While Nantucket is known for its beautiful sandy beaches and its cobblestone streets, this small island is equally respected for its four unique golf courses. Nantucket is home to two private and two public golf courses, all four being close to the water with links-style holes reminiscent of Scotland. Each treacherous in their own way with distinct atmospheres, services, and history — they all share a constant: beachy fescue grass and an unpredictable island breeze that keeps even the locals guessing.
Two courses, Miacomet Golf Course and Sankaty Head Golf Club, co-hosted the 2021 U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship. Over 450 volunteers helped organize and run the event, and were offered rounds of golf at both golf courses.
Miacomet Golf Course
Total Holes: 18
What was once a cow pasture for dairy production in the 1950s has slowly transformed into one of the most exciting and well-kept public courses around. The 18-hole course is extremely well managed with dangerously fast greens and tightly cut sand traps. It is widely recognized, and is up to par, if not better than most of the private courses around the country. The course was designed by Howard Maurer. Its challenging yet playable layout offers multiple tees that allows players of all levels to enjoy this island gem. If you happen to plan a trip in the off-season, add the clubs to the trunk, as Miacomet Golf Course is open year-round for play. The golf course is also home to one of the island’s best local restaurants, serving both dinner and lunch, so stop by for some great food and an even better atmosphere, especially on the porch!
Link to Miacomet Golf Course
Phone: (508) 325-0333
Sconset Golf Course, locally known as “Skinners Golf Course”
Established in 1899, Sconset Golf Course is one of the oldest golf courses in America. Although the course was not an official golf course then, it is said that the course has been played since 1997, making it the third oldest public course in the country. Once 18-holes, it has since been reduced to 9-holes. The course was originally designed by John Grout and Alex Findlay, but has seen recent upgrades to both the clubhouse and the course. Robert “Skinner” Coffin was a co-owner and the superintendent of the course for many years, giving the course its island nickname. He used to host the classic Skinner Open from 1977-2011. Don’t forget to put your ball in the placeholder rack on the first tee, as this walking-only course still does not require tee times. It’s a great place to bring young, excited golfers, as kids play for just $15. The course presents a unique opportunity to experience authentic Nantucket while enjoying a round with friends and family.
Link to Sconset Golf Course
Phone: (508) 257-6596
Sankaty Head Golf Club
Established in 1923, Sankaty Head Golf Club is a private golf club located on the easternmost edge of Nantucket in Sconset, steps from Sankaty Head Lighthouse. The 18-hole course, designed by Emerson Armstrong, is home to traditional lynx-style holes, tricky angulated greens, and is the last remaining caddy camp in the United States. The course was also chosen alongside Miacomet Golf Course to be a co-host for the USGA’s 41st U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship.
Link to Sankaty Head Golf Club
Phone: (508) 257-6391
Nantucket Golf Club
Nantucket Golf Club is an exclusive, members-only 18-hole course that prides itself on its traditional golf atmosphere with its lynx-style course layout, use of professional caddies, and its restrictions on the use of golf carts. The course is known for its daunting holes, well-bunkered greens, and professionally groomed fairways.
Tupancy is unknown to many as a golf course, but the Island was once home to a 5th golf course, and many longtime locals still consider it, along with “Skinners”, as the two original golf courses. Now a 73-acre stretch of beautiful fields, it was the island’s classic stomping grounds. The course was established in 1921 as a 9-hole course, and expanded to 18-holes in 1926. The owner of the course, Oswald Tupancy, was an avid golfer, who operated the links for only a few years, closing it to play in 1953. Mr. Tupcancy maintained the land for many years until he donated his property to the Nantucket Conservation Foundation though several transactions occurring between 1976 and 1987.
If you are looking to make a trip to Nantucket soon and decide to bring your sticks, ShipSticks.com is a fantastic service used to ship clubs to the island. Avoid the fuss of traveling with your sticks on the ferry or plane!