Farmingdale, New York
Bethpage State Park Golf Course
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99 Quaker Meeting House Rd|
Farmingdale, NY 11735-1813
The most famous of the five courses here is the Black Course, which hosted the 2002 and 2009 U.S. Open Championships. The Black is a supremely tough A.W. Tillinghast design restored by Rees Jones in advance of the 2002 Open.
In the early 1930s, the Bethpage Park Authority purchased the Lenox Hills Country Club (now the Green Course) and other adjacent properties to build what is now Bethpage State Park. A.W. Tillinghast designed and oversaw construction of the Black, Red and Blue courses, and modified the Lenox Hills Course (Green) course. With the increased demand for golf, the Yellow Course opened in 1958 and now 300,000 rounds are played annually on the five courses at Bethpage, all of which start from the clubhouse area.
Average Hole Difficulty
rms7887 - 3/22/12
I played the Green course for the first time this season, and the course was in very good shape for this time of year. The biggest challenges are the greens which can be very difficult if you find yourself above the hole.
First group off the tee, all four of us walking, and we played in just under four hours. The pace of play does slow down during the day; as we walked from 17 to 18, we passed the 2nd tee box, and there were four groups waiting...
The Ghost - 8/6/11
will play again
Nathaniel Hickman - 8/4/11
really enjoyed the course but it really beat me up.. be sure to pay the extra cost for the caddie that is the one thing i would do if i had it to do over.
nadamwhite - 10/1/10
I am visiting the northeast on business from the west and decided to play Bethpage Black the first weekend I was in town. I brought my clubs, got a rental car and headed to bethpage friday night after work. I got there around 9 pm and camped overnight like you hear in all the stories. Slept in the rental car but could hardly sleep. I was liek a kid on Christmas eve. Everythig you hear is true. I was the 16th car in line and luckily the first single. I got lucky and got off on the second tee time. While buying my first ticket, I decided to get a second tee time at 1 pm and play it twice. The ambience is great. The proshop and merchandise selection of bethpage is spectacular. I've played some nice golf courses in my life and expected bethpage to be in immaculate shape. To my astonishment it really wasn't manicured exceptionally. Especially for my $150 out of state green fee to walk 18. Don't get me wrong, it was good, but not 150 good. The fairways and greens were mainly ok but walking in the first cut of rough or anywhere else was pretty crappy. I was told that the summer has been rough and there hasn't been much rain. I understand it is a state park but they need to keep up a course better with that reputation. All in all I really had a blast and would do it again. I'm an ok golfer but not pro by any means. My tip would be to be conservative and hit fairways. the bunkers are everywhere and ver difficult. I took this approach and shot 4 strokes lower the second time. Yes it's long but if you can hit accuarte mid irons, use your 3 wood more often. If you are looking for another fun course in the area, try Richter Park. I played there the next day and loved it!
TimmyBede - 6/28/10
Bethpage Black (7/7/08) GÇô The Black course is in great shape for next weeks NY State Open and next years (2009) US Open. This course is a demanding test for any golfer; you really canGÇÖt score well unless you have a solid and complete game. By far the most challenging aspect on the Black course is the deep rough and/or fescue. Balls that find the rough require a bailout shot back to the fairway to continue play. 99% of attempts to GÇ£go for the greenGÇ¥ from the rough will result in failure. The next most challenging feature is a 4-way tie between the course length (7400 yards), the giant crater-like bunkers (that are everywhere), the undulating greens and the physical endurance required to walk the course (no carts allowed).
A round of golf at the Black course takes 5 to 5 1/2 hours. The course is open to the public so everybody and their mother can get a tee-time. I think itGÇÖs peculiar of golfers that canGÇÖt reach the fairway on their opening drive didnGÇÖt notice the huge sign on the first tee indicating the course is only for GÇ£Highly Skilled GolfersGÇ¥. I guess some people are just gluttons for punishment.
Bethpage Red (6/25/10): There is a good reason the LI OPEN has been hosted on the Red course for so many years. It’s doesn’t have the teeth that the Black course has but it’s not to far off. The course is long, the rough was very fair, the bunkers are deep, and the fescue is pretty nasty. The course is in great shape from Tee to Green. The greens are pretty fast but could be better if more players fixed their ball marks. The pace on a Friday afternoon was slow as usual, our round was 5 hours and 10 mins long and we waited on every hole. Despite that we were running a little late the staff was very accommodating.
