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Bethpage Black

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45 minutes ago, chspeed said:

Not sure if this was discussed, but for me, hole #1 does have risk/reward. I can try to drive to the left side, and have an open but 200+ yds shot, or I can try to drive to the right side, in which case I'll have a mid-iron over trees.

The hole isn't designed to be a risk/reward type of hole. To have an unobstructed view of the green you need to hit a 260 yard drive from the front of the tee box. The angle on the dogleg is large enough that it doesn't benefit anyone going left.

Option 1: Hit a 240 yard shot down the left side and have 180 yards in
2019-05-28 09_16_56-Google Earth Pro.png
Option 2: Hit a 260 yard shot down the right side and have 160 yards in
2019-05-28 09_16_29-Google Earth Pro.png

Their is no improvement in angle from the trees.

Here is the logic on this. Most people can't hit it 240 yards off the tee. So, it's not risk/reward it is just punishment. For those who can hit it over 240 yards, you don't get any angle improvement laying back to 240 since the angle is the same. Since the width of the fairway is stupidly narrow, there is no benefit dropping back.

Example, if your accuracy is 5% on your driver and 3-wood. If you hit your Driver 260, you're shot zone might be +/- 13 yards. If you hit your 3-wood 240, then it's +/- 12 yards. Not that big of a difference.

Let's say you hit your driver over 260, then hit the driver since you actually gain more fairway because of the dogleg.

Also, if I was playing the hole, I might play down the next hole on the right. Hit it 260-280 yards and leave yourself with a wedge into the green ;)

2019-05-28 09_28_51-Google Earth Pro.png

 

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2 hours ago, LICC said:

Technically all NY State residents are part owners of a Bethpage lol. 

This is a golf forum. People discuss golf topics. That is the purpose. 

You don’t have to sleep in the parking lot to play it. I’ve played it many times, usually in around 5 hours or less, and never slept in the parking lot. And the 5 hours isn’t all due to waiting on your shots. Usually the waits in the round aren’t bad except for certain days here and there. It’s a long, walking only course. If you played with a foursome and had no waits on the group ahead for any shots, it would still take you 4-1/2 hours or so, maybe a little less depending on your pace. But it’s an enjoyable time, not one where you are sitting around on every hole. 

Yeah. Ive played over 50 rounds on that course over the last 30 years or so and ive only even had a tee time a handful of times. I played it in less than 4 hours a couple years ago. Teed off a little before 5 and was done around 8. But that was as a single and i had nobody holding me up. 

Edited by Groucho Valentine

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15 minutes ago, saevel25 said:

Also, if I was playing the hole, I might play down the next hole on the right. Hit it 260-280 yards and leave yourself with a wedge into the green 😉

2019-05-28 09_28_51-Google Earth Pro.png

 

That's how I'd play the hole. Not on purpose, mind you 😜

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2 minutes ago, billchao said:

That's how I'd play the hole. Not on purpose, mind you 😜

When the management of Bethpage sees this thread they're going to have to put up a tall fence to the right of the tee!

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25 minutes ago, saevel25 said:

The hole isn't designed to be a risk/reward type of hole. To have an unobstructed view of the green you need to hit a 260 yard drive from the front of the tee box. The angle on the dogleg is large enough that it doesn't benefit anyone going left.

Option 1: Hit a 240 yard shot down the left side and have 180 yards in
2019-05-28 09_16_56-Google Earth Pro.png
Option 2: Hit a 260 yard shot down the right side and have 160 yards in
2019-05-28 09_16_29-Google Earth Pro.png

Their is no improvement in angle from the trees.

Here is the logic on this. Most people can't hit it 240 yards off the tee. So, it's not risk/reward it is just punishment. For those who can hit it over 240 yards, you don't get any angle improvement laying back to 240 since the angle is the same. Since the width of the fairway is stupidly narrow, there is no benefit dropping back.

Example, if your accuracy is 5% on your driver and 3-wood. If you hit your Driver 260, you're shot zone might be +/- 13 yards. If you hit your 3-wood 240, then it's +/- 12 yards. Not that big of a difference.

Let's say you hit your driver over 260, then hit the driver since you actually gain more fairway because of the dogleg.

Also, if I was playing the hole, I might play down the next hole on the right. Hit it 260-280 yards and leave yourself with a wedge into the green 😉

2019-05-28 09_28_51-Google Earth Pro.png

 

Since I rarely hit it over 250, especially off the first tee, I'll often aim down the left side, even though it's a longer shot. I miss left, I end up in the left rough, but still have a 180-200 yd. shot that I can at least run up to the green. If you aim down the right side, and miss right, you can end up in the rough right before those trees in the dogleg, and most likely have to lay up because getting it up in the air from that rough is pretty hard.

