The Black Course at Bethpage State Park needs no introduction. Home of the 2002 and 2009 U.S. Open Championships, Bethpage Black is the crown jewel of public golf on Long Island and one of the most feared and revered courses — public or private — in the country.
The origins of the course date back to the Depression, but it was in the summer of 2002 that Bethpage Black achieved rock-star status, when the world’s best players teed off behind the park’s elegant clubhouse and struggled to stay anywhere near even par. Suddenly every golfer and fan knew about the “Warning” sign, the overnight stays in the parking lot, the shockingly low fees for a world-class course and the vocal, golf-crazed New York fan base.
When the Pros are gone, Long Islanders and visiting golfers are left with a 7,468-yard brute that puts every shot and skill to the test. From the middle tees, it’s just short of 6,700 yards, nearly as long or longer than many full-length courses on the Island.
Opened in 1936 as part of the Depression Era public-works project that built Bethpage State Park, the Black Course arrived on the scene after the Lenox Hills Country Club became the Green Course and one year after A.W. Tillinghast’s Blue and Red Courses debuted. Though there is a debate over who deserves credit (and how much) for the design — Tillinghast or park superintendent Joseph Burbeck — the subtle angles and protective cross bunkers present in the layout are characteristics of many celebrated Tillinghast courses.The course conditions today are largely a product of a major restoration led by Rees Jones in preparation for the ’02 Open.
Via Bethpage GC