Editor’s Note: This article is dedicated to good friend Michael Catania, who grew up across the street from the Red Course and is quite possibly the only human in history who has played the course as much as I have.
The Eisenhower Park Red Course has been home to many significant events throughout its history. First, there was the 1926 PGA Championship, which was won by the legendary Walter Hagen (5 & 3 over Leo Diegel). In more recent years, its hosted the Commerce Bank Championship (Champion’s Tour) and the LI Lightpath Classic (which used to be played at the illustrious Meadow Brook Club in Jericho).
But aside from the championship aspect of the course, perhaps the Red is best known for its most unique feature; it houses arguably the most useless water hazard in Nassau County. And probably all of Long Island.
Yes, the 13th hole, a 211 yard uphill par-3 dons this underwhelming excuse for a one stroke penalty. The pond in question, sits approximately 100-120 yards from the back tees and hardly comes into view during a golfer’s pre-shot routine.
It’s in fact so difficult to hit, that you should be able to subtract a shot if your ball finds it. I honestly believe they built it exclusively for the geese and ducks. It works out quite well for them. They have a quiet haven for which to relax and swim and quack. Then, with little effort, they gather on dry-land and choose among a plethora of fairways and greens for which to relieve themselves.
So how does one get their Top Flite to find this hazard? I’ve come up with the only possible scenarios:
1. Using a 3.5 inch tee, the golfer strikes the ball so high on the face with a utility club that, not only does it leave a devastating idiot mark, but soars so high toward the heavens that it drops 100 yards short of the green and into the water.
2. The golfer digs up so much turf behind their golf ball that it travels slightly past the ladies’ tee. Then repeats this retched motion six more times till the ball thuds the water’s surface.
3. The player thins their tee shot so scarily that it skips twice before the hazard, then twice in the hazard, ultimately hitting the lip and rolling back in.
4. The golfer hits an exquisitely solid shot with a slight draw that starts just to the right of the green. In fact, it could be the most well struck shot of the said golfer’s career. However, at the same time, a flock of geese and ducks are traveling from the west to their favorite resting place. The ball narrowly grazes the largest goose in the middle of the pack, causing a break in their tight formation. The ball ricochets straight down, bounces on the cart path just to the right of the pond with enough left spin to kick into the hazard.
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