And yes, the shot down the yellow course first hole is possible, but feels a bit like cheating since a different course. 🙂

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35 minutes ago, saevel25 said:

The hole isn't designed to be a risk/reward type of hole. To have an unobstructed view of the green you need to hit a 260 yard drive from the front of the tee box. The angle on the dogleg is large enough that it doesn't benefit anyone going left.

Option 1: Hit a 240 yard shot down the left side and have 180 yards in
2019-05-28 09_16_56-Google Earth Pro.png
Option 2: Hit a 260 yard shot down the right side and have 160 yards in
2019-05-28 09_16_29-Google Earth Pro.png

Their is no improvement in angle from the trees.

Here is the logic on this. Most people can't hit it 240 yards off the tee. So, it's not risk/reward it is just punishment. For those who can hit it over 240 yards, you don't get any angle improvement laying back to 240 since the angle is the same. Since the width of the fairway is stupidly narrow, there is no benefit dropping back.

Example, if your accuracy is 5% on your driver and 3-wood. If you hit your Driver 260, you're shot zone might be +/- 13 yards. If you hit your 3-wood 240, then it's +/- 12 yards. Not that big of a difference.

Let's say you hit your driver over 260, then hit the driver since you actually gain more fairway because of the dogleg.

Also, if I was playing the hole, I might play down the next hole on the right. Hit it 260-280 yards and leave yourself with a wedge into the green 😉

2019-05-28 09_28_51-Google Earth Pro.png

 

Not really. The left side of the fairway is the best play for 90% of players. It opens up the entire green. Get too close to the dog leg - you'll get pinched and only have half of the green available. Those trees in the dogleg are taller than what it seems like in pictures or even TV, and getting too close to them can cut you off even if you can see the green. Playing way right is putting alot of faith in your placement from the tee box. Miss that shot and you're in a world of trouble on a one of the easiest holes on the course. 

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1 hour ago, Groucho Valentine said:

7 is usually a par 5. It was a par 4 in the PGA. Its a easy birdie hole even from the blue tees. On that particular day, i poured in a eagle putt on 4 and chipped in for eagle on 7. Hit a nice pitch close for birdie on 13, too.  

Good point, I forgot that par can change... despite generally being an advocate for that myself.  Thanks.

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Hole #1 is nothing but punishing. That is it. For a very high percentage of golfers they are looking at playing it like a par 5.

This is how the hole will be played by 90% of golfers since they can't hit it 250+ yards. Hit a drive and pray it finds the fairway. Be blocked out no matter where you hit it. Hit the ball across the tree line for a short or mid-iron into the green. Hopefully you hit the ball on the green or you end up in a bunker, which most golfers suck at.

90% of golfers are looking at bogey probably less than 50% of the time. Yep, great design (sarcasm)

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You are not accounting for elevation in your distance measurements. Your assumption that most golfers have to play this as a par-5 is just not accurate. 

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6 minutes ago, LICC said:

You are not accounting for elevation in your distance measurements. Your assumption that most golfers have to play this as a par-5 is just not accurate. 

Lets do the math.

Elevation change from Google Earth is 124 FT to 84 FT which equals 13 yards of drop.

240 yards non-adjusted distance - 13 yards of drop = 227 yards adjusted. I'll throw in 3 yards back due to being close to sea level. I play golf at 800-1000 feet. So, 230 yards to have a shot at not being screwed over.

Let's say the golfer knows to hit up on the ball well, and is fitted to produce optimal distance. I could say that a golfer swinging at 100 mph could get there.

Backtracking that to the Trackman distribution graph, you are looking at 23% of golfers no being screwed over.

I think my claim that most golfers is correct if 77% of golfers are going to be blocked out.

 

 

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4 minutes ago, saevel25 said:

Lets do the math.

Elevation change from Google Earth is 124 FT to 84 FT which equals 13 yards of drop.

240 yards non-adjusted distance - 13 yards of drop = 227 yards adjusted. I'll throw in 3 yards back due to being close to sea level. I play golf at 800-1000 feet. So, 230 yards to have a shot at not being screwed over.

Let's say the golfer knows to hit up on the ball well, and is fitted to produce optimal distance. I could say that a golfer swinging at 100 mph could get there.

Backtracking that to the Trackman distribution graph, you are looking at 23% of golfers no being screwed over.

I think my claim that most golfers is correct if 77% of golfers are going to be blocked out.

