Played Bethpage Black on Saturday for the first time...?

It was everything I had imagined and more. I got a lot of great advice just browsing the search function. What an amazing course. I am worn our physically, mentally and spiritually. I can't wait to play a "regular" course now, because I have a feeling I'm going to have a very different perspective from now on.
It's very surreal to walk on the same course that a major was played on, and will be again in 2009. When I'm playing the whites, DRIVER-3W-9 iron and you know that Tiger (from the championship tees) went DRIVER-6 iron on the same hole, it's incredibly humbling and flat-out awesome. As a true golf fanatic, I always appreciated and understood how good the pros really are, but you never grasp it like you do when you're looking the Black dead in the face.
Massive course. Makes you feel incredibly small.
My biggest fear was duffing it on the first tee, right in front a dozen golfers, in front of that infamous sign. I hit a 230 drive, baby draw into the first cut on the left side. I've never been so happy missing a fairway in my entire life.
I shoot in the 90's. On the Black, I shot an honest 121.
I cannot wait to go back.
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Thanks for the review. I'm heading to N.Y. in July, and hoping on playing the Black. Did you make a time, or just show up early?
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Good review. Sounds like a brutal test! What hole was the Tiger comparison? One of the par 5s?
I'd like to make it out in May. I was wondering on the tee time rules. I've heard you have to wait really early and have a full foursome?
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I got lucky. A friend of mine had a legit reserved tee-time (you gotta register with them, fax your information, etc.) and a family member had to bail last second. I have a two-week old son and my wife understood completely that I had to seize this opportunity.
If you're New York State resident it's like $64.00
That HAS to be the best bargain in golf, period.
Out of state I think is double, which still isn't bad...
I forgot which hole it was, but it was a doozie. They all are.
I hit TWO GIR's. The first one on a Par 3 (got an incredibly lucky kick of a side-slope, ball stopped 8 feet from the flag where I proceeded to 3-putt) and on the 18th, hit a hard fade (okay it was a slice) layed-up to the first cut about 75 yards from the flag, then hit the best 52 of my life to within 4 feet, missed the Par putt and tapped in the bogey.
My score was really rough, I know I'm better than a 121 but it was my first time and sand is my enemy. I'm NOT a good bunker player. On one hole I hit a towering approach with a 4 iron that dropped straight down and plugged into a green-side trap, 4 inches from the lip. I sh*t you not, the white part of the ball that was visible was the size of a dime. It was buried. It took me 5 strokes just to get it out, and then I had a 25 foot putt to negotiate.
Next time I play I will manage the course much better. I had nothing to lose and I went in there with ZERO expectations, I was really in awe most of the time, but I would be much smarter next time around. And I would avoid the traps at ALL COSTS!
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Drew you crazy guy. Props for taking on such a challenge. Once I get my NY state ID in the next couple of weeks, I'm planning to play the Black course for the first time...I get a little nervous just thinking about it.
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Drew you crazy guy. Props for taking on such a challenge. Once I get my NY state ID in the next couple of weeks, I'm planning to play the Black course for the first time...I get a little nervous just thinking about it.
Long time no see/speak/hear! How's your season been so far? I see the updated Avatar, the swing looks good!
A challenge it was. You can read and read all you want about the Black, look at the pics, the yardages, the advice, but it all goes out the window as soon as you pull into the parking-lot. Once you get on the first tee-box it's absolutely mind blowing. It's the total package- the site of the 2002 and 2009 U.S. Opens, the fact that TW played and won there, it's so difficult, trouble everywhere, NYC Muni "doglegs" are NOTHING when you see doglegs like these... the SIGN on the first tee...
You will have a blast. Obviously it would be great if you're an awesome golfer, but my buddies (who are much better than I, consistent 70's low 80's guys) were NOT having as much fun as I was.
Try to get there sooner than later- from what I hear, as 2009 approaches it will be harder and harder to book something.
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Sounds like good time I would like to play there as well one day glad you were able to enjoy it no matter what the score card read.
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Drew you crazy guy. Props for taking on such a challenge. Once I get my NY state ID in the next couple of weeks, I'm planning to play the Black course for the first time...I get a little nervous just thinking about it.
Long time no see/speak/hear! How's your season been so far? I see the updated Avatar, the swing looks good!
A challenge it was. You can read and read all you want about the Black, look at the pics, the yardages, the advice, but it all goes out the window as soon as you pull into the parking-lot. Once you get on the first tee-box it's absolutely mind blowing. It's the total package- the site of the 2002 and 2009 U.S. Opens, the fact that TW played and won there, it's so difficult, trouble everywhere, NYC Muni "doglegs" are NOTHING when you see doglegs like these... the SIGN on the first tee...