Bethpage Blue (5/18/08) GÇô The course is in great shape from Tee to Green. The greens are the fastest IGÇÖve seen this springGÇªtoo bad I canGÇÖt say the same about the pace. Despite the early 8am tee time, it still took 5 hours to play 18.
Bethpage Green (5/8/10): The course is in great shape for the Spring time, only 2 greens on the course were a little bit beat up. The course was playing short because of the lack of back tees (the blues). Playing from the whites, the course is on the short side and very manageable. Sand traps are crater-like and well maintained, rough is moderate and the greens have plenty of break and are slippery if you are above the whole. The staff is apathetic but I’ve come to expect that at Bethpage. Pace on the course was a little quicker then usual at 4 hours and 45 minute; not bad for their standards.
Bethpage Yellow (3/23/09) - The Greens were in great shape for Early Spring. Overall the course is a fair challenge with several holes that alow for low scoring. This is the easiest of the 5 Bethpage State Park courses.
urallidiots - 6/11/10
The Black is an extraordinary course but its true genius cannot be appreciated by short hitters. The design requires that you move the ball off the tee, keep it in play and play your approaches through the air.
My personal favorite is the fifth hole which sets up strategic decisions on both shots. First you must pick your point of carry over an oblique fairway trap that runs most of the length of the fairway but playing too safely and favoring the left side will obstruct your second shot to the green and force you to play a hard hook to a well protected pedestal green. The ideal plan is a power fade followed by a draw into the green. Even on a course that is fairly wide open, Tillinghast rewards those able to shape their shots but punishes those that go offline. The fairway and greenside traps are reasonably punitive and the greens are rather flat so once you arrive, you can breathe easy. The fescue however, is incredible - when it is up, it is worse than anything I have every seen. What is important to know is that the fescue is fairly distributed about the course - it exists in places where you may try to cut a corner or it is well off the fairway, good shots are not unreasonably penalized and good golf shots can result in low scores.
True, this is not a place for the faint of heart and if you are not playing to a single digit, you should probably stay home. As an 8, I play the white tees (all 6,600 yards worth) and I get plenty of challenge. If you want to move to the tips, you better bring every ounce of your game to the course.
Sadly, the facility is run by the Gestapo. The upside is that it is immaculately maintained. The downside is that all the guys who took a job for free golf privilges presume the rest of the world will put up with their bullshit. Know what to expect - 5+ hour rounds, a long and tiring walk, and a special golf experience.
martygreen - 5/24/10
Great golf course for the lower handicap players. I personally am a 55 yr old wife a 20 handicap. I have walked, carried and enjoyed this course for many years. I believe that if you handicap is not near this you will find the course too challenging. The walk alone if not prepared will put a hurting on you. The overall conditions are close to perfect. Only problem I see is the ignorance of too many golfers NOT returning their divots. The etiquette is lacking on this course more than I have ever seen. Someone in the foursome needs to speak up once in a awhile.
legitimatebeef - 5/10/10
Overall, kind of overrated!!! I mean playing the Black course is a fantastic experience as playing any US Open layout would be, but I could do without the 6 hour pace and the ridiculous overseeded rough. The course setup for me, is too exacting to be fun on a regular basis. I am a guy who can have a blast on just about any golf course, so I don't need to go out of my way to punish myself or test my golf game with a US Open-like rigor. Don't attempt this course if you're a short or wayward hitter and/or have a hard time lofting the ball. That's what Bethpage Black demands above all- precise, high-lofted long game shot-making. If that's not in your bag, you will have a tough time on this course.
twooverpar - 11/12/08
My day as a 20 handicapper at The Black.
Our 8:12 tee time was called and there are 4 people already on the tee box, not knowing two are hired caddies, another golfer in the foursome behind us started complaining to the starter, welcome to New York. We walked down onto the tees area and apologized for the arrogant NY golfer behind us who was complaining. Before teeing off, I told our two playing partners, we were only out here to have a good time, subliminal message, we suck and will stay out of your way as much as possible and not slow you down.
Standing on the tee box, you just look out and see a 40 to 50 yard drop on the first hole and the beauty of the surroundings. The Black Course was as tough as I thought it was going to be, walking and pulling the golf cart up and down this very hilly course was burtal and very exhausting. On a beautiful sunny but cold day, I shot a round of 109 with a few mulligans, come on it is a US Open Course!
