Black at Bethpage State Park Golf Course
|Blue M: 78.1/152||430||389||230||517||478||408||553||210||460||3675||502||435||501||608||161||478||490||207||411||3793||7468|
|White M: 74.0/145||429||354||158||461||423||386||502||191||385||3289||434||421||432||480||152||430||457||195||394||3395||6684|
|Red M: 71.2/137 W: 77.8/150||426||346||128||438||401||376||489||152||293||3049||377||412||403||472||139||417||431||178||345||3174||6223|
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Photo submitted by FromTheLeftSide on 10/24/2017
View from the gazebo Photo submitted by u2041174 on 08/21/2017
4th Photo submitted by LICC on 03/29/2017
5th Photo submitted by LICC on 03/29/2017
17th Photo submitted by LICC on 03/29/2017
Photo submitted by LICC on 03/29/2017
The famous first tee Photo submitted by GolfingEsq on 01/31/2016
1st Hole Photo submitted by pedz55 on 10/21/2014
4th Hole Photo submitted by pedz55 on 10/21/2014
7th Hole Photo submitted by pedz55 on 10/21/2014
8th Hole Photo submitted by pedz55 on 10/21/2014
First tee. Photo submitted by MattGinellaGA on 12/27/2013
3rd tee and green. Photo submitted by MattGinellaGA on 12/27/2013
18th hole. Photo submitted by MattGinellaGA on 12/27/2013
Going into, I knew it would be tough. I've heard all the stories and watched all the professional tournaments, specifically the two Opens played here, but actually walking the grounds and playing the holes, you don't really understand how difficult it can play until you experience it.
The first challenge is the walk. The undulations and elevation changes, specifically getting to/from the tee boxes was surprising. With the exception of hole #9 however, I wasn't faced with too many awkward lies.
I played really well, and was fortunate that I drove the ball well. I played from the white tees, which still measure at 6700 yards, but was fortunate to keep the ball in the fairway on most holes. The approach shots are intimidating and tough. There is no room for error. Hole #16 may be the only hole I can remember where you can run the ball on the green, but event that is a narrow gap. Most greens are elevated and guarded by massive and deep bunkers. Hole #16 and #18 are really the only holes where you can stand on the tee box and see the entire hole. If you miss a fairway, you have an extremely tough time holding a green. If you miss a green, you have an extremely tough time getting up/down. The only fair element of the course were the greens. Although they were small and tough to hold, there wasn't much slope or speed issues. A few holes have challenging pin placements, but they were not the most difficult element of the course.
All in all it's a great experience. It needs to be on every serious golfers' must play list. I was fortunate to play extremely well, and I look forward to getting a chance to play it again and moving back a tee box.
A Beast of a Course! Public Golf Royalty
This is one of the most memorable rounds you will ever play. Long holes, wide fairways, and monster bunker complexes around the greens. You start out with three good holes, then you step on the 4th tee and monster starts. Heroic design on lots of holes; long carry or layup decisions abound. Not difficult greens. Just a great course. I'll love watching the Ryder Cup played here.
