P.G.A. Bethpage Black
Since the 2019 Championship is on Long Island this week, I am reprising a blogpost from 2011.
In some parts of the country, golf is played all year round. New York also has courses that are open everyday, but in truth, the season really begins April 1st and ends about October 31st.
At the very least, you hope for ground that has defrosted and enough warmth to shed the layers that will limit your range of motion as you practice that golf full swing.
There are about one hundred and twenty-five different courses available here on Long Island; some are private or semi-private and about half are public.
Bethpage State Park Golf Course is a public course situated right here in Nassau County, L.I. It is rich in history and was home to the U.S. Open of 2002 (won by Tiger Woods - only golfer to score under par) and, again, in 2009 (won by Lucas Glover - continuous rain throughout week and weekend made for unpleasant playing conditions).
This choice of venue was interpreted as a step towards equality since it marked the first time in history a publicly-owned and operated course was chosen for the Championship. Prior to this tournament, private courses in country clubs or resorts had typically been used and required prohibitive green fees of hundred dollars per round.
In the early 1930's, Master golf course architect A. W. Tillinghast and creator of the double-dog-leg was hired to design courses on the properties that Bethpage Park Authority had purchased. By 1958, five 18-hole color-designated courses ensued and now make up Bethpage State Park: Blue, Green, Black, Red and Yellow (this last design by Alfred Tull).
The Black Course was the last one designed by Architect Tillinghast and is considered by many to be his finest work. Tillinghast was very proud of his new 3-shot hole and included it in several of his courses including the Black. The slope is extremely challenging and is only for walking, low-handicap golfers.
The Yellow course is believed by many to be the easiest of the five with few steep slopes, although, it may still be difficult for the beginner or occasional golfer. This NY golf website gives you all the information you need to choose correctly for your particular level of play as well as information on the various fees.
Prices differ for weekday/weekend/holidays, 9-hole/18-hole, senior citizens, and NYS or non-NYS resident fees for the Black and Red Courses.
In July 2008, Golf Digest ranked Bethpage Black #6 of America's 50 toughest golf courses and #5 in its list of America's greatest public courses. It is also top-ranked in the Golf Digest list of courses operated by a governmental entity.
Amenities include a clubhouse, driving range, lessons, lockers, lounge, pro shop, restaurant, showers, snack bar and practice putting greens.
by NY State IPM Program at Cornell University