Bethpage Blue golf course - 18th
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Bethpage Blue golf course - 18th
If you can't play the famed Black Course at Bethpage State Park and still want a classic challenge, try the Blue Course, also an A.W. Tillinghast design from the 1930s. Mike Bailey/GolfAdvisor
Images
Bethpage Blue G.C. - hole 1
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Bethpage Blue G.C. - hole 1
The Blue Course's front nine at Bethpage State Park is probably the better of the two loops, starting with the par-4 first. Mike Bailey/GolfAdvisor
Bethpage Blue golf course - hole 4
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Bethpage Blue golf course - hole 4
The first par 5 on the Blue Course at Bethpage State Park, no. 4, is a good birdie opportunity if you cut your tee shot around the corner. Mike Bailey/GolfAdvisor
Bethpage Blue golf course - hole 6
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Bethpage Blue golf course - hole 6
Bethpage Blue's long par-4 sixth is a sharp uphill dogleg left, but try to cut the corner and you could wind up in this difficult bunker. Mike Bailey/GolfAdvisor
Bethpage Blue GC - 9th hole
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Bethpage Blue GC - 9th hole
The approach shot on the par-4 ninth on the Blue Course at Bethpage State Park plays straight uphill. Mike Bailey/GolfAdvisor
Bethpage Blue golf course - hole 12
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Bethpage Blue golf course - hole 12
The par-5 12th on the Blue Course at Bethpage State Park ends with a highly elevated green. Mike Bailey/GolfAdvisor
Bethpage Blue golf course - hole 15
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Bethpage Blue golf course - hole 15
The par-4 15th on the Blue Course at Bethpage State Park is just 387 yards from the back tee, but it's the no. 2 handicap hole. Mike Bailey/GolfAdvisor
Bethpage Blue golf course - hole 17
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Bethpage Blue golf course - hole 17
The 17th on the Blue Course at Bethpage State Park is a 175-yard par 3 that plays to another elevated green. Mike Bailey/GolfAdvisor
Bethpage Blue GC - hole 18
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Bethpage Blue GC - hole 18
The green on the par-4 finishing hole on the Blue Course at Bethpage State Park is on top of a steep hill. Mike Bailey/GolfAdvisor

Nothing sad about the Blue golf course at Bethpage State Park in New York

FARMINGDALE, N.Y. -- First opened in 1935 along with the Red Course , the A.W. Tillinghast-designed Blue Course at Bethpage State Park features a tale of two nines.

Locals rank the front nine as one of the toughest stretches among the five golf courses at Bethpage, meaning if you can survive it relatively unscathed, you've got a chance for a really good score overall with an easier back nine.

The toughest hole on the course is on the front -- the par-4 sixth that doglegs left and plays more than 460 yards from the back tees. You can cut the corner with a hook or high draw (for right-handers) over the trees, but a large fairway bunker can catch good tee shots and make the long uphill approach to the green nearly impossible. Another bunker is across the fairway, but long hitters can fly it from the elevated tee and into the fourth fairway if they fail to move the ball from right to left or hit it too far.

The course, which was renovated in 1958 to make room for the Yellow Course , plays nearly 6,700 yards from the back tee. Tee boxes and greens are often elevated as much as 50 feet on the original Tillinghast holes.

The Blue is generally considered the third-toughest course behind the Black Course and the Red.

Mike Bailey is a senior staff writer based in Houston. Focusing primarily on golf in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean and Latin America with an occasional trip to Europe and beyond, he contributes course reviews, travel stories and features as well as the occasional equipment review. An award-winning writer and past president of Texas Golf Writers Association, he has more than 25 years in the golf industry. Before accepting his current position in 2008, he was on staff at PGA Magazine, The Golfweek Group and AvidGolfer Magazine. Follow Mike on Twitter at @MikeBaileyGA and Instagram at @MikeStefanBailey.
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The check-in process at Bethpage State Park feels more like a DMV than a pro shop, but the golf is worth it, writes Bailey.
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Nothing sad about the Blue golf course at Bethpage State Park in New York
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