86th Street, Brooklyn
Choosing a golf course can be a complicated equation; quality is what captures the imagination, but proximity and accessibility can go a long way, too. Who wouldn't frequent Farmingdale's Bethpage Black course (host of the 2002 U.S. Open) if it were just off the subway and you didn't have to camp overnight for a tee time? Of the city's thirteen courses (with another, in Ferry Point Park, due next year), Brooklyn's Dyker Beach best marries what we want and what we need. Just a short walk from the 86th Street stop on the R train and fifteen minutes on the BQE from the Brooklyn Bridge, Dyker, with its rolling hills and sprawling fairways, gives you the feeling you've left the city, despite its breathtaking Verrazano view. It may not be as woodsy or as challenging as Split Rock in the Bronx, and it's at least as busy as any other public course, but Dyker has some gorgeous holes and tough approaches, and the well-groomed, sometimes tricky greens will keep you switching from wingtips to soft spikes . . . or boots -- the course is open year-round.
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