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News from Goat Hill: July 24

On September 20, 1901, the Shelter Island Country Club (SICC) was born when articles of incorporation were filed with New York State. The club’s first officers — all prominent Brooklyn residents who summered in the Heights — were Dr. William E. Butler, president; Charles H. Otis, treasurer, and Frederick D. Kalley, secretary.

The clubhouse was built by Charles Corwin using lumber carried by barge from Connecticut and hauled by horse and wagon from the dock on Bridge Street up the hill along Sunnyside Avenue.

The nearly 250 club members that first year enjoyed a full range of activities. There was golf, of course, and ping pong was popular. Three ping pong tables took up the main floor of the clubhouse, which also hosted card games, teas and dances. Tennis courts were installed just below and to the left of the 1st tee.

The first rounds of golf were played on the hilly 9-hole course in July, 1902, just weeks after the clubhouse and course were finished. James Laing was the club’s first professional and manager. Laing, who hailed from Saint Andrews, Scotland, had previously been the greenskeeper at the Crescent Athletic Club in Brooklyn. He was an expert club maker and had designed several golf courses in the New York metropolitan area. Aside from the removal of several original hazards and minor changes to a few greens, the course has not changed in 120 years.

In 1917, a 9-hole round of golf at SICC cost $1 on weekdays and $2 on weekends. In today’s dollars that’s a little more than $21 and $42, respectively. Greens fees in 2021 cost $20 on weekdays and $25 on weekends. Members in 1917 each paid a $50 entrance, or initiation, fee (worth $1,061 today) plus $25 in annual dues ($530.66 today). Members today don’t pay an initiation fee. Annual membership dues, however, cost $550 for a single, $495 if you are a first responder or veteran. Quite a bargain when you put it in perspective.

So come out and support our local treasure and play. On Saturday, September 18 we have the 120th birthday party and fundraiser, and Friday the 17th there’s Friday Night Dialogue at the library with some distinguished guests.

SICC Schedule of Events

August 8 — Mixed scramble

August 19 — Annual Junior Goat Hill Open

August 22 — Midnight Madness

September 17 — Friday night dialogue at library

September 18 — Cocktail party fundraiser

September 19 — 1st annual Goat Hill Open

Flying Goat Restaurant

Lunch and dinner 6 days a week (closed Wednesday). Come out and enjoy the best views on Shelter Island, where there is always a breeze. Daily specials. Reservations recommended. 631-749-5404.


Website — shelterislandcc.org

Hours of operation — 8-7 daily

Comments, questions and suggestions — [email protected]

Pro shop — 749-0416

Donate used golf balls.

Attitude makes the difference