Place Category: Parks and Playgrounds
Bounded by 61st Avenue, Commonwealth Boulevard, and 72nd Avenue, Douglaston Park lies on the site of the former North Hills Country Club Golf Course. In 1927, a group of members from the Belleclaire Country Club, located in Bayside, founded the North Hills Golf Club. The group selected this site in the Douglaston neighborhood for its rolling and scenic terrain. A father and son team of landscape architects, Willie Tucker Sr. and Jr., laid the 18-hole course, which opened on Labor Day 1927. The course featured a elegant Spanish Mission style clubhouse, which many consider to be architect Clifford C. Wendehack’s finest work. Throughout the late 1920s and early 1930s, the course hosted many amateur tournaments. During the Depression, North Hills failed to make a profit and was eventually repossessed by their bank. Following World War II, the members repurchased the property from the bank. During the 1960s, though, the club relocated to Manhasset.
The City of New York purchased a 50-acre parcel of this property on September 7, 1962 for $2,500,000. The City purchased a second parcel of 54.6 acres on March 13, 1963 for $3,003,000. Parks assumed jurisdiction over each parcel on the day of its acquisition. In April of that year, Parks Commissioner Newbold Morris (1902-1966) named the property Douglaston Park Golf Course. Until December 1963, Parks leased an adjacent 27-acre parcel from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn to supplement the golf course’s facilities. The Cathedral College of the Immaculate Conception stood on the plot from 1967 to 1988. In 1989, the De Matteis Organization purchased 14.5 acres of that property and built condominium housing units.
Today Douglaston Park offers a public 18-hole golf course located approximately 17 miles from midtown Manhattan. The course is designed for beginner to intermediate skill level players. The fairways are wide, tree-lined, and sloping, and par ranges from 3 to 5 strokes. Hole # 5 is the course’s signature hole; it requires driving over water to a small, well-bunkered green. The course’s longest hole at 495 yards is the 18th. Douglaston Park also features a pro shop, lessons and clinics, a practice putting green, a clubhouse, a men’s locker room, a restaurant, a bar/lounge, a snack bar, as well as snack carts at the 6th and 15th holes.
In 1987, Commissioner Stern assigned the property its present name. Beginning in December 1999, Douglaston Park received a sophisticated irrigation system funded by Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani. Designed to combat erosion and improve course conditions, the $9.8 million dollar project also renovated the Clearview, Forest Park, and Kissena Park golf courses. The newly installed irrigation systems use in-ground sprinkler heads fed by underground pipes, which draw water from wells and rain-fed ponds. This massive project will give City golfers fairer ways and greener greens for years to come.
- Liberty Ave & 173rd St
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