Located between historic Shinnecock Hills Golf Club and Peconic Bay, National Golf Links of America was designed by Charles Blair Macdonald, who is often called the “Father of American Golf Architecture.” Macdonald, winner of the inaugural U.S. Amateur in 1895, had been schooled at St. Andrews in Scotland during the 1870s. He had built Chicago Golf Club, the first 18-hole golf course in the U.S., and was a driving force behind the creation of the United States Golf Association in December of 1894.
Macdonald had been a member of Shinnecock Hills, but he later left the club following the 1896 U.S. Open that was conducted there. His goal was to design a course that would rival the prominent layouts in Great Britain and Ireland. He looked at potential sites in Cape Cod and Napeague before finally settling on a plot of land on Sebonac Neck near Shinnecock Hills and adjacent to Peconic Bay.
When the course opened in 1911, it chose the name National Golf Links of America because its 67 founding members were from various parts of the U.S.