The best condition on the best course in the east USA
My first time playing this course and it felt like I had played it a thousand times; my playing partner had actually played this course a thousand times. If this course is not already frustrating, imagine having the guy who just set the course record from the tips breathing down your neck. This guys frustrated with pars on par 3's and I'm glad when I get the same score. I had the most unique experience playing this courses or well, getting on it. The day before I was playing another fantastic course, Pound Ridge, when I began to talk to my playing partners about further into my vacation. They told me that sense the Barclas was going to start in a few weeks, tomorrow was th LAST DAY to play the black! My dad and I realized that there was no way to get on the course the last day to play it and plus we were from out of state. But then I remembered, all of the articles about sleeping in your car. Well that's what we did. Got there at about 10:00 and we were 7th in line looking to get a Sunday tee time. This is an ALL DAY AFFAIR to play this course. But anyway the 6th guy in line was who we ended up playing with. He told us that he does this 4 times a week. He walked us through the whole process, very un- New York like. The staff was very chipper for 4:30 am when you had to get your ticket for your tee time. Once we got to the desk we realized the we were definitely getting a tee time. We ended up getting a 8:45 time, a dream come true. We ate at a dinner just down the street from the park. Got back at 7:45. YOU MUST BE BACK AT THE LEAST AN HOUR BEFORE YOU TIME and even more if you need to get a caddie. The practice facilities are ok; the pull carts are good and worth the money. When walking up to the first tee you can feel the history of the course on you shoulders. You see that sign and you know your in for a heck of a round. The fence that the sign sits on is called the line of death by the black and green course starters. The first tee is pretty simple shot, but the small gallery that always gathers behind the tee makes the shot harder. I bombed one right down the middle leaving myself 142. But just when I thought I hit a great shot my playing partner absolutely smashed a ball over the trees on the right about 345. The seventeenth is a great par three and I hit my six iron about 180 just short of the green but just short of the green is a five foot deep bunker couldn't get up and down but saved a four. Number 18 is a pretty simple hole: just don't, no matter what, hit it in the BUNKERS. Well, that's exactly what I did. This course was so cool with all of the grand stands up. But anyway I hit my shot after a hack that played with us as well had already hit. I took my six iron again and hit it pure, I followed that ball with my squinting eyes just to hear a noise. BANG! My ball had flown directly over the green and under neath the grand stands after hitting them. I played my ball and ended up with a terrible double bogey. This course all around is one of the best in the world. Play it even if your visiting Pennsylvania it's worth the drive.
Golf in its Purest Form!
I grew up on Long Island, but haven't lived there since HS, so I've only played the Black Course a handful of times since the remodel. But every time is a special experience. I just played last week during their preparation for the Barclays PGA event, and I've never seen the course in such great shape! Everything was in perfect condition.
This course should really be on the "must play" list for any serious golfer. It's easily in my personal top 3 that I've played - right next to Pebble Beach and Shinnecock Hills. Every hole/shot here is memorable. I can recall every shot I've ever hit here - every hole has its own personality. Even the different parts of the course have their own feel. Holes 10-12, 15/16 have somewhat of a links feel, while others are a more traditional parkland American golf feel. Every hole gives you options which is my #1 requirement for a great course. Granted it's VERY difficult and if you're a beginner, you should aspire to play here eventually. The minimum yardage is about 6300 from the forward tees, with some challenging forced carries, so it's a very hard course for juniors/ladies/seniors. But the way the course is laid out, you probably won't lose a ball unless you find one of the few water hazards or go REALLY far out of play on 4, 5, 6, 11 or 13.
The fact that everyone has to walk is really how golf was meant to be played, honestly and adds to the character. The only drawback is the long 5+ hour rounds, but it's a quick 5 hours because you're in golfing paradise! I played in 90+ degree heat, carried my own bag - even though I was exhausted by 14/15, I didn't mind. It's a real treat getting to play here. I could play here every day and never get tired of this course - it has that much character.
It's also not nearly as hard to get on as everyone thinks. If you walk up during the week, there's a very good chance you get on as a single. Anything more, you'll be playing late in the afternoon as a walk up, so make a tee time for sure. Maybe you'll get lucky and only pay the resident rate like I did as a former resident! But even for the $100-150 it's more than worth it to play this great track. Find a caddy if you can so that you can save some energy for those last few tough holes!
Humbling track with no free bees
Like title says, you have hit the ball and play real golf to enjoy this track. This day the ruff was high, fescue was in full bloom and was temperature was hot and humid. Tough conditions for just about anyone. A true bucket list course for all golf enthusiasts to play at least once. For the price (NY resident or not ) conditions are as good or better than almost all private country clubs.
Best public course in New York
Best public course in New York. If you can play one course in the state, play this one! Prepare for a 5 hour round and a humbling experience.... that said, this is golf in its purest form.... Unforgettable!
Worth the money
We play Bethpage Black once a year. In the past this course was always in great shape however this year it was phenomenal. Because the Barclay's is here in August , many bunkers were redone and several of the greens were re-configured. All the walking path's have been grassed over which is a vast improvement to the old dirt paths. The fescue was waist high, the rough was up to the ankle and the greens were pure as silk. This is a great course that is well worth the out of state rate of $150.
The golf is very good but...
