going green: 10 nyc public golf courses
by Joe Bargmann, 05/16/2012
Photo: Marley White
Forest Park Golf Course (Queens)
Designed in 1896 by Fredrick Law Olmsted, the 543-acre Forest Park is something of a draw for bird-watchers, who find many species among the towering trees and numerous ponds. Golfers looking for birdies won't have as much luck: with tree-lined fairways, elevated greens and three water hazards, Forest Park Golf Course presents a solid test, even though it maxes out at just 6,053 yards in a day when championship courses routinely measure 7,400 yards. Opened in the early 1900s and redesigned in 1995 by Stephen Kay, the course features a nice variety of holes, including No. 4, a surprisingly tough, 475-yard par 5 that calls for a long tee shot over a gulch and an uphill approach to the green. Forest Park scores trivia points for a 1997 incident in which a golfer received keen attention from Secret Service agents for directing shots toward President Bill Clinton's motorcade (Clinton was on his way to an event honoring baseball great Jackie Robinson). The man was deemed harmless, sort of a Squeaky Fromme with a 5-iron.
19th hole: 4
Level of difficulty: 3
Course conditioning: 3