Featured Story

Update: Shelter Island Country Club annual meeting postponed; tournament canceled

UPDATE: The Shelter Island Country Club (SICC) announced that starting today, Friday, May 29.the club has “been given the green light to allow two people from the same household to ride together in a golf cart — rented or private. Others who are unable to navigate the course on foot can also use or rent a cart, but only as single riders. No age restrictions are in place, although a golfer must be 18 or older to rent a cart.

Carts, sanitized after each use, are available to rent beginning at 9 a.m. each day. Per-cart fees are $10 for members and $20 for non-members, cash only, for the time being. Carts with single riders may still carry two bags.

Without question, COVID-19 has put a damper on many of our best-laid plans at Shelter Island Country Club (SICC). Among the first casualties was the club’s annual meeting and cocktail party, which typically takes place in April or early May.

The Board of Trustees will hold the meeting as soon as it is feasible, and hopefully that means sometime this summer.

The second COVID casualty is the club’s first planned tournament of the season. “Midnight Madness” promised a fun evening of golf under a full moon on Friday, June 5. However, the board decided it was in everyone’s best interest to cancel the event. Other tournaments planned this summer and fall are in limbo. 

Nevertheless, golfers are still enjoying the links — a welcome respite from quarantines and grocery store lines. Public greens fees are extremely affordable — just $20 (cash only) for nine or 18 holes. Walking is encouraged, though carts can be rented by those 65 and older and anyone who has an impairment that prevents them from walking the course. Cart fee is $20 (cash only).

The driving range and clubhouse remain closed. Restroom facilities are not currently available.

The trustees thank all of our golfers for their patience and compliance. None of this is easy, and we understand how frustrating the rules can be. But the intentions are to keep everyone as safe as possible.

Become a member today

SICC memberships are still a bargain with many options available. Visit our website — shelterislandcc.org — to see rates and application form. Memberships can be purchased by credit card via the online store.

Porch progressing

Town highway crews are still hard at work on the much-needed porch renovations. It will probably take another two weeks to put up the railing and build new steps. A handicap access path from the first tee to the front porch is also in the works.

From the archives

Thumbing through a scrapbook of SICC memorabilia yielded an interesting letter from the SICC Board president S.D. Collett to the club’s officers and directors. It’s dated Aug. 1, 1924 and offers a summary of all the work completed at the club from 1922.

The club was a little more than two decades old, yet the officers and directors found the property “in need of constructive attention.”

The Greens Committee, for example, spent $452.49 over three years “for liming, fertilizing and seeding” of the greens. Members in 1923 then proceeded to take steps to improve the fairways, tees and rough.

“The horse-mower seemed to be obsolete for the greater part of the course, therefore, various types of cutters were demonstrated,” Collett wrote. The committee settled on an Ideal Tractor for $433.45 and Cutters for $83.12. That’s $7,858 in today’s dollars.

“By the purchase of the tractor it was hoped the the entire course would be cut in one-half the time required,” he wrote. The workman’s time could then be made available “for cutting the long grass on the side of the course or at places where difficulties were experienced in finding lost balls …”

A new, 5,200-gallon water tank was purchased in 1923 for $172.40 to water the greens, but six weeks of dry weather proved too much and the tank “could not supply the service demanded of it.” A year later, the tank was supplying 5,000 gallons of water per day on the nine greens, still not enough to prevent the greens from drying out.

In 1923, the club invested in a golf instructor “to add prestige and increase interest in golf.” The House Committee in 1922 spent $133.50 to wire the clubhouse for lights and spent another $335.80 to paint the clubhouse inside and out. Eighteen new chairs were bought for another $124.50.

The challenges the club faced 100 years ago are largely the same ones we face today. Course upkeep, lack of water, clubhouse repairs and equipment maintenance all need constant attention and investment. That SICC has soldiered on for almost 120 years is testament to its loyal members and the many golfers who appreciate the legacy that is Goat Hill.

Mary Fran Gleason is a member of the SICC Board of Trustees.