Bethpage State Park Golf Course, Black

Public, 90 holes, $65 - $150

Bethpage Black is consistently ranked as one of the top courses in the U.S. and the World by Golf Magazine's panel of experts.

The Black Course at Bethpage State Park in New York wowed and humbled the game's top players at the 2002 U.S. Open, won by Tiger Woods, and hosted the Open again in 2009, won by Lucas Glover. In the wake of its USGA-funded makeover by Rees Jones, this A.W. Tillinghast gem is today the brawniest and most exacting parkland course in the nation. Priced like the truly public course that it is, it offers the most golf for the money in America, but be prepared to camp out if you want a tee time.

Sports Illustrated's Gary Van Sickle has said of the course: "The Black is a brute on a sprawling landscape of rolling hills. The third hole is a Redan-like par-3. Jones took out the trees growing on the left side and built new tees, lengthening it from a 150-ish-yard hole to a nervy 211 yards. The view from the third tee is one of the best in non-seaside golf. You can look down to the fourth tee, a par-5 that climbs a long hill that is separated by layers of huge bunkers, like partitions.

Jones toughed up the 18th considerably, building a new tee to lengthen it to 420 yards, and he expanded the wild fairway bunkers considerably so they pinch in tightly at the landing area. He also cut the size of the green in half and added another greenside bunker. The green already had long, flowing bunkers in front and Jones' revisions have turned the 18th into the Black's photogenic signature hole."

But the Black is not the only course at Bethpage. The Red Course has been called one of the most under-rated courses in the country. It may lack the drama of the Black, but that has its compensations: the Red is cheaper, a lot easier to get on and it offers a more than adequate test of your game. This A.W. Tillinghast design will exhaust your long irons and rescue clubs, thanks to four par-4s on the back nine alone of 463 yards or longer.

The other three courses, the Yellow, Blue and Green courses, are also worthwhile tests of your game.

For more information, go to nysparks.com.

This Club has multiple courses:

  • The Black
  • The Yellow
  • The Blue
  • The Green
  • The Red
Design - The Black at Bethpage State Park
  • Year Built: 1936
  • Designer: Joseph H. Burbeck & A.W. Tillinghast
  • Greens Grass Type: Bent Grass
  • Fairways Grass Type: Poa Annua Grass
  • Water Hazards: Yes
  • Sand Bunkers: 61-70
  • Yardage Markers: 200, 150, 100 Yard Markers
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