John Kernell, a Springs resident who can lay claim to being Montauk Downs’ most avid golfer and proselyte, reported following the United States Golf Association’s media day at the Sebonack Golf Club recently that the U.S. Women’s Open there at the end of June ought to be a big draw.
“It’s a beautiful course, at an exclusive club that most people would never be able to go to otherwise, the tickets are very reasonable — $125 will get you in for the whole week, from Monday through Sunday — and the quality of golf will be first-class.”
As for Sebonack’s difficulty, Kernell, who shot an 81 there on media day, double-bogeying the final two holes “because it was getting late, I had to coach a Little League game and had all the equipment in my car,” he said. “Its undulating greens are its defense. There’s no rough, no thick grass, unless you hit it really bad.”
“The greens should be reading 11 and a half to 12 feet on the Stimpmeter when the tournament is played [from June 27 to 30], which is fast. The day we played, they were rolling to nine, I’d say. And then there’s the wind. If it blows that week, it will definitely affect the scoring. If it’s calm, the top group could finish at six to 12-under for the four rounds. If it’s windy, there might not be anyone under par. It’s much like Shinnecock in that respect.”
“It’s a beautiful course, as I said, right next to National, and you can see Shinnecock. To get there, you drive through Shinnecock and National. It’s going to play to 6,796 yards for the tournament, par-72. It would be like playing from the men’s tees at Montauk. You’re shooting for National’s flagpole from the tee on the 18th, a beautiful par-5, right along the water [Great Peconic Bay]. It’s kind of like the 18th at Pebble Beach. Water comes into play on two of the holes, the par-3 eighth and the par-5 13th.”
“It’s such a great value that I expect there will be a big crowd. They’re going to have parking at Southampton College and run shuttles from there, and trains will run to the old college station.”