In 1956, when the Long Island Expressway was built across a plot of land that was owned by the Deepdale Country Club a decision had to be made. The expressway cut the club right in half, but instead of just rebuilding on both sides, the villagers of Lake Success decided this was a good time to buy the part of the land on the south side of the expressway. And so the Lake Success Golf Course was born. Holes numbered one, seven and nine were still from the original course, however Orrin Smith and Albert Zikarus designed the rest.
Robby Mistretta, the current head pro at Lake Success, describes the course as "a fun little golf course not many people know about." The course is a par 70 that plays 6200 yards with a slope rating of 126 from the white and 128 from the blue. As head pro Robby has overseen projects and made reforms that have changed the course in a number of ways. He has overseen the redoing of the pro shop that now looks fabulous, in this writer's opinion. He has also added a few new tournaments that make the course all the more fun, and he has manifested the new tee time policy that now allows members to make tee times rather than having to go out to the course and wait to tee off. Although this is not a new invention to golf, it is to the Lake Success golf course, which just started this policy a year ago. But Robby does not only implement new policies; he must also uphold the old ones. As head pro he makes sure the members are having a pleasant time, which means keeping the bag room, carts and first tee in proper order. But he doesn't have to do it all by himself. He also has Angelo Caimpi and Sam Bae, who are teaching professionals and assistants to Robby.
With approximately 500 members and a whole slew of Lake Success residents that are allowed to play whenever they want, this course gets a lot of play and yet is in very good condition. The reason for this is the excellent irrigation system that works overtime now due to the lack of rain and the superintendent, Bob Johnson who does a great job of making sure the tees, greens and fairways are always looking as good as possible. This does not only mean watering them but also aerating to ensure the ground isn't soft and keeping the geese away so that they cannot leave unwanted residue on the course.
Even though the course is in excellent shape now they are always drawing up plans and undertaking projects to make it better. According to Robby there are already plans drawn up to improve the drainage on the course so that it is not wet and soggy after a strong rain. They also have future speculation of redoing the clubhouse, locker rooms and dining facilities. But we must also keep in mind what made the course what it is today. Three years ago the bunkers and cart paths were redone, along with the irrigation system that keeps the grass so green.
In the way of tournaments, the biggest one that draws the most attention is the men's club championship, which is coming up very soon. The structure of the tournament is four flights with over 200 men competing. The present men's club champion is Jerry Garber who has a zero handicap, and the women's is Gin Lee who maintains a 14 handicap. But not all tournaments have just been within the club. In 1992 and 1993 the local US Open qualifier was held at Lake Success and they had five winners go on to the regional qualifier which was very prestigious for them. Lake Success has also had someone who grew up to play in a few PGA Tour events who was Art Silverstone. But Robby comments that he is still looking for the next PGA Tour hit to come out of Lake Success.