Zucker said he gave Doak just one instruction when it came to using the 165-acre property: "Give us a great finishing hole." In response, Doak scrapped two lackluster par fours in favor of a quirky 125-yard seventeenth hole with a radical green and a daunting 639-yard par five eighteenth.
Doak worked some similar magic with the two opening holes, setting the tone for the course early. North Shore may be on the short side at 6,543 yards from the tips, but its outrageous greens more than adequately protect par. The 71.8 rating and 136 slope give some indication of the level of play necessary to score low.
Perhaps the biggest change Zucker brought to North Shore, however, is a serious commitment to getting youngsters into the game. "I wanted to have the most kid-friendly club on Long Island," he says. With seven kids and fourteen grandkids, the club owner has a good idea of what young families want in a country club. In addition to renovating the golf course, one of his first moves was to build a playground near the swimming pool. the club also boasts kid-friendly tennis, a fitness center, and memberships designed for affordability. The club runs golf and tennis camps for kids--both sold out this year. Zucker also says youngsters are encouraged to play the course, adding "If it's open, they should be playing on it."
In an era when participation in the game seems to be declining and economic weakness threatens the survival of many tradition-bound clubs, it's absolutely refreshing to see how North Shore Country Club is leading us into a happier future.
Among many other books, Dave Donelson is the author of Weird Golf: 18 tales of fantastic, horrific, scientifically impossible, and morally reprehensible golf