Devereux Emmet (1862-1934) was the son of a judge and a descendant of Thomas Addison Emmet, a founder of Tammany Hall. The Emmet family was listed in Ward McAllister's First Forty Families in America. Devereux and prominent architect, Stanford White, married sisters who were nieces of financier A.T. Steward.
Emmet was a golfer and huntsman. For two decades he routinely bought hunting dogs in the South in the spring, trained them on Long Island through the summer, sold them in Ireland in the autumn and spent the winter hunting and golfing in the British Isles. One such winter was devoted to measuring British golf holes for his friend C.B. Macdonald, who was then planning The National Golf Links of America. Emmet was a founding member of The National. Emmet was also a talented golfer, making the quarterfinals of the 1904 British Amateur and winning the Bahamas Amateur at the age of 66.
Emmet designed his first course, the Island Golf Links (a forerunner to Garden City GC), upon his return from an extended trip to the great links of Scotland. His other early design work, including one for his own family's estate at Sherewogue and Cherry Valley (built on property belonging to his father-in-law), was done at no charge. Later he became a professional golf course architect and accepted fees for his work.