(PHOTO: Rye Golf Club.)
Golf.com writer and former Rye resident Alan Bastable waxes poetically about Rye Golf Club in a recent piece. Bastable recounts sneaking onto the course as a kid in the early 90s.
"To get from the par-4 1st hole at Rye (N.Y.) Golf Club to the par-5 2nd, you must cross a leafy residential street called Soundview Avenue. I know this because Rye Golf, a city-owned private club in the ‘burbs northeast of New York City, is where I played most of my golf growing up. If memory serves, it was illegal to park on Soundview when I was coming of age in the early 90s, or at the very least the neighbors frowned upon my friends and I ditching our cars there. But that didn't stop us. Risking tickets and dirty looks, we rolled up in a Jetta, Camry or ’87 Hyundai Excel hatchback with a beer tap for a stick shift (my ride!) and parked near the cut-through that connects the two holes.
When we were confident no one was looking, we made our move, grabbing our clubs (MacGregors! Maxflis! Tommy Armour 845s!) from the trunk, then scurried to the 2nd tee box hopeful that a ranger or member hadn’t spotted us. We’d typically play a quick nine-hole loop around the hilly Devereux Emmet design, completing our rounds at the par-3 10th, which sits just behind the 1st green. From there, we’d disappear back down the wooded walkway and into our getaway cars. Next stop: Sunrise pizza parlor, or someone’s basement.
We dubbed our sneaky rounds the "B membership," and for a few years it was my primary means of accessing RGC. (My pals and I weren’t always such scoundrels; in previous years some of us had been upstanding, dues-paying junior members with dozens of legitimate rounds under our L.L. Bean belts. But once we aged out of that membership, we got creative.) We limited our trespassing to off-hours, usually weekday evenings, and never slowed up play or otherwise disturbed the peace. We were just dumb kids eager to put a peg in the ground. No harm done, right? At least that’s how we sold it to ourselves, and it certainly didn’t feel like we were committing any kind of heinous crime, save for the occasional topped tee shot…
I occasionally get home to Rye, where my mother still lives, but I haven’t played Rye Golf since the weekend of my wedding. That was more than 13 years ago. Still, I know I'll get back there again one day, and when I do I promise I’ll buck up for green fees."
Read the rest.