I don't normally do this but I felt compelled to make people aware so they get the chance to maximise the experience.
The course is great. Conditioned well, good layout, nice elevation changes and visually appealing, however I did encounter some downsides.
First, take your own clubs if possible. I understand if you play early enough you may get another option, but after 1100 you are limited to a set of basic clubs. Considering you are playing a 7000+ yd course, you are already up against it. My set comprising of only 11 clubs (with no other options available) did not have a 3,4 or 5, iron. It did contain a 3 & 5 wood with a 5 hybrid however if you are a reasonibly long hitter as you need to be on this course, these regular shaft graphite clubs simply do not cut it. You are left with no way of reaching some of the par 4s because the is no significant difference between the 6 iron, the hybrid and 5 wood - This was my biggest problem.
Considering the number of caddies on the course it's a little disappointing to see so many bunkers with footprints and greens with pitch marks.
Arriving at the 1st tee it seemed to be a little disorganised. Having booked a caddie, I was moved up a tee time, then back to the original one, then up again. I was introduced to 3 different caddies because it appeared that they didn't have enough of them available. With regards to mine I'm afraid that he didn't really enhance the experience other than by carrying my clubs for me on a tough walk. Not once did he clean my ball, he raked 50% of my bunkers and more often than not handed me a driver then disappeared into the distance with no advice.
I did expect a slow round, but 6hrs! Not too much of a problem... No rush as I had all day.
My summary is that you must play this course BUT take your, own clubs if possible, buy a yardage chart and don't bother with a caddie and allow plenty of time.
Legs still ache for my brother in law
My friend in Long Island was able to secure a tee time this past Sunday afternoon for me as we try to get together yearly . I took my 15 year old son and my brother in law with me this time as they were in for a test . A s we made our way to the tee box to play from the whites, the starter indicated that the NY State high school championships were just played in the morning. The tee boxes were all playing back to where the blues and blacks were , and on top of that, we had 30 mph winds going. Needless to say our scores weren't the best they could be, but we got a taste of how big a bite this course could take out of you!
My so loved the layout, and my brother in law is still soaking his legs from the hilly walk! He swears that next time he comes , he will be able to tackle the course!
What a great treat!
the definition of difficult
finally got the chance to play the legendary bethpage black! let's start with the things you need to know:
1. the course is WALKING ONLY.
2. getting a tee time requires faxing and awkward telephone reservation systems.
3. it really is that hard!
once you are ready to play... this course will not disappoint you one bit. the state park setting is beautiful, and you will be able to take comfort in the beauty as you grind your way around this beast of a course.
the first tee is a lot of fun. there were many people hanging around waiting for their tee times, hoping to get slotted in, or just there to watch people tee off. definitely builds up the nerves!
right off the bat the course is tough with a long par 4 that has a 90 degree dogleg, that is pretty difficult to hit far enough to get a clear approach.
from then on you can expect super tight fairways, crazy thick rough, and bunkers... so many bunkers. fortunately, if you ever make it to the green, they are mostly pretty flat and roll very true.
almost every hole is marvelous to look at... i'd say 10-11 are the two most boring holes visually. there is a lot of elevation change, tricky but attractive bunkering, and lots of direction change as well.
it may not be easy to get a tee time, and the round will likely take a very long time (not everyone pays attention to the sign warning you the course is only recommended for highly skilled golfers), but this course is a must play. the out of state rate of $130 is one of the best values for the money i have ever seen. torrey pines south is twice that, and half as good a course (ok, maybe like 75% as good...). point is... you gotta play here!
One of the best
Black is a 5 star golf course. Frankly, I hate playing on Black - it's long, tight, demanding, and physically grueling. The course is in phenomenal shape, and the architecture is wonderful. Every hole is memorable, from the multi-tiered par 5 4th to the long and well bunkered par 3 17th. It's fantastically beautiful.
I'm not good enough to play this course. I find myself hacking in very thick rough and the distance forces me to try and do too much.
I try to play it once a year because it's such a gem, but boy is it hard.
