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 little way, with distinct atmospheres, services, and history. The one constant, however, is the beachy fescue grass and the unpredictable island breeze that keeps even the locals guessing.
Two of the courses, Miacomet Golf Course and Sankaty Head Golf Club, will be co-hosting the 2021 U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship this coming September. The courses will need over 450 volunteers to help organize and run the event and are offering up rounds of golf at both golf courses for people who help out.
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 fun 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 will be open for year-round play. This coming September 2021, it will be a co-host to the U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship, adding yet another great reason to visit! 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, it is said that the course has been played since 1997, which would make it the third oldest public course in the country. Once an 18-hole course, it has since been reduced to 9-holes has always remained open to the public. The course was originally designed by John Grout and Alex Findlay and has seen recent upgrades to both the clubhouse and the course, without taking away from its classic layout. Robert “Skinner” Coffin was a co-owner and the superintendent of the course for many years, giving the course its island nickname, 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. A great place to bring young, excited golfers as well, 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, footsteps from Sankaty Head Lighthouse. The 18-hole course, designed by Emerson Armstrong, is home to traditional lynx-style holes, tricky angulated greens, and 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. If you can brave the choppy seas and unpredictable weather, the course is accessible for public play during the short shoulder season.
Link to Sankaty Head Golf Club
Phone: (508) 257-6391
Nantucket Golf Club
Nantucket Golf Club is an exclusive, members-only 18-hole course prides itself on its traditional golf atmosphere through its lynx-style course layout, use 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 golf original courses. Now a 73 acre stretch of beautiful fields, it was the stomping ground to an island classic. 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, operated for only a few years, closing it to play in 1953. Mr. Tupcancy continued to maintain the course and land for many years until he gave it up and decided to donate the Tupancy Links property to the Nantucket Conservation Foundation in several transactions occurring between 1976 and 1987.
If you are looking to make a trip to Nantucket soon and decide to bring your sticks but don’t want to lug them on the ferry or plane, ShipSticks.com is a fantastic service used to ship clubs to the island.