But I've played this course hundreds of times on Tiger Woods '06. I've shot 49!!! But seriously, I can already tell that this course tests every single part of your game. I'm definitely ready for that 1st hole tho, it seems reasonable enough.
As for my season so far, it's pretty good. How's yours? I know you have the kid now and must be busy with a lot of feeding and burping and cleaning up and what have you... I've been playing about 1.5 times a week, mostly Dyker Beach...just did Split Rock, I'm liking that course a lot, and I played Bethpage blue a couple of times. I've improved my golf game this year, but I have yet to score really well...I need to roll the rock better. I'd like to get out to Marine Park, see what's doing since American golf took it over...who knows, could be some good golfing to be had out there, it's a nice track.
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I registered last year but didnt play...plan to play this year though.
Are push/pull carts allowed?
I cant imagine being on the first T with a whole bunch of ppl watching. Adrenaline takes over and bad things happen.
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I registered last year but didnt play...plan to play this year though.
Are push/pull carts allowed?
I cant imagine being on the first T with a whole bunch of ppl watching. Adrenaline takes over and bad things happen.
Yes, push/pull carts are allowed- however the Black is incredibly hilly, lots of elevation changes, lots of steep slopes uphill and downhill. I'm not 100% sure that a push/pull cart would have been much easier than just carrying the clubs...
Next time I'll probably get a caddy!
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Yea, they should be allowed. I played from the back tees. Im only 16 and when I played I was 15. As I was walking onto the first tee there was a little talking but as soon as I walked passed the whites it became dead silent and I smiled. It was one of the greatest feelings. And put a driver straight down the middle. The course is incredibly long from the back. It was a fun experience although tiring.
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complete and utter jealousy, withdrew.
the black course is on my bucket list.
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I've been contemplating a trip up from Philly at some point before my firstborn comes along in November. Hell, I'd leave tomorrow if I didn't have work...
Sounds like a great, humbling experience.
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I just checked out the black course online. The slope rating is 148 from the tips. My home course (The Bridges Golf Club in San Ramon, CA) is 149 and is only 6,900 yards.
Check it out:
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Sounds like good times Withdrew
I've only played The Black once, but definitely plan on walking on for another round before they close it for '09.
Far cry from Kissena isn't it
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complete and utter jealousy, withdrew.
the black course is on my bucket list.
Well I'm jealous of your index, so we're even.
And to those that put this course on their list...JUST DO IT!
I've been contemplating a trip up from Philly at some point before my firstborn comes along in November. Hell, I'd leave tomorrow if I didn't have work...
Sounds like a great, humbling experience.
Before your firstborn, during, after, you gotta do it! I've been a dad for like 3 weeks and I was able to sneak out for the Black...make it happen!
Extremely humbling, you'll see.
Sounds like good times Withdrew
I've only played The Black once, but definitely plan on walking on for another round before they close it for '09.
Far cry from Kissena isn't it
LOL Kissena is going to feel like a pitch & putt. I'm playing there in like 2 weeks.
Can't wait!
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But I've played this course hundreds of times on Tiger Woods '06. I've shot 49!!! But seriously, I can already tell that this course tests every single part of your game. I'm definitely ready for that 1st hole tho, it seems reasonable enough.
As for my season so far, it's pretty good. How's yours? I know you have the kid now and must be busy with a lot of feeding and burping and cleaning up and what have you... I've been playing about 1.5 times a week, mostly Dyker Beach...just did Split Rock, I'm liking that course a lot, and I played Bethpage blue a couple of times. I've improved my golf game this year, but I have yet to score really well...I need to roll the rock better. I'd like to get out to Marine Park, see what's doing since American golf took it over...who knows, could be some good golfing to be had out there, it's a nice track.
OT: I'm playing Split Rock on Saturday -- how's it looking out there?
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I played the black the past 2 saturdays. It is far and above my favorite course. There are actually some changes that have been made this year.
-New bunker on left side of #9 right in the landing area from the back tee box which i have never seen in play.
-Amended bunker on right side of #12, cant remember how it was before but I think it is extended towards the fairway
-New tee box on #13 lengthening the hole to roughly 600 yds.
-New bunker on the left side of the landing area for the tee shot on #13 as well.
-Bunkers on #6 have been re-sanded to get rid of the rocks. (I'm guessing withdrew's plugged ball was on #6, because the i fared the same fate)
When I play i play from the back back tee boxes wherever possible just to give myself the best challenge humanly possible. playing such a demanding course has really improved my game and the variety of shots that I hit. Although I walked away carding a 95 both weeks, the 44 on the back nine felt like even par to me :-)
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I played the black the past 2 saturdays. It is far and above my favorite course. There are actually some changes that have been made this year.
