The course Rees Jones built at Atlantic can best be described as “links-like.” Most of the holes are framed by a stunning array of knobs, mounds and moguls that look as if they had been crafted over time by the hands of nature. The land rises and falls, rolls and ripples like the swells at sea, with tall fescue rough swaying and shimmering in the ever constant breezes and ever-changing lighting. Moguls to accentuate the target, and for the most part feature subtle rolls, rather than bold contours frame the greens. Large bunkers that take away half the entrance create a “dogleg” effect on the approach to most holes generally protect greens. But Jones, among the fairest of the strategic architects, has also carefully crafted alternate routes to the flag and leaves the decision of how to play the holes to the golfer. While the course has nary a water hazard to speak of, it does have wind. An ever-present whistling breeze that can kick up and change direction – in a heartbeat, which ultimately demands that a player have a full repertoire of shots to call on.
Atlantic opened for a preview weekend in October of 1991, but regular play did not begin until 1992. The course opened to unanimous rave reviews, winning Golf Digest’s award for the “Best New Private Course” for 1992. The pro shop was ready for 1992, but the clubhouse, a Hart Howerton design, a traditional Long Island shingle style with deep porches and dormers, would not be ready until the following season. It was worth the wait, however, for like everything else at Atlantic, the finished product looks as if it had always belonged there. Simple, yet elegant, warm and welcoming, the clubhouse offers a breathtaking view of the course from a cozy front porch across which the wind almost always blows.
Atlantic was chosen to host the Met Open as its first major championship. The great history of this tournament and the quality of the competitors in the Met Area established Atlantic as an instant classic. In 2010, Atlantic Golf Club hosted the USGA Mid-Amateur Championship.