The Fishers Island Club Golf Course is a Seth Raynor gem on an island off the coast of Connecticut, and has been a sleepy, haven of old money, since the early twentieth century.
Although officially in New York State and discovered by Wall Streeters in recent decades, who chafe at the lack of upgrades, its original character remains intact. Improvements and renovations are anathema to the Fishers crowd.
Surrounded by Long Island Sound, only nature determines the course’s condition. Even the watering system, reluctantly approved by the membership, is limited to servicing the greens. The fairways alternate between burned out and rain soaked, as the summer winds dictate.
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By August, the fairways often dry to golden runways between coarse brown fescue where tee shots often come to rest. Still a beautiful tableau that track to undulating greens of various length and speed.
Stimpmeters are not welcome at Fishers. Nature determines the speed and cast of the greens.
An unspectacular opening par four lulls a new arrival until the second green where the Long Island Sound reveals its breathtaking beauty.
One of our group, also playing for the first time, said on the third tee: “There’s so much beauty here. You almost can’t take it all in.”
The routing of the course follows the old-school U template, out along the eastern shore until it turns at the outer most region of the island and back in along the western shore, almost every hole with a direct view of the sound.
Though not a long course, only 6,600 yards or so from the tips, every hole is more difficult than it looks. Steep bunkers and plataeued greens, Raynor trademarks, are pervasive on this links style track.
Even the short par five 18th, surrenders more bogeys than birdies – often double bogeys with drives that don’t clear the last visible corner of the sound that peeks through to the right of the tee box.
How to Get to The Fishers Island Club
Access to the island is a ferry out of New London that departs every few hours.
But my visit was a private route from a small dinghy in Noank, CT. A local fisherman carts long-standing members from his bait shop to a landing opposite the 17th green, where vintage golf carts were waiting – like everything else at Fishers.
Then, a short drive up the 18th fairway to the golf shop adjacent to the first tee, an understated shack where players change their shoes and store them under a bench in a cluttered closet.
There is no central village in Fishers Island. A sleepy bodega and an old fashioned bar, that locals avoid during the summer season, comprise all the commercial life.
Even the clubhouse and beach club, though renovated recently, are understated facilities. Like everything else at Fishers Island, deferent to the natural beauty of the island, the essence of it’s lure.
The Fishers Island Club Course Map
The Seth Raynor and Charles Banks-designed The Fishers Island Club was first opened in 1926 in on Fishers Island in the Long Island Sound.
The private course is now a par-72 test measuring 6,636 yards at its longest. Golf Digest rated the course in the top 10 in the United States in 2019.
The Fishers Island Club Scorecard & Hole by Hole
The Fishers Island Club Slope Rating
Fishers Island has a slope rating of 144 from the black tees and a course rating is 72.0. Other tee options are 134 / 72.9 (Blue Tees), 130 / 70.9 (White Tees), 118 / 67.9 (Gold Tees) and 130 / 71.9 (Red Tees).
Fishers Island Golf Club Membership Cost
Prices are unavailable for the cost of membership of The Fishers Island Club. Apply directly via the website.
The Fishers Island Club Address
20449 E Main Rd
Fishers Island, NY
Phone: +1 (631) 788-7223
Jack Holden retired from business and returned to writing full time about his lifelong passion for the game of golf. He was introduced to the game as a caddy in Westchester County, NY, where golf clubs and great golf courses proliferate. He provides unique golf course reviews, commentary, opinions, tales and other interesting tid-bits about the game he loves.