 

 

If you are not a decent golfer, you will have a high score at the Black. Assuming the viewpoint of generally decent golfers playing the course, then yes you probably need to be average to above average in driving distance to clear the trees on the 1st hole. Among decent golfers, I think 220 yards in normal conditions is a very attainable driving distance on average. This hole can also have a helping wind at times, of course that varies day to day.

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20 minutes ago, saevel25 said:

Hole #1 is nothing but punishing. That is it. For a very high percentage of golfers they are looking at playing it like a par 5.

This is how the hole will be played by 90% of golfers since they can't hit it 250+ yards. Hit a drive and pray it finds the fairway. Be blocked out no matter where you hit it. Hit the ball across the tree line for a short or mid-iron into the green. Hopefully you hit the ball on the green or you end up in a bunker, which most golfers suck at.

90% of golfers are looking at bogey probably less than 50% of the time. Yep, great design (sarcasm)

Ive seen players who only drive the ball 230 or so drive through the dog leg on the left side from the regular tees. The hole plays downhill down wind. You simply don't know what the hell you're talking about...sorry. 

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I played a lot as a younger man in the late 70's through the late 80's. Never tipped it, but played the whites in around 78-85 over those years. Even then it had it's "reputation" as a difficult course.

Overall, IMO- The Black is LESS penal than it was before the USGA upgrades. The did some renovations here and there over the years prior to the USGA spending millions to make it up to snuff. Yes, the fairways were a "bit" wider before the reno's, but the State spent zero dollars maintaining the rough areas outside the second cut. You had fairway, first cut, second cut, then 2-3ft high fescue all the way to the tree lines or whatever hole was nearby meeting up with their second cut. Hit it there and you did not find the ball- that was it. I believe the only spot on the current setup where it is anything close to those conditions is the area between 10 and 11. This was all over the course. Once the Open moved in- they absolutely had to make it easy and safe for spectator movement around the place. You can't subject people to wild areas filled with tall grass, brambles and ticks. So the further wide you went, the easier the next shot became since it was all mowed and tramped down

Right off the bat- the first hole. They took the old growth trees out that were on the outside of the dogleg. They came into play in late July and August when the fairways would dry up and balls ran out into them. Now? it is open because they put a hospitality area in that triangle surrounded by 1,17,18. They did it in 2002. However, they replanted some after that and took them out again for 2009 as best I remember. Even on 8, if you were right and on the bank? Gone. Now, there's a chance (a small one) that it will bound down the slope and end up with a simple chip.

I noted these things when I last played it about 5 or 6 years ago. There were places I hit the ball wide of the fairways and was pleasantly surprised that, first, I could actually FIND the ball and, second, that I had a relatively simple shot back to the fairway or even to the green from these spots. Prime example was on #6 I pulled my 3 wood pretty badly left between the woods and the bunker at the corner. I trudged my way over figuring I wouldn't have a shot. I got to the top of the hill and looked around and didn't see it. "Oh, well". then I caught a glimpse down at the bottom of the hill in some semi rough and saw my ball. less than 100 yds from green. It must have hit the hard pan(that wasn't there in 1985) and found it's way down there. In 1985? that ball was lost, no doubt about it. And it wasn't lost 100 yards from the green, it would have been eaten up by the grass and junk somewhere near the top of the hill.

While it is no pushover, the holes that were tough back then are the tough holes now. Back left pin on 3? Brutal. 5? Take your poison if you favor the left side too much. 15 is probably one of the most difficult holes on any course in any other Tour or USGA event. Yes, they will widen the fairways a notch once the people get it back for regular play and the greens will be tuned down a notch. Speaking of which- the greens aren't all that difficult. MOST of them are relatively flat with subtle movement. One exception is the previously noted #3. And a few have ridges that split the greens but in general, at "normal public" speeds they are (or were) not very tricky if you put your ball in the right spot. Front of 8 with too much backspin is a no-no.

I did remark while watching The PGA on TV when Rory wound up well off the mark and was hitting from the gallery area off a fairway- "Jeez, in 1985, they wouldn't have found Rory in that stuff, much less his ball"

My 2 cents, anyway...

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8 minutes ago, Groucho Valentine said:

Ive seen players who only drive the ball 230 or so drive through the dog leg on the left side from the regular tees. The hole plays downhill down wind. You simply don't know what the hell you're talking about...sorry. 

I agreed that 230 plus downhill gets you there. Please read and understand my post better. 

Less than 230 yards is about 78% of amateur golfers. You need that at minimum to not play the hole as a par 5 because of the trees. 

Also, if you want to add wind, I’ll give you an extra 10 yards some of the time. So drop that down to 60% of golfers are screwed all the time, 17% only when the wind helps, and 23% of golfers better damn well not miss that absurd 20 yard wide fairway.

