Forest Park Golf Course located in Woodhaven, New York is another member of the Golf NYC family offering affordable and enjoyable courses in Queens and the Bronx. The popular destination for outer borough golfers is tucked within the 500 acre Queens public park, Forest Park, which is a quick thirty minute ride from midtown Manhattan.
In line with Golf NYC and other comparable public courses the rates or green fees are reasonable. A weekend round before noon with a cart is just under $70. Price breaks occur after noon and 2:00 PM respectively. Join the Twi-Light Club and receive slightly better prices and earlier twilight hours at all Golf NYC courses.
Original design by Tom Bendelow in 1896 gives Forest Park history. Dubbed “The Johnny Appleseed of American Golf”, Bendelow designed over 600 courses in his thirty-five year tenure. Local tri-state golf owes much to Bendelow who was contracted by A.G. Spalding, yes the sporting goods manufacturer, to promote and develop golf in the New York City area.
Stephen Kay gave the course a makeover nearly a century later in 1995. Lengthened to 6,000 yards plus an additional two million dollars of other renovations and maintenance improvements and you now have Forest Park GC circa 2011.
Course amenities are fairly basic to say the least. The “clubhouse” is reminiscent of a muffler shop you might have passed on the Jackie Robinson Parkway on your way in. The restrooms out back are edged out by the Port Authority for the city’s worst. The snack bar does the best with what they are given, little, but is redeemed by the peculiar yet accommodating beer and hot dog stand just off the 9th tee.
For golfing purists and diehards the only thing that matters is form the 1st tee to the 18th green. Luckily, this is where Forest Park shines in proving its value thus making up for the lacking amenities. The par 70 parkland course only has four par fours over 400 yards but the shorter holes are definitely not pushovers.
Very true to its name, Forest Park is heavily tree lined with massive oak and pine trees. The first hole is very tame and wide open. It gives off that municipal feel where you can hop fairways and spray shots all day. This is not the case.
Multiple holes have very sharp dog legs guarded by large mature trees. Longer hitters will have to keep driver in the bag and shorter hitters will have to be weary of where to land. Club and aim carefully on 5, 7, and 17 to navigate some of the trickier holes Forest Park offers.
Three of the four par 3’s are under 200 yards. This generosity gives you the opportunity to hit a mid or short iron into the green in effort to make up some strokes.
Like most municipal courses the par 5’s are not long. Courses are tight on real estate and do not need to give their average clientele any more problems. If you hit the fairway birdie will of course be on the mind.
Course conditions are pretty playable and will not bother your average open minded golfer. The fairways, rough and greens are all fairly consistent. Some greens are a little chewed up based on the heavy play but still smooth enough to make some putts if you are rolling it well. The primarily dirt and weed tee boxes on some of the par 3’s were the only notable blemish of the day.
Sure Judge Smails from Caddyshack would shake his nose at the course but Ty Webb and Danny Noonan would be more than content enjoying a day of golf at Forest Park GC.