National Golf Links of America – Southampton, NY

What led me to take a look at this was looking at some photos that Jon Cavalier posted on Twitter(@LinksGems).

I had a little fun with this one since its hard to see a lot of the little intricacies of the grading in the fairways and around the greens.  I did a few images in an attempt to make the grading stand out.

For those unfamiliar with the course location, it is located on Long Island and neighbors Shinnecock Hills and Peconic Bay.

Aerial Image of the National Links of America


The first image I thought would do a decent job of showing some of the fine grading of the holes used 5 – foot interval contours.  For a better understanding of contours, take a look at my quick tutorial.

Aerial with 5-foot contour intervals

It turns out, you can see some of the changes in elevation of the course, but the detail is much finer then what can be seen with this contour interval.

Next I moved on to 2-foot contour intervals. I thought this would have been perfect.

Aerial with 2-foot contour interval

This was better, there were still some voids.  Just for fun I had to look at the 1-foot intervals.

Aerial with 1-foot contour interval

This turned out much better then what I was expecting. In the past, 1-foot contouring has been a mess, but this turned out really clean and does an excellent job depicting the rises and dips of the course.

Click on any of the images to enlarge and zoom in. The grading around the course is really impressive for a course located nearly at sea level.

Color Ramp

I wanted to try to generate a color ramp to show the high spots and low spots in the event that reading contours isn’t really your thing.  I did three different exhibits trying to show how the elevation changes are in this area.

I turned the transparency down on this one to show where the high spots (red/orange) and low spots (blue) are in relation to the golf course and holes.

Transparent Color Ramp

I turned on the 5-foot contour intervals and turned off the transparency of the color ramp.

Color Ramp with 5-foot Contour Interval

This last image is a hybrid image using a higher transparency for the color ramp and the 5-foot interval contours.

Transparent Color Ramp with 5-foot Contour Interval

The fine grading of National Golf Links of America is pretty impressive. I am unaware of any major modifications that have occurred since it was built in the early 1900’s, which just goes to show this course has stood the test of time.

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