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
Possibly the best tee to green golf course in the country and one of Tillinghast's finest works. Dramatic bunkering, defined fairways and 18 unique holes make the Black course very memorable. This is a classic layout that has remained strong in the modern era of golf equipment. The greens are relatively flat with the exception of the 15th hole. A must play if given the opportunity and one of the best US Open venues ever played.
Renowned for challenging the best golfers in the world, Bethpage Black welcomes all on a daily basis, from the most blue collar to the most blue blood
The Bethpage State Park Black Course is the ultimate microcosm of America: a huge, simmering, melting pot. Renowned for challenging the best golfers in the world, Bethpage Black welcomes all on a daily basis, from the most blue collar to the most blue blood. Bethpage Black does not allow carts, so the experience is almost as physically trying as it is emotionally draining and unrelenting as to the quality of golf it demands. Popularly credited as an A.W. Tillinghast design (there is some debate on this point, some claiming Tillinghast was merely a “consultant” on the project principally designed by Joseph Burbeck, who would subsequently become the course’s superintendent). The 430 yard, par 4, 15th hole is my favorite hole on the course and a good representative of the course’s challenges. It starts with a narrow fairway flanked by thick rough that leads to an approach shot to an elevated green (to put it mildly) that requires precision and a steely nerve. Brilliant use of the natural typography and an atmosphere of equity could well mean that Bethpage Black is a golfer’s ultimate American dream.
Bethpage Black (and blue)
Heed the caution on the first tee, which reads: "Warning - The Black Course is an extremely difficult course which we recommend only for highly skilled golfers." Regardless of who "we" is referring to, and what it means to be a "highly skilled golfer," the point is, lower your scoring expectations and enjoy the ride. Black was reborn after a Rees Jones restoration and two U.S. Opens, most notably in 2002, when Tiger Woods fought off a dangerous field and darkness to hoist his eighth major championship. The ultimate municipal golf experience is walking only, and by the time you make the climb to the 18th green your legs will feel like you've been on a hike. Although prices have been raised since 2002 ($75 on weekends for New York State residents; $150 on weekends for non-residents), it's still insane value.
A "bucket-list" course
The Black, even from the whites, is a long course. It is not flat at all and the greens are very-well guarded, with both sand and tall grass like cattails. Keeping in mind that I haven't played it for 4 years and some of the following may have changed. They don't let you use a cart. They don't let you reserve a tee-time. It was $100 for 18 holes I see it is now $125 a round. It sells-out each day by 10am. It still gets packed and slow and for this "pleasure" you need to get to the parking-lot by 5am (a lot of people will already be there), take a number from the roving staffmember to get in line when the clubhouse opens to pay for your round. It's first-come first-served. You can pay for 4, but each player has to show up when the tickets are purchased. I played there twice, it was freezing-cold once when I started at 8am in April, and boiling-hot once when I played in the summer. It is just a slog to play this course but it is ok really, not too easy and not too hard, I broke 100 on it the 2nd time that I played it & my game wasn't nearly as good then as now. It is more of a physical & mental challenge than a shotmaking challenge, except for the approach-shots. The greens demand real accuracy or you'll spend all day hacking out of the bunkers and areas of tall grass around the greens, if you can find your ball in the grassy-areas and get to it (I have never played a course before or since which had this "feature"). But the fairways are mostly open, almost too open, on most of the holes you can spray shots and still remain in play as long as you can find your ball. And you will meet a lot of people hunting for their ball, walking around the entire time, and this is why it takes so long to play a round. So 5-1/2hrs later when you finlly climb up to the 18th green, pitch out of one of the 8 deep bunkers guarding both sides of the long, narrow sloping elevated 18th green and then 3-putt in a chaotic scramble as the 4some behind you waits 100ft down below the green for you to get off, you get to say that you've played a U.S. Open course. You can even play it from the back tees and have a good time banging the ball around, hitting a lot of long-irons and struggling to get on the greens when you miss approach-shots. If you can break 90 on this course then you should be proud, but it really isn't that hard where I can say that if you can score well on it then you're really good. It's not that hard. Not too easy, not too hard. Just a long, expensive walk in a hilly park. One of the good things about it is that it does get a lot of decent players (you have to be a seriously-dedicated golfer to play this course) so unless you are a scratch golfer you will have some decent competition if you play single or double.
I think about all this and I realize that I'll probably never play this course again. I've played it twice. That was enough.