Designed by A.W. Tillinghast, Bethpage opened in May of 1936. The course was given 3 million from the USGA and was renovated from 1997-1998 by Reese Jones. The atmosphere walking up to the first tee could not get any better, especially with the signature Bethpage Sign which reads. "The Black Course is an extremely difficult course which we recommend only for highly skilled golfers." Right from the start you know that this course will test your game in every faucet. As you might expect with a top-notch course, it is immaculate. From the tee box to the greens you will not be disappointed with the maintenance of the golf course. The rough is long and thick, but still fair for the average golfer. The course is extremely long with narrow fairways and extremely large and in some areas deep bunkers. There is only one hole where water actually comes into play. Because of the length you will be hitting a variety of irons into moderate sized greens, surrounded by large bunkers. All of your tee shots will demand a great deal of accuracy and power.
After the round, we walked around the club house looking at all the pictures, etc... and hit the extensive pro shop.
FROM THE WEB SITE: Bethpage State Park, a mecca for public golf featuring five 18-hole regulation golf courses including the world-renowned Black Course which was the site of the United States Open in 2002, will again host the U.S. Open in 2009. Bethpage State Park was developed from an estate owned by the Yoakum family and other properties. The Yoakum family leased their estate to the Lenox Hills Corporation which subsequently used the property to build the Lenox Hills Country Club. In the early 1930s, the Bethpage Park Authority purchased the Lenox Hills Country Club and other adjacent properties to build what we now know as Bethpage State Park. Famed golf course architect A.W. Tillinghast was hired to design and oversee construction of three new golf courses (Black, Red and Blue) as well as modify the Lenox Hills Course which became the Green Course. Due to the increased demand for golf, the Yellow Course designed by Alfred Tull was opened in 1958. Approximately 300,000 rounds are played annually on the five courses at Bethpage, all of which start from the Clubhouse area.
The Black Course is a difficult and challenging course that should be played only by low-handicap golfers. The course is for walkers only and its slope rating is one of the highest in the northeast. This was one of the last courses designed by master golf course architect A.W. Tillinghast, and is said by many to be his finest work. The Black Course served as the site of the 102nd U.S. Open Championship in 2002. Our National Championship will again return to the Black in 2009. The narrow fairways, high roughs, well placed bunkers and small greens help to make this an extremely difficult course.The Black Course is closed Mondays for course maintenance except holidays.
COURSE CONDITION: The course was in excellent shape, and except for a few areas of dead fescue grass, they are ready for the 2009 US Open now. No divots in the tee boxes or fairways, no pitch marks on the greens, but the greens were rolling slowly.
FACILITIES: Bethpage State Park provides top notch practice facilities, pro shop, locker room, restaurant, tennis courts, hiking trails, bridle path and picnic area.
SHOT OF THE DAY: Hole #8, Par 3, 191 Yards: Tee box sits 60 to 70 feet above the tee box with a pond front left of the green and a hill to the right of the green at the same elevation as the tee box covered with fescue grass. Take out my 18 degree rescue club, hit it on top of the hill on the right. I trek up the hill and find my ball deep in the 12GÇ¥ grass. I open up my 9 iron and swing through the grass, hitting a high shot. The ball hits the base of the slope of the hill and rolls to about 2 feet from the pin, one putt for par.
SUGGESTIONS AND COMMENTS: If you get a chance to play the Black Course, no matter your handicap, go and do it. I read numerous blogs and articles on the Black Course, warning golfers how hard it is and only highly skilled golfers should play it. Well, IGÇÖm a 20 handicap and loved it, and will play it again. Do you need your A+ game and extra balls, yes, if you love golf, you will love this course and want to play it again. And remember, walking only, NO CARTS. Did I get a physical and mental beating, hell yea, and it was worth it! There is a half way house between holes 5 and 6 which also can be accessed half way down fairway #11 on the left side.
GOLFNERDNESS: Walking only, no carts on the Black Course. Go play it, donGÇÖt worry about your handicap, just keep pace. The two guys we played with were better than us and on the back nine we keep waiting for them and their caddies to find their golf balls. Walk and play the links of past champion, Tiger Woods!
This is by far the hardest course I have ever played, makes Galloway National Golf Club (my previous hardest course ever played) look like a playground.
For all your local golf information, check out www.twooverpar.com!
Paul Tarallo - 8/6/08
Bethpage is a great course! It will be interesting to see what happens next year at the Open. I would say overall it is a 5 star course but a couple of hinderances were the pace of play, the walk is brutal on most golfers. Secondly I found the starter to be extremely rude! I misplaced a reciept but had my braclet on and the guy literally got mad at me! He was ranting and raving about he didn't understand people? Shutup and do your job!
Best Score: 68
Bethpage Black / Blue