The Maidstone Club is a private country club on the Atlantic Ocean in the village of East Hampton, New York. Maidstone has both an 18-hole and 9-hole private golf course. The Club derives its name from the original name for East Hampton, which was Maidstone, named after Maidstone in England. It was founded as a 7-hole course in 1894 and expanded to eighteen holes in 1899. The Club was the summer retreat of New York City’s most wealthy and socially connected families. Maidstone is considered to be the most elite, prestigious and difficult to get into of all the clubs in “The Hamptons”.
Several notable people have inquired about membership over the years and were summarily prevented from joining the Club. In the 1950s, Groucho Marx was able to play as a member guest but was turned down as a potential member. George Plimpton and Diana Ross were also shunned. Ross was married to billionaire Norwegian shipping magnate Arne Næss, Jr., a member at Maidstone, however he resigned when his wife was denied membership. Donald Trump was a temporary member in the early 1980s, but he did not apply to be a permanent member.
Willie Dunn laid out the first course in 1894; it was but a rudimentary 7-hole layout. Seth Raynor drew up re-design plans in 1921. Then in 1924 Willie Park, Jr. and his brother Jack designed the 80-acre (320,000 m2) Gardiner Peninsula addition. The expansion resulted in the club having two 18-hole courses, but this was reduced to the current 27-hole layout by the hurricane of 1938.