August 02, 2006
The Links at Cherry Creek
One of our island's East End public courses that should likely be added to your summer or autumn calendar is The Links at Cherry Creek. Built around 10 years ago, it was the design of golf architect Charles Jurgens. It's a scenic links-style course that was created with rolling fairways and tees that are distinctly elevated; thus, also are the greens.
When Jurgens first envisioned the course, he had to keep in mind that organic and environmental concerns were uppermost in the minds of East Enders. Since the narrow strips of land that make up each of the twin forks support fragile habitats, golf course developers have been pressured to keep these concepts in high priority.
Local residents of both forks demanded components that would protect the land and the valuable underground water supply and the result was delivered in 1996 by Jurgens, who sculpted a golf course that met the needs of the surrounding habitat.
Cherry Creek's introductory hole incorporates an additional challenge when strong winds, which are commonplace out east, blow into the kidney-shaped green. The back nine is also enmeshed in numerous water hazards. The entire course can actually stretch to 7,187 yards with a par of 73. Luckily, the fairways are rather large and long with that all-familiar Long Island challenge of water coming into play on no less than four of the holes.
The signature hole is the twelfth; a 389-yard par 4 that plays trickily from an elevated tee to an extremely slim, sloped fairway that houses a pond to the right. However nothing lures a golfer more than the 18th hole, which is a uniquely challenging par 6, complete with double doglegs. Incidentally, that particular par 6 which still remains the only par 6 in the Metropolitan area, stretches 644 yards when played from end to end and is more than just a simple challenge of driver, fairway wood and short iron. Make eagle on this one and you've got some pretty nice bragging rights.
Watch out for all of the water that plagues the general route along the 14th hole; with a long pond fringing the entire left edges. Players should also be cautious about the many sand traps that frame and surround the par 4 third hole because not only do they edge the fairway; there are three of them surrounding your landing area.
Cherry Creek is located at 900 Reeves Avenue in Riverhead; at the door to the twin forks. It's also home to a driving range and you can access more information about this environmentally-friendly site at cherrycreeklinks.com. Call the course for tee times and questions at 1-800-883-5674. Long Island is scattered with a bounty of terrific public courses and the Links at Cherry Creek remains high on the list.