SHOREHAM, N.Y. -- Tallgrass Golf Course lies sandwiched between the famous state park municipal courses of Long Island, Bethpage Black and Montauk Downs. That helps explain why the 6,587-yard course still seems to be somewhat overshadowed, despite mostly positive reviews since opening in 2000.
Architect Gil Hanse worked some magic on a mostly featureless site with few trees and minimal movement. The par-71 Tallgrass doesn't have the teeth of Bethpage's U.S. Open venue or the classic charms of Montauk Downs, but its faux links style has impressed enough raters to rank seventh among the top public golf courses in New York by Golfweek in 2014.
The fescue grasses that give the course its name frame each hole. They are wispy enough that balls hit off-line can be found. Recovery shots remain possible if not improbable.
Hanse got especially creative on a couple of par 3s. The 295-yard sixth hole can be played as a drivable par 4 or a par 3 as short as 108 yards depending upon the location of the tees. The best approach to the 186-yard eighth hole isn't trying to take on the gaping front bunker. It's best to run a shot up the left side, where a huge hump funnels the ball onto the green. The best advice beyond that is obvious: Keep it on the short grass to tame Tallgrass.