What we now call Gardiner's Bay Country Club was first laid out in the early 1890's by an unknown architect on the property known then as Dering Farm and bore the name The Shelter Island Golf Links.
The first clubhouse was a saltbox built by Thomas Dering during the years of the American Revolution, and stands today on the Hines Estate, adjacent to the present club. The first professional was Charlie Thom who went on to become one of the legends of golf as the professional at Shinnecock Hills where he remained for some fifty years.
On July 3, 1915, the course was annexed by the much celebrated Manhanset House and was renamed The Manhanset Club. Hotel guests arrived by steamship from New York City and points beyond and were treated to lavish accommodations as well as a casino and a variety of outdoor activities including golf. Golfing privileges could be had for one dollar per day or thirty dollars for the season. The Manhanset House was consumed by fire in 1910 and was replaced by the building known as Granada which exists today under private ownership. In 1926 the course was renamed The Dering Harbor Club with a new clubhouse, under the management of Floyd Hallock until 1942 when it was closed down and planted with lima beans to assist in the war effort.
In 1948, with the help of The Shelter Island Lions' Club, under the supervision of Johnny Piccozzi and Ollie Wells, and with the strong backs of many local residents, the course was restored and in 1951 was incorporated as Gardiner's Bay Country Club. Some of those who assisted in the effort remain members to this day.
Unfortunately, there remains considerable controversy over the exact dates of inception of many of the original golfing clubs in America but we are certain that we can say with pride that the course we now enjoy and call our own was one of the first golfing clubs in the Americas.