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cartertheraptor

Bethpage Black

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I grew up playing at bethpage state park. Albeit the place was basically a cow-patch until sometime in the late 90's. I think the place had more a everyman's soul when i was a kid, though it is a much nicer facility now. Probably played over 50 rounds on the black over the last 30 years or so.

My average round for me on the black i would say is around 76. The lowest ive ever shot there is 67 around 10 years ago. Shot -5 on the par 5s that day. 

My overall opinion of the black course is that under normal conditions from the regular mens tees, its actually not all that difficult. 10-11-12 are just monsters since they re-did the course, but besides those holes the course is easily playable for a 80s shooter. Its a tee shot golf course. Put your tee ball in play with clear lines of sight to the green and its not as hard as its made out to be.  Under everyday conditions, the Blue course is actually more difficult IMO.  

Where the black becomes a bear is when its set up in pro tournament conditions like it is now. A 10 handicap would be lucky to break 90 there if they played it today. 

If your goal is to play the course, going there tuesday-thursday mid morning to afternoon as a single is your best bet. You could probably just walk on if you did it that way. Even right now, or whenever the place reopens for play again. Go with a group or want to play on a weekend then it gets difficult to get on. I don't know how it is now, but the douche nozzles from the Nassau players club pretty much took over that place on a few days of the month back when i played there regularly. I don't remember which ones they are, so thats something to look out for too.  

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I think it's a boring course that's only "good" feature is that it's difficult. Big whoop - I could turn any course into a difficult course. It's nearly void of interest, and doesn't present any real questions except "can you play nearly perfect golf?" There aren't often any decisions to make. The greens are relatively flat and oval-shaped. There are bunkers in the rough, because the fairways are a ridiculous 20-26 yards in width.

B-O-R-I-N-G.

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On 5/22/2019 at 6:52 AM, Groucho Valentine said:

My average round for me on the black i would say is around 76. The lowest ive ever shot there is 67 around 10 years ago. Shot -5 on the par 5s that day. 

Were there more par-5s when you played it than when I watched it on TV last week?

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On 5/23/2019 at 8:03 PM, iacas said:

I think it's a boring course that's only "good" feature is that it's difficult. Big whoop - I could turn any course into a difficult course. It's nearly void of interest, and doesn't present any real questions except "can you play nearly perfect golf?" There aren't often any decisions to make. The greens are relatively flat and oval-shaped. There are bunkers in the rough, because the fairways are a ridiculous 20-26 yards in width.

B-O-R-I-N-G.

I can name plenty of courses that fit this description, but Bethpage Black is not one of them. To describe it as just long and narrow with no decisions to make is way off. Makes me question any judgement you have on golf courses. 

 

I do agree some of the holes would be better with wider fairways that bring in more strategic decisions. But even given that the course is an incredible experience. The grand scale, the outstanding routing through and over valleys and elevations, the terrific property, the excellent bunkering- all top level golf. And there are decisions to be made throughout. On 2- do you hit driver and try to cut the left to get close, or something less to play safe off the tee. If the pin is left on 3, do you go at it or play safer to the right. On your second shot on 4, do you go for the green, lay up straight, or play longer to the right to set up an easier approach? 5 is similar to a cape hole where you need to pick your line and shot shape. 6- do you try and carry the left bunker and get the roll over the ridge, or play safe and short of the right bunker? 7- similar cape choice. 9- try to carry the bunker or play safe to the right? I can keep going. Tee shot on 12, your second shot on 13, second shot on 16, tee shot on 18- all require strategic choices. You make it sound like it’s Firestone or Bellerive- flat, straight, nothing to it. That’s just inaccurate. It’s not perfect but the Black is an outstanding golf experience. 

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Ha ha ha. Okay dude.

Aiming at a flag or not on a par three is NOT the type of “decision” I’m talking about.

Bunkers in the rough? They exist all over the place.

I’m not debating that the property isn’t great. But look at the original 6th compared to now. Boring.

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Long course that requires you to have top tier pro driving accuracy. 

Basically you are saying that you need to hit woods, hybrids and long irons on every hole. Half the time or less out of miserable rough. 

It’s not a course that offers risk or reward. Laying back means you turn every pat 4 into a par 5. 

Yea, it’s called Driver all day and pray. 

AKA.... Boring

 

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35 minutes ago, LICC said:

I can name plenty of courses that fit this description, but Bethpage Black is not one of them. To describe it as just long and narrow with no decisions to make is way off. Makes me question any judgement you have on golf courses. 

 

I do agree some of the holes would be better with wider fairways that bring in more strategic decisions. But even given that the course is an incredible experience. The grand scale, the outstanding routing through and over valleys and elevations, the terrific property, the excellent bunkering- all top level golf. And there are decisions to be made throughout. On 2- do you hit driver and try to cut the left to get close, or something less to play safe off the tee. If the pin is left on 3, do you go at it or play safer to the right. On your second shot on 4, do you go for the green, lay up straight, or play longer to the right to set up an easier approach? 5 is similar to a cape hole where you need to pick your line and shot shape. 6- do you try and carry the left bunker and get the roll over the ridge, or play safe and short of the right bunker? 7- similar cape choice. 9- try to carry the bunker or play safe to the right? I can keep going. Tee shot on 12, your second shot on 13, second shot on 16, tee shot on 18- all require strategic choices. You make it sound like it’s Firestone or Bellerive- flat, straight, nothing to it. That’s just inaccurate. It’s not perfect but the Black is an outstanding golf experience. 

