Can I Play Golf on My Nantucket Visit

Golfing under the lighthouse

5th tee at Sankaty


Hear the word “Nantucket” and many images spring to mind. The grey lady! The far away island! Miles of unspoiled beaches! Summer home to Wall Street wizards and corporate tycoons! Great restaurants! Rose covered cottages with hydrangeas abundant! Moby Dick and whaling history! More 18th century houses than any other community in the US! Cobblestone streets! No stoplights! To these and other images its time to add a new one: three great links golf courses and the longest golf season north of the Carolinas! 

The grand old lady Sankaty Head Golf Club currently ranks in the top 100 older courses in the US. A 1923 design by Emerson Armstrong, it is the epitome of links golf and sits perched on the edge of the Atlantic at the eastern end of the island under the iconic Sankaty Head lighthouse. A strictly private course in the summer, where you can only play if invited by a member, it is, fortunately, open to the public for play from mid-October for mid-December, and mid-March to late-May. Knowing this “secret”  makes a golf outing to Nantucket in the fall or spring well worth the effort. 

Nantucket Golf Club, is a Rees Jones designed links course, also out in Siasconset, which opened in 1998 and was ranked the best new private course in America that year by Golf Digest. It is almost impossible to get on unless you know a member, and only open from mid-May to mid-October, but if you’re ever invited there, jump through hoops to accept the invitation! 

At the opposite end of the spectrum, and abutting the Nantucket Golf Club is the Old Siasconset Golf Course, affectionately known as Skinner’s. Built in 1894, it is one of the oldest privately owned golf courses in the US. A simple links style 9 holer, it is not watered, and has very small and very slow greens. Some people refer to it as a pasture golf course. Open to the public, it is inexpensive and informal, and only open in the summer and early fall. Fun to play if you are a hacker, you should give it a miss if your looking for a quality golf outing. 

Miacomet Golf Course is the new kid on the block. Just two years old, this Howard Mauer designed links course is a complete remake of a former dull 9 holer. Almost 6,900 yards from the tips, and playing much longer than that in the typical Nantucket wind, this natural beauty features fast bent grass greens, waist high fescue rough grasses, and seemingly miles of sandy bunkers. You usually can hear the surf roaring from this south-side of the island course which snakes through Nantucket Land Bank land. It is rapidly establishing a reputation as one of the best public courses in Massachusetts and is every bit as stern a test as the other two courses, and lots of fun to play. Miacomet is open year round! 

Sherburne Inn Guests are eligible for discounted greens fees and preferred tee times at Miacomet, and we would be glad to book you a tee time, as well as cart and club rental if required, at both Miacomet and Sankaty (SHGC just in the shoulder seasons). We are also pretty knowledgeable on what kind of clothing you will need to wear depending on the weather forecasts. 

Some final words about our golf season. Because Nantucket sits 25 miles off the coast of Cape Cod, its weather is effected by the gulf stream which usually keeps us slightly warmer than the rest of New England. We consider the fall the best time to play golf on Nantucket, because most of the summer residents are gone, and the weather ranges from magnificent to tolerable on the golf course. We sometimes can play in short-sleeves well into December. January to March is very weather dependant, but the hard-core players usually can get in 10-15 days play per month. Spring golf is often chilly golf here, but not impossible. (It pays to watch the long range forecast to catch the most playable days here if your coming from off island during the quiet season). 

So here’s a great idea for a golf getaway in the fall or spring. Come to the island with 2 or 4 golfers for at least 2 days. Play both Sankaty and Miacomet and stay at our comfortable Sherburne Inn. Explore the rest of our island and sample several of our island’s superb restaurants. We can make all the on-island arrangements for you to minimize your stress and best suit your requirements. We’re just a call away. 

Happy golfing!

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