What a fantastic golf course, simply the best course I have played in the last 20+ years. Right out of the gate you feel like you're playing the championship course, from the staff inside to Ed the starter this was a class A experience all the way. As for the course, it was in phenomenal condition, from the tee boxes to the fairways to the greens everything was impeccable. One nice feature about this course is that when you get into trouble in the long grass at least you can advance the ball forward, you're not being forced to take a sand wedge and pop it back into the fairway. There were two or three holes where I was able to get a seven iron on the ball from the high grass and advance it down the hole. With the lack of trees and the lack of water on this course the designers more than made up for it with bunkers and high grass on every hole. You also will not believe the views from some of the tee boxes including numbers 1, 4 and 18 to name a few. The registration process and booking of tee times really isn't that hard, not what history would lead you to believe, as I called in two days before and was able to get a tee time with ease. Bethpage Black is a must play course for anyone serious about golf, we actually did it in one day driving from Boston to Long Island and back, it was a fantastic 15 hour journey.
Major championship challenge
From the minute you get out of your car at Bethpage, you are reminded that you are at a 2 time U.S. Open, future PGA championship, future Ryder cup and current Barclays PGA tour course. The course gives you a three hole breather for a major championship course. Once you step onto the 4th tee you are met with 15 holes of pain with no end in sight.
Bethpage black is always and amazing round.
My Home Track is Still a Classic
Ok, in fairness, this is not so much a review as it is a homage. This is a New York State Park facility. This means egalitarian golf, folks. No stuffy rules about what you can wear. Golf in your jeans and an undershirt if you see fit. Not that it really happens, but you see plenty of folks in their untucked polos and cargo shorts. New York State residents get a substantial break on the cost to tee it up. $75 on weekends gets you on the course, less on weekdays and less during twilight. With a couple of exceptions, I have never been impressed by the caddies who work there. I don't use myself but I have seen them at work. They do save your energy, but if you are looking for insight and good stories, good luck on that. Reservations are only once per month and require you to pre-register, a fairly simple process but you must fax the office your ID to do that. No reservation? If you are a single, you'll have no problem getting out in just about every day. Just show up, but be prepared to wait, many hours if need be. You can't buy tickets for anyone but yourself at the window, and players get a wristband upon payment. You can show up at dawn, but as a single, I generally get there around 7-730 and figure I can get about noonish. If you are 2, 3 or 4, it is more challenging. You can still do it, but you may be battling the twilight. If you are committed to playing though, you probably won't get shut out. You have to figure five hours at a minimum. Most rounds come in between 4:50 and 5:45. There is very little you can do about that. The pace of play is not monitored. You will never see a ranger.
The course practice facilities leave a lot to be desired. The Black practice green sits behind the tee. There are others at the facility but use that one. No holes on the practice green so you'll have to use a tee or other marker. However, they run accurate and comparable to the speeds on the course. There is no chipping, pitching or sand practice area on the course. The driving range, such that it is, uses only mats and no woods on the driving range. If you have all day to kill, the best practice is to play 9 or 18 on one of the other courses [suggest you ride if you do], or to do your practice elsewhere and arrive at the course.
The pro shop is OK to browse around in. Prices are pretty good as is the selection of merchandise. The Clubhouse is nice to walk around for a bit, a few nice pictures and memorabilia. I haven't eaten there in years, and if I'm looking for a 19th hole, I prefer to jump into Bethpage town itself, a 7 minute car ride, where BK Sweeneys serves some nice grub and has plenty of TVs and drinks. But from what I can tell, it's pretty nice and there is an outdoor patio that kind of overlooks the 18th green but you really can't see the approaches.
OK, so now, after all of this, you're ready to play. You're time is announced. Your wrist band is cut. Take the obligatory photo of "The Sign" which warns players of the challenge ahead. Walk down the short brick path to the tee box. The starter will admonish you to leave your clubs there. There is only one tee box for the opener, a downhill dog leg right that will test the nerves. This singular tee box causes a lot of folks to start with the blue [Championship] tees. And here's my advice there: If you don't hit it at least 260 consistently [which mean that you hit it 280 and up quite a bit but you can have a controlled swing and hit it 260] please play the white tees. The course is a great track from the white tees - playable and challenging, but actually gives you a few scoring opportunities. There is nothing worse than seeing people play from the blues and watching their best drive go 240 or less. Playing from there is just plain dumb and will slow the pace down to a crawl. Even worse are the folks who ignore the tee markers and who just play it from the tippity-tips. Hey, if you're between scratch and two, have fun playing by yourself that way. Bethpage is in many ways about the comradery of the group as you battle the course. But just to SAY you played it from the tips if you are not always shooting 75 and under is just silly.