A course can be difficult and challenging but still be boring. 

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I just noted all sorts of decisions to be made. Both off the tee but also more frequently on approach shots.

As for going for the pin or not on a par-3, the hole design plays a big factor. The 3rd angles front right to back left, with bunkers front left and a big drop off if you go long (a hole type Tillinghast used on numerous courses). It’s not like some straight hole with a basic circle of a green and if you miss you’re fine anyway. You have to evaluate how you are swinging and what is and isn’t working for you and the risk reward. For a par-3 that’s pretty good.  

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3 minutes ago, LICC said:

I just noted all sorts of decisions to be made. Both off the tee but also more frequently on approach shots.

There is no 2nd option off the tee. You have to hit driver or be forced to hit woods or long irons into the greens. Most people wouldn’t be able to hit that out of the rough there. With 20 yard wide fairways you don’t increase your fairway hit % hitting a 3 wood or hybrid. Heck, most greens are 15-20 yards wide. How often do people hit the green with a long iron? 

See the issue, there is no benefit to hitting anything but driver. I rather hack it out of the rough with a short iron than a long iron. That is just dull golf.

 

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16 minutes ago, saevel25 said:

Long course that requires you to have top tier pro driving accuracy. 

Basically you are saying that you need to hit woods, hybrids and long irons on every hole. Half the time or less out of miserable rough. 

It’s not a course that offers risk or reward. Laying back means you turn every pat 4 into a par 5. 

Yea, it’s called Driver all day and pray. 

AKA.... Boring

 

You can lay back safe off the tee and still go for GIR on 2, 4, 6, 7, 9, and 18. That is two out of three of the par-5s and 4 out of ten of the par-4s (there is no reason to lay back on the 1st but if you did you probably could still go at the green).

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On 5/22/2019 at 8:57 AM, cartertheraptor said:

If any of you guys have played at Bethpage how was your experience playing it and what did you shoot?

I played it a few years ago. Got there at 2AM in my car, tried to sleep in it, the whole thing. I think I was the 12th vehicle in line or so. I was a single, tee'd off with a few other singles at 8:30. We played the white tees, which are the next up from the blues (the tips).

Played a pretty ho-hum round until partially through the back nine when I birdied (IIRC) 11-12-13-14. Ended up shooting a 76. I lost the scorecard at some point, but there are a few posts on here kicking around where I described the round. 

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33 minutes ago, iacas said:

Ha ha ha. Okay dude.

Aiming at a flag or not on a par three is NOT the type of “decision” I’m talking about.

Bunkers in the rough? They exist all over the place.

I’m not debating that the property isn’t great. But look at the original 6th compared to now. Boring.

The 6th is one of the holes that I agree would be better with wider fairways, along with the 1st, 10th, 11th, 15th and 16th. But even so, to call the 6th boring is off base. You still have a choice off the tee, you still have to gauge the fairway bunkers, you have a terrific drop from the ridge at the midpoint of the hole, and a wonderfully bunkered green complex. Far from boring. 

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6 hours ago, LICC said:

I just noted all sorts of decisions to be made. Both off the tee but also more frequently on approach shots.

As for going for the pin or not on a par-3, the hole design plays a big factor. The 3rd angles front right to back left, with bunkers front left and a big drop off if you go long (a hole type Tillinghast used on numerous courses). It’s not like some straight hole with a basic circle of a green and if you miss you’re fine anyway. You have to evaluate how you are swinging and what is and isn’t working for you and the risk reward. For a par-3 that’s pretty good.  

For a professional, going for the pin is a decision.  It isn't for me, unless the pin is at the safe part of the green, then I'm going for it, but not because it's the pin.  

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6 hours ago, LICC said:

The 6th is one of the holes that I agree would be better with wider fairways, along with the 1st, 10th, 11th, 15th and 16th. But even so, to call the 6th boring is off base. You still have a choice off the tee, you still have to gauge the fairway bunkers, you have a terrific drop from the ridge at the midpoint of the hole, and a wonderfully bunkered green complex. Far from boring. 

I didn't call the sixth boring. I called Bethpage Black "boring" overall.

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This is exactly what you said: “But look at the original 6th compared to now. Boring.

You can backtrack on that statement, that’s fine.  Agree to disagree and note you are in a very small minority thinking Bethpage Black is boring. 

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1 minute ago, LICC said:

This is exactly what you said: “But look at the original 6th compared to now. Boring.

The course is boring as a whole, and the sixth is MORE boring than it used to be. I see how you can take that, but the intent there (I was on my phone with that post) was to re-iterate that the course as a whole is boring. Even the sixth, which is one of the few holes where you have to make a real decision, is more boring now than it was.

2 minutes ago, LICC said:

Agree to disagree and note you are in a very small minority thinking Bethpage Black is boring. 

I don't think the minority is as small as you think. And you don't know me very well if you think being in the minority on something carries any weight with me.

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Just the opposite- I think you like to take contrarian views. And oftentimes I agree with you but here I think you are way off. As it is I’ve gotten you to agree that the Black is on a great property for golf (which is a major factor in evaluating a golf course) and has at least some holes that you don’t think are boring. And no one has refuted all the shots I noted that have strategic decisions involved. Again- agree to disagree. 

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