To play golf at the historic Maidstone Club in East Hampton was an invitation I couldn't turn down. Like most exclusive golf course gems, the rare opportunity to play Maidstone had my heart spinning throughout the entire 18 hole walk.
Due to threats of rain, we made a 2pm tee time to avoid a spoiled round altogether. Naturally, the next brilliant idea was to fuel up for our round at East Hampton's favorite lobster shack, The Lobster Roll.
The famous dish of choice at The Lobster Roll is, you guessed it, the Lobster Roll. There are two styles of lobster roll; the cold one that resembles a chicken salad, and a hot one that has whole pieces of lobster doused in melted butter. Both come on a toasted roll with slaw. I highly recommend going all out with a cup of lobster chowder to start and a warm, buttery lobster roll to finish.
Driving onto the magestically rustic property of the Maidstone Club, in existence since 1890, was simply breathtaking. We greated our caddies before the modest beachfront clubhouse, shook hands, and simply walked onto the property to tee off from what felt like a massive, rolling pasture of dunes in the front lawn, speckled with a few didscrete tee markers. The separation of the first fairway from the uphill hike of the 18th was nothing more than a strip of tall, willowy grass that is common of golf courses in the north east. Looking out and away from the clubhouse, one feels that they can view the entire landscape of East Hampton, from the estate hedges to the rolling dunes and distinctive New England style homes in the distance. That is, one would feel that they could see it all if it weren't for the sound of crashing waves coming from behind the clubhouse. The East Hampton beach comes into play late into the front 9, but first comes the joy of being engulfed by a waterway full of swans and a bridgecrossing that is shared by golfers on both the front and back nine; a sort of meeting ground to exhale and take it all in.
Local knowledge tells of the swans being very territorial and fighting to the death, which includes the death of the entire family of the defeated. Between harsh winters and competition with other swans, my companions were impressed by the 50% survival rate of this year's chics. Swans, I learned, are also notorious for being exclusively monogomous until death. Although Swans have been residing in the area for 150+ years, some locals still claim that they are imposters who are not native to the region. Regardless of how they arrived to the area 150 years ago, though, they are undeniably a gorgeous addition to the already wildly beautiful landscape of Maidstone.
On the beach side, the bunkers were simply an extension of the dunes, and the sea breaze made for a couple of challenging holes into the wind. My personal moment of glory came on number 9 where my approach shot trickled back off of the slick right ledge of the green into a cliff like bunker that we refered to as The Pit of Doom. Up against a wall of sand twice my height with no visibility of the pin from where I stood in the bunker, I opened my 60degree wedge and managed to land a perfect, high, soft sandy to 4ft to save par against all odds. When the day is done, we all need a bragging rights hole or two to make up for the rest. My up and down from The Pit of Doom was mine.
We concluded the round at the 19th hole, overlooking the Beach Club, with Southsides in hand. A southside is a refreshing but dangerously strong blended drink involving rum and mint. It is a local favorite and now one of mine.