-New bunker on left side of #9 right in the landing area from the back tee box which i have never seen in play.
-Amended bunker on right side of #12, cant remember how it was before but I think it is extended towards the fairway
-New tee box on #13 lengthening the hole to roughly 600 yds.
-New bunker on the left side of the landing area for the tee shot on #13 as well.
-Bunkers on #6 have been re-sanded to get rid of the rocks. (I'm guessing withdrew's plugged ball was on #6, because the i fared the same fate)
When I play i play from the back back tee boxes wherever possible just to give myself the best challenge humanly possible. playing such a demanding course has really improved my game and the variety of shots that I hit. Although I walked away carding a 95 both weeks, the 44 on the back nine felt like even par to me :-)
Good call- the guys I played with who have played there many times noticed some of these same changes as well. Obviously I didn't know what was going on, being my first time.
I'm not sure what hole it was when I plugged it in the trap, it was the hole where your tee shot goes over a path and some bunkers, then dogleg right to a slightly elevated green guarded by bunkers on both sides. Definitely on the front. (Sounds like EVERY hole! LOL)
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has to be #5
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That's awesome. I'm gonna also try and get there this year. It is a bargain.
Although, that course used to be 18 bucks about 15 years ago.
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I've played Bethpage Black annually with some coworkers for the past 4 years. It's a blast and worth the trip if you don't mind sleeping in the car. You'll need to park a car the nigh before in a numbered spot. All members of the team need to be there when the "bakers chits" are handed out and when they come back at ~5 AM to give you a braclet. You then drive up the clubhouse to pick a tee time based on the numbered spot you have.
We've always played from the back tees for kicks. The group I play with is mostly single digit handicaps (7-9) and I play to a 15.5 index. The group is a mix of consistent, average length hitters and long, erratic players. In most cases, the long, erratic players fare better. The shorter hitting single digit players struggle to reach the fairway due to the forced carries. I am in the longer hitting group and enjoy it every time. I never struggled with the forced carries, but you better have your long iron game in good shape. Not one person has broken 90 on any trip. My scores: 102 (54/48), 101 (52/49), 100 (53/47), and 98 (47/51). On two occassions we played the day after the NY State Amateur Tourney and the rough was out of control long. The length is like nothing I've ever seen (7398 yards par 71 76.6 144), but I will say that the greens are entirely fair (borderline easy), albeit on the small side. Here's my hole by hole.
Number 1: easy downhill dogleg right par 4...birdie hole (430 yds)
Number 2: short par 4 with extreme uphill shot to green...another birdie hole if you hit the fairway (401 yds)
Number 3: reasonable downhill par 3 (211 yds)
Number 4: terrific reachable par 5 with bail out to the right of green; one of the best holes I've ever played (522)
Number 5: tough tight par 4; drill it down the right side; line dictates forced carry; solid par hole (455)
Number 6: tee shot critical; don't miss left; downhill approach to well protected green; tougher hole than the card dictates (411)
Number 7: 3 shot par 5; don't remember much about this hole (576)
Number 8:downhill par 3; average hole (220)
Number 9: another birdie opportunity; stay left for shorter approach (437)
And then the pain starts...
Number 10:don't miss right; waste up both sides of fairway; bogie is a solid score (488)
Number 11: straight away; fair (for Bethpage) (444)
Number 12: insane length; played at 508 one time we were out there; nasty bunkering around green (489)
Number 13: 3 shot par 5; don't go right or your punching back in to fairway (566)
Number 14: sneaky short par 3; that bunker is death (165)
Number 15: favorite hole; I hit a wind aided driver and a 7 iron to about 8" for a birdie; nearly an eagle; on another day I hit driver and 3 wood into bunker right of green; long drive to most severely uphill green I've ever played; after the walk to the green you are spent; OB way right (463)
Number 16: downhill par 4 that usually plays into wind; aim at tree on right side of fairway; tee shot out of chute with great views of course; 5 is a great score here (487)
Number 17: long (slightly uphill) par three usuall plays into wind; bunkering is nasty; huge narrow front to back green; I absolutely creamed a 3 iron to reach this green and then 3 putted from 60 feet; bogey is decent score (213)
Number 18: short downhill par 4 with clubhouse in background; second shot is uphill to a green that is devilishly bunkered (420)
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I'd love to play it but.....it's a long way from me.
HOWEVER, you guys that have(or would like to)play it should check out the book, "Open" by John Feinstein. It was written about what the USGA had to do to get it in shape for a US Open.
I ran across this book at a dollar store last winter. Very interesting read.