta Resort Golf Club.  With perfect back-drop setting and nice staff and service, you are sure to get an A+ environment when you check into this resort!

See more about this beautiful golf course right here!

Colorado Golf: Front Range Golf

Colorado Golf: Front Range Golf

Visit Colorado For Some Colorado Golf

Visit the Mile High City for some Colorado golf and tour some of the most scenic and historic tracks in this great state.  First, we visit the geological marvels that are Arrowhead Golf Club and Fossil Trace Golf Club. These two courses are in the midst of the great city of Denver, but pose beautiful scenic surrounding that are sure to take your breath away. Just about 15 minutes from the Rocky Mountains, you get pristine conditions on the fairways and greens and that Denver air that lets the ball jump off the club face of the driver.  Plus, we take you inside Cherry Hills Country Club, where the 2014 BMW Championship will be held. If you don’t know about the Cherry Hills CC or the BMW Championship, Golf Life suggest you take a trip to this elegant golf course where people from all of the world travel to just to play it!

For more information about all the Travel Features and other beautiful golf destinations, check out our Travel Page right here on Golflife.com

 

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