August 16, 2006
As the story has it, the dream was born in the year 1963 when eight friends, playing poker together one summer evening, planned to play golf the next day. Rumor has it that they made lots of phone calls to local courses in the area but simply could not find an available course that could accommodate their two-foursome group. When one of them suggested building a course of their own, the blueprints for Rock Hill were already being set in place.
Less than a year later, those same eight golf enthusiasts purchased 350 acres of land in Manorville and from that point on, the rest is history. Frank Duane was hired as the architect to oversee the project and Joseph Lemon was contracted to build the front nine holes. Just one year later, the back nine of Rock Hill Golf and Country Club was constructed.
The first hole is a straight par four with a gradual rise to the green, while the second hole presents a definite challenge since you must clear the trees to reach the fairway. There is also a large, elevated green which slopes upward so take heed when lining up your putt. The third hole is a slight dogleg to the right with a well-placed sand trap that is just waiting to claim your drive.
The only hazards to be aware of on the fourth hole are the two sand traps off the green although the fifth hole brings additional challenges to the table. This is the #1 handicap hole and it is crucial that your drive goes to the left so that you avoid the pond. There are also trees to the left so success on the second shot is necessary if you're attempting to play the hole under/at par. The green is also elevated, making it a triple-challenge. Par is a great score here.
Skipping ahead to the back nine, the 13th hole has a very straight fairway and a pond to the left of it while the 14th hole is another sharp dogleg to the left with three bunkers protecting the green. The 15th hole bends slightly to the right but has lots of driving room and when hitting your tee shot at the 16th, the place you want to be is at the center-right hand side of the fairway because there are three bunkers lining the left of it.
The 17th hole allows you to do a presentable job with a straight shot down the center of the fairway, just be aware that the elongated green is severely sloped.
Everyone that I speak to regarding this enjoyably challenging course seems to echo the same remarks regarding the 18th hole; it is the most difficult and most rewarding, depending upon how you play it. If you don't have a straight drive, you're likely to be in trouble unless your recovery shot is perfect. One must play to the left of the sand trap and attempt to go over the hill. Trees line the left and right of the fairway and the green slopes downward. It is truly a challenging hole to end your round.
When you play Rock Hill, just remember that in a sense, you are extending the dream of those eight friends whose final result now provides us access to one of the most complete year-round public golf facilities on eastern Long Island.