Many people may not know that Long Island is center stage in American golf history. When golf began to spread beyond the British Isles in the late 19th century, Long Island was one of the first places it took root. New York tycoons began establishing golf clubs near their country estates.
The oldest Long Island courses tend to follow the Scottish links style — low, windswept and mostly treeless, with plenty of little lumps and bumps and swales (depressions to move surface water.)
Maintenance of golf courses has evolved. Golf courses were once major polluters due to runoff of pesticides and fertilizers into ground water. Now management is more environmentally focused with regards to water usage and protection of the aquifers. Today, golf courses use more than 20 million gallons of water per year, although years ago that amount would have been much higher. What has been helpful is newer irrigation technology that has made irrigating golf courses more efficient, easier to maintain and more able to better conserve water.