 

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13 minutes ago, saevel25 said:

I agreed that 230 plus downhill gets you there. Please read and understand my post better. 

Less than 230 yards is about 78% of amateur golfers. You need that at minimum to not play the hole as a par 5 because of the trees. 

Also, if you want to add wind, I’ll give you an extra 10 yards some of the time. So drop that down to 60% of golfers are screwed all the time, 17% only when the wind helps, and 23% of golfers better damn well not miss that absurd 20 yard wide fairway.

 

Someone who hits Driver 220 in normal conditions will easily get in past 230 on Black's 1st hole unless the wind is right at you. That is more than half of decent golfers who play the course.

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3 minutes ago, LICC said:

Someone who hits Driver 220 in normal conditions will easily get in past 230 on Black's 1st hole unless the wind is right at you. That is more than half of decent golfers who play the course.

I don’t buy your 220. You keep moving the goal posts. Unless you can refute accurate radar data and facts about driving distance your 220 doesn’t hold up. 

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21 minutes ago, RayG said:

I played a lot as a younger man in the late 70's through the late 80's. Never tipped it, but played the whites in around 78-85 over those years. Even then it had it's "reputation" as a difficult course.

Overall, IMO- The Black is LESS penal than it was before the USGA upgrades. The did some renovations here and there over the years prior to the USGA spending millions to make it up to snuff. Yes, the fairways were a "bit" wider before the reno's, but the State spent zero dollars maintaining the rough areas outside the second cut. You had fairway, first cut, second cut, then 2-3ft high fescue all the way to the tree lines or whatever hole was nearby meeting up with their second cut. Hit it there and you did not find the ball- that was it. I believe the only spot on the current setup where it is anything close to those conditions is the area between 10 and 11. This was all over the course. Once the Open moved in- they absolutely had to make it easy and safe for spectator movement around the place. You can't subject people to wild areas filled with tall grass, brambles and ticks. So the further wide you went, the easier the next shot became since it was all mowed and tramped down

Right off the bat- the first hole. They took the old growth trees out that were on the outside of the dogleg. They came into play in late July and August when the fairways would dry up and balls ran out into them. Now? it is open because they put a hospitality area in that triangle surrounded by 1,17,18. They did it in 2002. However, they replanted some after that and took them out again for 2009 as best I remember. Even on 8, if you were right and on the bank? Gone. Now, there's a chance (a small one) that it will bound down the slope and end up with a simple chip.

I noted these things when I last played it about 5 or 6 years ago. There were places I hit the ball wide of the fairways and was pleasantly surprised that, first, I could actually FIND the ball and, second, that I had a relatively simple shot back to the fairway or even to the green from these spots. Prime example was on #6 I pulled my 3 wood pretty badly left between the woods and the bunker at the corner. I trudged my way over figuring I wouldn't have a shot. I got to the top of the hill and looked around and didn't see it. "Oh, well". then I caught a glimpse down at the bottom of the hill in some semi rough and saw my ball. less than 100 yds from green. It must have hit the hard pan(that wasn't there in 1985) and found it's way down there. In 1985? that ball was lost, no doubt about it. And it wasn't lost 100 yards from the green, it would have been eaten up by the grass and junk somewhere near the top of the hill.

While it is no pushover, the holes that were tough back then are the tough holes now. Back left pin on 3? Brutal. 5? Take your poison if you favor the left side too much. 15 is probably one of the most difficult holes on any course in any other Tour or USGA event. Yes, they will widen the fairways a notch once the people get it back for regular play and the greens will be tuned down a notch. Speaking of which- the greens aren't all that difficult. MOST of them are relatively flat with subtle movement. One exception is the previously noted #3. And a few have ridges that split the greens but in general, at "normal public" speeds they are (or were) not very tricky if you put your ball in the right spot. Front of 8 with too much backspin is a no-no.

I did remark while watching The PGA on TV when Rory wound up well off the mark and was hitting from the gallery area off a fairway- "Jeez, in 1985, they wouldn't have found Rory in that stuff, much less his ball"

My 2 cents, anyway...

Great point. The fairways are narrow but the hole corridors are wide, so you don't lose many balls and you do have opportunities after bad drives to get the ball back in play.

 

@saevel25"I don’t buy your 220. You keep moving the goal posts. Unless you can refute accurate radar data and facts about driving distance your 220 doesn’t hold up. "

I don't understand what you are saying. If someone normally drives it 215-220, they will drive it 230+ off the 1st tee at Bethpage Black on a drive that hits the fairway. What radar data do you want?

 

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