Bronx >Golf Courses > Van Cortlandt Park Golf Course
Van Cortlandt Park S & Bailey, Bronx, NY | Directions 1047140.885579 -73.894695
Opens at 8am.
Neighborhoods: West Bronx, Jeromes Park
Great deal & a convenient location for NYC golf – Van Cortland Park is a pretty good golf course made better by it's close proximity to the NYC subway (1 train to 242nd street). The course itself is in fairly good condition, with clean fairways and puttable greens.
The people there have done a good job keeping the course running smoothly. My round today took 5 hours, which is not too bad for a NYC public course. Additionally, the attendants were very nice in getting me out on time, even though I showed up a little late.
The one negative I find about this course is the layout of the course. For one, the holes are generally pretty short, and a few are a little gimmicky. The course is very narrow, so you better hit the ball straight or you will find yourself in trouble. The course has a lot of long walks between holes, so it can be a bit tiring unless you rent a cart.
But overall the inexpensive price, playable conditions, friendly management, and tolerable commute (from Manhattan) make this a good experience!
Re: Nice historic course -- but watch out for criminals on the 16th hole – I was KAD's playing partner (see previous review). VC Park is a nice, convenient course, with some interesting and challenging holes. However, the last four holes are located across the Major Deegan Expressway, isolated from the clubhouse and the rest of the course. The 16th hole in particular borders a playground and some woods behind some residential buildings. There are several holes in the fence separating the residences and the course, of which locals enter and terrorize the golfers on the 16th hole. The second to last time I played VC Park, we had to wait until about 20 youths, some on bicycles, finished traipsing along the fairway and playing in the sand bunkers before we could tee off. And most recently, two youths sprung out of the woods while we getting ready to tee off, grabbed some items from our golf cart and fled the scene. Lucky for us, KAD and myself are runners -- we were able to notice what was going on in time, gave chase and luckily they dropped their loot before disappearing through the fence and into the woods.
Current management needs to (1) patch the holes in the fence and (2) post a ranger out there to insure the safety of their golfers, or alternatively post a sign that says that there are dangerous youths milling around and to play these holes at your own risk. Before playing this course, please inquire of management on how they can insure that you will be safe out there.
Great course when you're not being robbed – Inexpensive, great location, great course, and beautiful park views. However, at the 16th tee, we literally had to chase down local kids running off with some of our clubs, as the carts were parked behind us out of view. Through the woods and the broken fence adjacent to the 16th hole are some apartment buildings which are the source of this hazard. This was not the first time my friend had a problem - last time some punks were riding their bikes around the fairway.
Knowing about the situation, it would seem easy enough to have a ranger monitor this area. It's a little distracting to know that the minute you focus on the ball, you might be faced with having to buy back your new hybrid on Craigslist.
Decent public course if you have to play and don't have a car. – Great course if you live in Manhattan and don't have a car. If it were fair to compare this course to all courses, it would rank rather low: In general, I usually shoot high-80's to low-90's, but everytime I've played this course I've shot in the mid-80's or lower. It's not long, the greens are slow, and there's nothing hidden/deceptive about any of the holes. All this talk about "Cardiac hill" is poppycock; three of the four holes are birdieable. However, this is the only course I've been to that's within a 5 minutes walk (through the park, which is nice) from the subway. I live just above Washington Square Park and can hop on the 1/9 and reach the clubhouse in less than an hour. When you need a quick golf fix, this is your place. Note: the private outings are a real problem. Be sure to ask the reservation agent about the outings. If you get stuck behind one, expect a 6 hour round.
US's Oldest Public Golf Course: Things to know – Vannie, as we New Yorkers call it, is a beautiful, lengthy and daunting golf course. Call in advance for course conditions and info re: private "outings". (They often render this public course private.)
Time to complete a round: weekdays, 4-1/2 hours. Weekends, up to 6 HOURS - no kidding!
Beware of the 2nd hole, a LONG narrow, par-5, and most difficult hole on the course.
Fatigued hoofers should quit after 14.
Natives affectionately dub the final four holes: "Cardiac Hill" which features:
15 - Blind pond on the left. Leave woods in the bag.
16 - Keep driver in the bag; again, not worth it.
17 - Uphill par 3.
18 - Big hitters: 3-wood to be in front or on this reachable, blind par 4. Over is OB.
A weekday, pre-twilight round at Van Cortlandt is perhaps the nicest public round of golf to be had in NYC.
Like the Rose Bowl, it's the granddaddy of them all. – History
The oldest golf course in America, founded in 1885 and designed by Tom Bendelow. Over the years, frustrated golfers have included Willie Nelson, Babe Ruth and the Three Stooges.
With its long fairways, fast greens, plethora of sand bunkers and four difficult final holes (known as the "hill holes"), Van Cortlandt can make you look like one of the Stooges. Of course, you can always skip the last four holes and finish on the 14th--it's closest to the clubhouse.
Great if you have don't have a car – I'm only comparing this to public courses. If you don't have a car, this is the easiest course to get to from Manhatten. Just a 5 minute walk from the West 242nd subway as opposed to Pelham Bay/Split Rock where you have to spend $15 on taxi's. Pretty sraightford and easy course. The most challenging part is trying to find your ball amongst all the leaves (this includes the fairway) so leave your ProV1's at home. Greens and fairways were in decent shape (although a bit soggy in winter) but there are some long walks beteen tees so consider taking the cart. Not cheap for a public course. At $42 costs as much as Bethpage.
Rip Off – My friend & I tee'd off at Vanny a few weekends ago at 3:00 pm and paid $100 (this is with a resident discount) for green fees and a cart and didn't even come close to finishing 18. They don't offer a twilight rate till after 5 pm which is ridiculous considering it takes 5-6 hours to play a round there. Even though the city courses that are run by American Golf have been renovated and are in decent shape, there is still no driving range or putting green. With the recent price increase, these have to be the most expensive municipal courses in the country. It now costs more to play VanCortlandt than Bethpage Black.
My advice: If you have a car, take your money to NJ or Long Island where you will get a better value.
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