When you sit atop one, to your right is a tree line - to the right of that is the first hole of the Green Course, and actually the hole is playable from that opposite fairway provided you hit it far enough, but is leaves a wicked approach. To your left is the 18th green. Take note of the pin position because you won't see it from the 18th fairway. Ignore the people watching behind you. Put your nerves in check and try to hit it down the middle and reach the fairway. The first green, well, all of the greens, is well trapped, and shaped like a top-heavy figure eight, sloping back to front. Short is the miss if you can.
You cross the road for two through fourteen. Two is the shortest par four, and it still looks like you can play the back tees. Don't fall for the trick.
Many people treat the first few holes like they are playing the open, every shot painstakingly measured. Usually, by the time 15 to 18 roll around, those folks have lost focus and are just looking to survive. Hole two can swallow you up if you don't hit the fairway. Too far right and the trees block you out. Too far left and you won't hit the fairway. An uphill approach to a pin you can;t see awaits. Long is the only good miss, and the green in two is the fastest on the course. Three is a scoreable par three depending on the tee location. Long, long right and left are dead.
You walk down to the fourth tee for your second obligatory photo of the dramatic uphill par five. Technically reachable in two, it is really hard to get the second shot to hold the green. I've only done it into the wind. Downwind you have no chance of holding it. Hit it to the right for a nice entrance to the green for an up and down birdie. Five is one of the hardest tee shots on the course. Hit it long down the right hand side if you can for a reasonable approach. The left side is almost impossible. The left rough can lead to a triple bogey if you take on the approach from that side.
The halfway house is here, such that it is, as is the only official bathroom on the course, and your first water fountain. Gatorade, sandwiches, hot dogs [not recommended] granola bars and the like. The hard boiled eggs [2 for $2] are the best energy booster. You;ll pas it again as you come down the twelfth fairway.
Six is one of my favorite holes and gives you lost of options off the tee. I really like to try and boom it over the bunkers down the hill for a flip-wedge approach, but miss that drive and it;s double-bogey or worse. Another tough green to hold, and a pin on the right is very tricky.
Seven plays as a par four for the pros and a five for us mere mortals. The fairway is wider than it looks, but lots of folks put it in the trees to the right trying to fade it. Eight is the only water on the course, with a majestic tree guarding the right side of the green and grabbing balls coming in from right to left. A fade is needed for any pin placement from the center and right. Put your bags to the left and in front of the ninth tee so you don't have to schlep them up to the ninth tee. You will need driver on nine.
Nine is my favorite hole on the entire a course. A challenging tee shot. An extremely well guarded green.
Ten through thirteen represent. to me. the four hardest consecutive holes that I have ever played. Epic long, long, epic long and epic longest. Challenging greens. Ten and eleven run parallel to each other and share the same set of penal bunkers [to the left on ten and right on eleven]. These are death. Go over the eleventh green and you have almost zero chance of getting up and down. Twelve requires a bomb from the back tees to clear the traps. The second shot on thirteen is as hard of an approach as you can imagine and thirteen green is tiny, tiny. Fourteen is a birdieable par three unless the pin is up top. Keep it under the hole of you can.
You cross the road again for an epic finish. Fifteen climbs up and up and requires two long and solid shots. Leave your bag in the left rough and grab it when you come back down sixteen [you'll need your driver]. Sixteen is the hardest tee shot on the course. Optically confusing, and most folks are getting real, real tired. It can only be approached from the left side of the fairway. Approaches from the right are almost impossible.
Seventeen is an epic par three, intimidation city, with a shallow horizontal green, and massive bunkers all around. The climb to eighteen is exhausting, and although many don't view it as a great finishing hole, I think it is because if you need a birdie to win, or break eighty, it is out there with a good drive.
