Bethpage Black Golf Course Photos

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Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

 

The Bethpage Black photos below picture Holes 1 through 18 of the Black Course at Bethpage State Park in New York.


There are actually five public golf courses within Bethpage State Park, run by the State of New York. But the Black Course is the famous one. It is ranked among the best public golf courses in the world, and it it considered one of the best courses of any type in the United States.

And it’s a major championship venue, having hosted the U.S. Open and PGA Championship.

Legendary architect A.W. Tillinghast is credited by most sources (including Bethpage itself) as the designer of Bethpage Black; however, Golf Digest has cited contemporaneous accounts describing Tillinghast as only a consultant, and argues that Joe Burbeck deserves design credit.


When you are finished with this photographic course tour, check out our profile and history of Bethpage Black for much more info about the history of the course and tournaments played there.

Bethpage Black: Warning Sign at 1st Hole


The first fairway behind the warning sign that greets golfers to Bethpage Black.

David Cannon/Getty Images

 


Of the five courses at Bethpage State Park, the Black Course is the most famous, and the toughest. How tough? So tough they put up a warning sign, which reads, “The Black Course is an extremely difficult course which we recommend only for highly skilled golfers.”

For everyday play, the Black Course tips out at 7,426 yards, with a par of 71, a USGA course rating of 77.5, and a USGA slope rating of the maximum 155.


The first hole sits just beyond that warning sign. Hole No. 1 at Bethpage Black is a par-4 of 430 yards that doglegs quickly to the right at about the hole’s middle length. Golfers must choose whether to play just to corner, or shape a shot around the dogleg.

Hole 4

David Cannon / Getty Images

Hole No. 4 at Bethpage Black is a short par-5, 517 yards, but plenty of trouble lurks. The diagonal row of bunkers you see near the middle of the image flank the upper level of fairway. That upper level of fairway then curls around to a green tucked back to the left behind a couple more protective bunkers.

The green slopes toward the back, and approaches that aren’t well-thought can bound off the back of the green and down a slope. A golfer going for the green in two will be playing an uphill approach, too.


But because of its length, No. 4 at Bethpage Black is considered one of the easier holes during major championship play.


Hole 7

David Cannon / Getty Images

The fourth hole, you might recall, is 517 yards and a par-5. This hole, No. 7, is 525 yards … and a par-4! Bethpage Black’s No. 7, during the 2009 U.S. Open, played as the longest par-4 in the history of that competition up to that time. A new rear teeing ground was added prior to the 2009 U.S. Open, adding 36 yards to the length the hole played at the 2002 U.S. Open.

Expect lots of bogeys at No. 7, which is a dogleg right with a green well-protected by a deep bunker.

Hole 18

David Cannon / Hole 18

Bethpage Black closes with a straightaway par-4, with the clubhouse looming in the background. The hole measures 411 yards, making it one of the shortest par-4s on the course. It isn’t one of the toughest holes on the course, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. The decision is whether to lay up short of the bunkers that pinch the fairway, or, with a downhill tee shot, try to thread the bunkers. An errant tee shot that winds up in those bunkers could mean trouble, and there are a couple deep bunkers guarding the green. The green sits uphill from the fairway.

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