Forest Park Golf Course - Forest Park, Queens

 

Where:
Inside Forest Park, Queens, between Woodhaven and Forest Hills. Subway: J train to 85th St-Forest Parkway. Entrance is off Forest Park Drive. *See below for details.

Essentials:
$35-70 for 18 holes with cart.

Here's the story:
Forest Park Golf Course near Woodhaven, Queens is a par-70 public course, playing just over 5,600 yards from the white tees. It seems longer due to the somewhat narrow, wooded surroundings. For the Bubba Watsons of the group, the longest hole is the 475 yard 11th, a par-five, which is reachable in two. The par-five 4th hole offers a challenging tee shot over a long ravine, and the par-three 15th hole makes you forget you took the subway to the course, with its scenic tee shot over a pond.

Here's the Actual Story:
The phrase “public golf course” brings to mind a certain style of course that any weekend hacker is quite familiar with. For the most part, New York City public courses tend to rise above this title--they're in good shape and enjoyable to play. Forest Park, however, carries the badge of "public course" proudly.

The clubhouse, while not ancient, is showing its age. There’s a small golf shop with the very basics, and a food counter with your typical snack bar fare and $4 beers. We found attendance at the course to be a little lighter than other city courses, possibly due to its secluded location.

One of Forest Parks’ public course “charms” is the location of its putting green. As you cross the par-three 3rd hole, be sure to make sure no one is teeing off as you make your way to the putting green. A perk? They allow chipping! But that’s most likely because there’s little reason to call this a practice “green”. You also have to steady your nerves while putting as you wonder about the worlds creepiest abandoned concession stand located a few yards behind the green.

Oh and stray cats. SO many stray cats.

Forest Park continues to impress you with a significant amount of standing water, weed invaded fairways and spotty greens throughout. The course does live up to its namesake, however, with lush tree lines on every hole. Another quirky feature: rarely do two tee box markers match each other, showing a lack of management maybe, but it works in a weird, kitschy way.

While we here at Let’s Play NYC don’t want to disparage any course or sour anyone on trying a course they’ve never played before, Forest Park is not one of NYC’s finer places to play. There are better options out there for the same price, though Forest Park has its moments. Besides, good weather and good company will equal a good time no matter where you play. Even if it’s Forest Park.

*You may be fooled, as Let’s Play NYC was, into thinking that Forest Park is an easy walk from the J train (85th St. stop). As the crow flies, it’s a breeze. But crows don't have to walk up hills and stairs and winding roads just to get to the club house. If you do decide to take the subway, which is still an adequate way to get there, plan on a 15-20 minute walk to the course through some residential streets and the park’s main road.