Long Island Golf Communities Offer Country Club Life


Donna Rosario loves her morning walks. She’ll step out of her apartment, breathe in the fresh air, and head to her favorite park bench to spot the squirrels, rabbits, deer, songbirds, and wild turkey that line the woods surrounding the Pine Hills Golf Course in Manorville.

“I love this place,” says Rosario, 66, who rents an 875-square-foot one-bedroom attached apartment at Villas at Pine Hills Apartments, a gated community on the golf course, for $1,875 a month. “I have great views, peace and quiet, an active and diverse community, a pool and gym, and the restaurant and golf course are open to the public. For me, it’s an ideal living environment. And Rosario doesn’t even play golf.


With the 18th hole of the Pine Hills de Manorville golf course in the background, loved ones gather at Sandra Rosario’s home. Left to right, Emma Rosario, Sandra Rosario, Joseph Rosario, Donna Rosario and Miranda McManus.
Credit: Howard Simmons

These are the kinds of sentiments commonly heard from people living on golf courses, says Jimmi Conway, vice president of golf operations at Pine Hills. “While no two golf communities are the same, they generally offer exceptional amenities, great views, open spaces and unique social opportunities. You don’t even have to play golf to enjoy living in these places.

Golf homes can be a good investment for those who can afford them, says Jason Becker, PGA of America professional golfer and CEO of Golf Life Navigators, a company that connects buyers to gated golf communities across the country. country.

Since COVID hit the scene, demand for homes in those communities has increased, Becker says, adding that the value of those homes has increased 25% to 30% nationally over the past two years. “There’s no doubt that this component of the real estate market is hot,” Becker says, “and we don’t expect this market to slow down.”

Jacqui and Jay Palatnik have purchased their two bedroom townhouse overlooking the third...

Jacqui and Jay Palatnik bought their two-bedroom townhouse overlooking the third hole at Birchwood in Spring Lake in Middle Island for the country club lifestyle.
Credit: James Carbone

A range of options, prices

About 30 of Long Island’s 140 golf courses have homes, condos or apartments on their land, while others are tucked away in communities, says Carol Szynaka, East End sales manager for Daniel Gale Sotheby’s International Realty. Collectively, these offer a range of home choices with prices that vary widely. At Birchwood in Spring Lake on Middle Island, for example, there’s a mix of options: two-bedroom condos can start at around $300,000, while townhouses cost around $500,000.

“On Long Island, homes in these communities have seen their prices go up about 20% since the pandemic, but North Fork prices have gone up like crazy,” Szynaka says. For example, she says that while homes at Laurel Lakes Country Club in Mattituck mostly sold for less than $1 million before COVID, one recently sold for $2.9 million. Homes range from 3,065 to 5,000 square feet. “In the past, people didn’t want all that space because a lot was bought as second homes,” Szynaka says. “Since the start of the pandemic, that feeling has changed.”

In addition to rent or mortgage payments, some golf courses require people living in their community to purchase a golf membership, pay maintenance fees and, sometimes, even social fees. These fees can vary greatly from location to location depending on house style, membership choices, and other options.

For Rosario, who works as a receptionist at Hamlet Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center in Nesconset, life at The Villas at Pine Hills is a family affair: his son, Joseph Rosario, 43, is a super assistant at the property, while his daughter – his in-laws, Wendy Rosario, 45, live there with their children, Kallie, 20, Angelina, 18, and Joseph, 9, and another daughter, Sandra Rosario, 48.

“I can’t see the golf course from my windows because my apartment faces the front of the property,” Rosario says, “but all the amenities are included in my rent. There are no club fees or social charges as the golf course is open to all the public.”

While Rosario and his family members are happy to rent, Jay Palatnik, 84, and his wife, Jacqui, 82, have purchased their two-bedroom adjoining quadruple-style home in Birchwood at Spring Lake in Middle Island for the country club lifestyle. Jay retired from sales and Jacqui from interior design. Both were always on the move. Today, Jay is a licensed real estate broker who connects sellers and buyers in his community, while Jacqui teaches mahjong and canasta at Long Island libraries.