The greens on Black are fair. Breaks are subtle for the most part with few exceptions.
When the rough is long, it is penal. Smart players take their medicine and get it to the fairway and try to get up and down.
The course is undergoing some changes for 2016, which I have seen a bit of. The approach to the third green and the fourteenth green, par threes, are being changed a bit, but I haven't see the final product. The thirteenth green has been shortened and the fourteenth tee box has been completely rebuilt.
In sum, it deserves it reputation. Its a bucket list course. If you are coming to New York City, you can actually hope on the Long Island Railroad and get there fairly easily, with a short taxi ride from either the Farmingdale or Bethpage train stations. It is about a one hour ride from NYC without traffic.
Black Course -- Enjoyably Terrifying
A Great course with some truly difficult holes.
A must play course especially if a NYS resident since the price vs quality level is off the mark.
Must walk, or you can get a caddy -- can get tiring get a caddy if you don't walk all the time.
Pace of play way better than the rest of the Bethpage courses.
A Truly enjoyable reality check for any golfer.
When not grown out, manageable.
Bethpage Black worth the pain
It is a tough course, but it is beautiful, interesting, and worth the pain. Each hole has character and is very memorable in its own way. Only one hole has water, but there is plenty of danger with the well placed, and plentiful bunkers, tree trouble, and the penalizing rough. First hole is elevated with a beautiful view and is an appropriate start to what will be a memorable round. I often play as a single and get paired up here and several times I played with people that traveled to try it for the first time. In every case they all said it lived up to expectations. It is not beautiful in the way a course on the ocean is, but it is beautiful in its design, forest setting, and toughness. When you look at each hole they feel more substantial than most other courses. Course is long and I hit more bunker shots here than on any other course, greens can also be tough to read and are usually pretty fast. But the course conditions are excellent (unless you catch them during some maintenance). Beautiful fairways and greens, the conditions stand up to the elite status of the course. For a municipal course (or private for that matter) it is a great course, unique and challenging, and a great experience. Worth the effort!
I usually play early in the morning and pace of play is around 4 1/2 hours, imagine it is longer later in the day but can't comment on that.
The Black is a beauty
The intimidation by the Black course at Bethpage State Park begins at the warning sign near the first tee and doesn't end until the final shot. It's one of the great melting pots of golf, a place that's both a muni for everyman and a U.S. Open venue for the best players in the world. It's affordable for locals and reasonably priced for tourists who invade from around the world. The bite of the Black comes from its menacing bunkers and multiple-story climbs up to elevated greens. There's no easy holes on the Black, only less hard ones.
Speed dial 1 for this place.
I am very thankful for the chance to play the black course, granted it took me 11 phone calls in one day to get a tee time #crazy. I played with 3 other walkons all showing up as singles and not waiting more than 2 hrs to get out. Service here is ok but understandable for a muni course (dont expect the 5 star treatment). Walking up to that first tee and seeing "the sign" definitely gets the heart pumping a little bit. This is a walking onlu course but not an overly difficult one. The course is in great shape. The rough is is thick the greens are lush and quick with suttle breaks. The course is long and REALLY long from the back tees. If kept in play and are decent at hacking it out of the rough you can make a decent score for a place that has hosted the US Open. Place is awesome i highley recommend it if your in the area and can afford the tons of phone calls youll need.
Do yourself a favor... Bet on Black
This is a golf course that you get a true experience if you sleep in your car and walk up to a gentleman tapping your window at 5am to tell you which time you've received.
Drive it straight... especially off the 1st tee. This course plays long but has so many tees from which to use that there's a golf course for every player on the tee sheet.
Don't over read the greens - the putts don't break nearly has much as you think. Keep a sharp eye on putts over 30 feet - your putt may be right edge! The Black has tons of character and equally matched by the Red's layout just next door. A true public course with tons of character.
Ultimate Golf Challenge
Arguably the best most challenging course in the U.S. If BethPage Black was private it would challenge for the #1 spot. although Public it is truly a US Open golf test and in quality condition. You hit every club in your bag so it demands good shots with all your clubs. On vast a piece of property where you only see the holes you are playing for the most part. You can walk the course and suggest you get a caddie (you can bring your own).