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Golf Course Reviews - North America

Bethpage State Park Golf Course

Name: Bethpage State Park Golf Course
Location: Farmingdale, New York, USA
Par: 72
Length: 6672m
Holes: 18

Bethpage State Park Golf Course

Is the course worth all the hype?" With as much hoopla there is surrounding this course, could it possibly live up to the expectation? One thing that is definitely unique and part of the adventure is getting on the course, especially if you are a non-New York resident. There are a couple tee-times reserved early on in the morning for those who want to sleep in their cars overnight in a queue. This used to be the ONLY way to get on Bethpage, adding to its allure. Since their first U.S. Open and the publicity that surrounded the course, they have now opened up tee times by phone.

If you are not a New York resident then you must call through Bethpage’s automated tee time register and attempt to book a tee time. You can only call 48 hours in advance. If you are a New York resident, you get 2 weeks to work with. As popular as this course is, it takes many, many phone calls. In fact when we called on Thursday we could not find a tee time and only by a stroke of luck did we decide to call back again on Friday. With that phone call we struck pay dirt, an afternoon tee time.

The one thing about Bethpage that far outweighs any premier golf course is the rates. The weekday rates for a state-resident are $41 and for non- resident $82. On the weekend you are looking at $51 for state-resident and $102 for non. These rates are solely for walking, the course does not allow golf carts at all. There is a $4 reservation fee if you call ahead, otherwise you can make the drive and hope you can get yourself on. I would recommend paying the $4 and setting the tee time. There would be nothing worse than driving to the middle of Long Island and not getting to play.

Now... about the course. Designed by A.W. Tillinghast, Bethpage opened in May of 1936. The course was given 3 million from the USGA and was renovated from 1997-1998 by Reese Jones. The atmosphere walking up to the first tee could not get any better, especially with the signature Bethpage Sign which reads. "The Black Course is an extremely difficult course which we recommend only for highly skilled golfers." Right from the start you know that this course will test your game in every faucet. As you might expect with a top-notch course, it is immaculate. From the tee box to the greens you will not be disappointed with the maintenance of the golf course. The rough is long and thick, but still fair for the average golfer. The course is extremely long with narrow fairways and extremely large and in some areas deep bunkers. To be honest I thought there was going to be more water on the course, but there is only one hole where water actually comes into play. Because of the length you will be hitting a variety of irons into moderate sized greens, surrounded by large bunkers. All of your tee shots will demand a great deal of accuracy and power.

Bethpage State Park Golf Course
The signature hole for me would be the par5 fourth. This par 5 has three tiers and each tier is covered with bunkers. It is long and without a well-placed tee shot it can be a very, very long hole. The course really is a true test and will make you use every club in your bag. Much is said about how hard the course is, but rarely people speak about how fair it is. The greens are not ridiculously sloped; there are not any hidden streams. What you see is what you get, and what you get is a great golfing experience.

Overall it is a world-class establishment and no golfer will walk away being disappointed. With the US open championship returning in 2009, you know that the course will be in great shape no matter what time of year. With four other courses on site this facility would be ideal for any golf trip. All courses are up to the same level of maintenance and prices are extremely reasonable.

Visit the Bethpage State Park Golf Club's website: Bethpage State Park Golf Club


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