Jay Palatnik says living in a golf community saves...

Jay Palatnik says living in a golf community saves money on green fees because membership is included in the $500 monthly maintenance fee.
Credit: James Carbone

stay active

With a pool, golf course, tennis courts, racquetball and card tables, Birchwood is a comfortable fit for the active couple. “We like that it’s closed, but not a 55+ community,” says Jay, “We play a lot of golf but save money as a membership is included in our maintenance fee (about 500 $ per month). Our home is the perfect size for our needs, but there are also apartments and villas on offer here.”

The Palatniks bought a house with a loft overlooking the third hole 21 years ago for around $280,000. Today, they estimate he is worth over $400,000. “All amenities and landscaping here are taken care of, we don’t even have to shovel snow.”

For Harry and Maxine Koenig, 82 and 80 respectively, the Half Hollow greens in Melville have proven to be a mecca for the golfing community. The Koenigs bought a contemporary ranch that backs up to the fifth hole for $1.25 million nine years ago. Today, it is said to be worth $1.9 million.

“It was a great investment, of course,” says Harry, “but there’s also a lot to do.” The 55-plus-year-old gated community offers lush views, a restaurant for community members and their guests, an outdoor pool, gym, tennis courts, card rooms and a golf course reserved for children. members. Payroll taxes for the 1,144 homes on the premises are $225 per month, while golf packages vary.

Harry, a former advertising executive, leads the homeowners association, heads the architecture and aesthetics committee, and is vice-president of the men’s club. He and Maxine love to golf and do so often.

“When they move to Florida, some residents downsize their homes in the neighborhood, so they have a place to stay when they come back to visit,” Harry says.

However, not everyone is thrilled with golf courses and their associated communities. Conservationists point out that while open space is a plus, there’s little biodiversity for all that glorious green, and the heavy use of fertilizers on some courses is certainly a concern in terms of Long’s water quality. Island.

“There are many things golf courses across the country can do to enhance the natural world and protect water quality while providing recreation,” notes Bill Lucey, Long Island Sound Custodian for the non-profit organization Save the Sound. Some are planting native species, reducing water use, capturing rainwater and reducing the use of fertilizers and pesticides, he says.

Bob and Rene Tringali built their Hamptons-style home across from the Nissequogue...

Bob and Rene Tringali built their Hamptons-style home across from the Nissequogue Golf Club in 1998. They put it up for sale for $3.6 million.
Credit: Newsday/John Paraskevas

Appreciation of value

While the Rosarios, Palatniks and Koenigs are all happy with their accommodations on the golf course, it’s hard to imagine anyone getting more out of their golf property than Rene and Rob Tringali. The couple, 74 and 79, live across from the Tony Nissequogue Golf Club and have just listed their shingled Hamptons-style home with six bedrooms and three fireplaces overlooking the 2-hole course with views of the 120-acre golf course for $3.6 million. .

“We fell in love with this region”, says René, who, along with her husband, owned a body shop in Smithtown before retiring and handing the business over to their son, Robert Jr. The Tringalis purchased the 6-acre parcel in 1998 for $474,000. They demolished a dilapidated house on the property and built a shed that could accommodate 12 cars.

The Tringalis, who do not play golf, did not join the Nissequogue Golf Club and do not pay any maintenance or social fees as they do not live on the golf course property. Still, they enjoy the views, mature trees, and animal life, including sea turtles that crawl onto the golf course from the Sound to lay their eggs on their property.

“I like the fact that we don’t have to worry about who’s building in front of us,” says Rene. “Our road only has houses on one side, facing the course, and there are beaches, marinas and good fishing nearby.”

The pair downsize and head south. “We absolutely loved our time here,” Rene says, “even though the occasional slice lands a golf ball on our lawn.”