Maidstone Club in East Hampton has recently undergone an amazing renovation from top golf architects Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw. The Maidstone Club ranked # 100 on Golf Digests Top 100 2013 but is commonly over looked because it 20 minutes from Shinnecock Hills #4, National Golf Links #11, Sebonack Golf Club #39, and Friars Head #28. I am here to tell you that this ranking will be going down many positions by next year.
The Maidstone Club was built in 1891 by Willie Park Jr. Willie Park Jr. is the son of the first winner of the British Open Championship Willie Park Sr. in 1860. In the past 15-20 years the golf course although still in an amazing location right on the Atlantic Ocean in East Hampton NY was beginning to be overgrown with fescue grasses, slow greens, and lost bunkers. Maidstone Club could be a top 20 golf course in the country once the town of East Hampton approves an irrigation system proposal. The Maidstone Club sits on one of the most expensive pieces of real estate in the world. houses on the golf course range from 5-50 million. It was a shame that the course was left untouched for 50+ years.
The Club now has a new life and a facelift courtesy of Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw. They put their signature bunker style, and natural waste area introduction and classic shaved areas into full effect at Maidstone. Some of the biggest changes can be noticed on the first hole. The 1st tee has been pushed back from 40 yards parallel with 18 green creating a 420yrd par 4. The fescue on 1 was trimmed back on the left side and totally removed on the right creating a British Open feel massive fairway between 1,18 and 1,9 on the East Course. Coore Crenshaw added a new bunker 270 yards off the first tee now on the right with shaved areas running into the bunker. Hole 2 the famous road hole in East Hampton now has an expanded fairway and reduced rough along with great new bunkeration around the green and exposed grasses with-in the bunker. The 6th hole has a few great changes. The fairway has been widened to the right. Three old bunkers were reclaimed on the right side of the fairway, a new fairway bunker has been placed in the middle of the fairway, and the fescue has been removed around the green. My two favorite holes out at Maidstone have always been #9,10. The area between the two holes had been over-grown the tall gnarly bushes over the years. These have been removed and now there is a lovely sandy waste area dune that splits the holes apart. You can now see the fairway of 9 from 10 and visa versa. Almost every hole had greenside bunker changes, additional waste areas increases instead of fescue grass, and the greens have been widened to included shave area run offs into bunkers. Previously some of the greens had a first cut of rough that would stop a ball from entering a bunker. The 10th green used to have 3 pot side bunkers short and left of the green, now those three bunkers have been made into 1 large waste area with fescue grass planted strategically in the bunker. The area between 13 and 14 has been cleaned up significantly, a new tee box was added to 14 the most beautiful par 3 in Long Island.
I was so impressed by all the changes that Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw made that Maidstone Club is now at the forefront of top courses in Long Island and the US. Its going to be hard to pass Shinnecock and National Golf links, but I think the new Maidstone Club is better than Sebonack, Friars Head, the Bridge and Atlantic Golf Clubs. The Maidstone club is about to get the national recognition that it deserves and Coore and Crenshaw added their classic touches to an already classy club.
By Claude Pope