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Bethpage Black after Coronavirus


Wondergiulio
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What to say... I got lucky enough to book a tee time at the Black Course yesterday and God what a treat. The course is pristine considering that it just reopened and the pace of play was FANTASTIC with tee times pushed at 18 min intervals.

When playing the Black the challenge is enormous. Technical, physical and mental.

Technical because the length and accuracy required is incredible. Rough is so thick that anytime you are not in the fairway most likely a double is coming.

Physical because of the continuous ups and downs without of course even mentioning the infamous 15th hole arriving when your legs are already fried.

But mostly Bethpage stress you mentally. Because most of the time you stare at that ball and in your head the idea of having a great shot and just missing the fairway of 2 inches (transforming the following shot in a nightmare from the thickest rough you can imagine) stress you so much that no wonder Eddie Pepperel declared "i hope i will not make the team in 2024 so i won't play here again: lol

Anyway, lets try give a little review at it:

Everyone knows the infamous sign that oversee the fabulous dogleg n.1 (picture attached). I a big dive in a tiny fairway that if well executed leaves with a mid to long iron on a slightly sloped green. Secret is to stay in the left side to avoid being blocked from the tree. Better stay under the flag because greens are fast and this one is pretty sloped.

Number 2 is a relatively short dog leg left par 4 that requires a perfect tee shot to avoid being blocked from the trees again. Best using a 3 wood to avoid the rough. The approach shot is very hard especially if you have to use a long iron because the green is very elevated and protected from bunkers. Green ia normally hard and not too much movement.

3 is a long par tree to a very narrow green . Avoid being long or left because of the slope surrounding the green

Here comes what for me is one of the most beautiful golf holes i ever played. The famous par 5 Hole number 4. Requires perfect downhill tee shot on a narrow fairway. Avoiding left bunkers is the key to try to go up in 2. For short hitters like me a good strategy is a 3 wood to right before those bunkers. The second shot uphill on a fairway platform requires accuracy to avoid bunkers as well as the final approach again uphill on a green that is hard and going long means being burned...

The 5th hole has huge bunkers on the right and a very close waste area to avoid. Tee is elevated and protected by other bunkers. Stay out of the sand!

6th hole is just gorgeous. Dogleg left to a platform and a downhill to a small green. Tee shot is important not to go too much right and make the hole longer than already is. But a good tee shot over the left bunker can leave with a wedge. The approach to the green is scenic when well executed.

7 is a par 5 (for us normal people, a par 4 for the pros) dogleg right. Stay on th left of fairway and 2 straight shot will make the par doable..

8 is a gorgeous par 3 with a scenic drop over the only water pond of the course. The tree on the right might bother if flag is up right. It favors fade shots. Stay under the flag because green is very sloped.

9 is a not so long par 4 dogleg left. stay on the right side to avoid a blind second shot to a well protected green.

10 is a straight hole with narrow fairway and thick fescue. So hit the fairway if you want to have a doable approach to a super protected green

11is a long hole with an elevated green that happen to be one of the only with a little movement. If reached in regulation a 3 putt is behind the corner... 

12 Requires strategy. The massive bunker on the left is staring at you saying 'you won't make it' but going right makes this hole too long considering that is already the longest par 4 of the course... 

13 is a beautiful bar 5 and another scoring opportunity together with the next hole before the final stretch. Fairway is narrow and the hole length makes it hard. Stay out of the right side on the final approach shot to avoid a very hard waste area.

14 is probably the easiest par 3 hole on the course. Short iron shot to a generous green that is one of the few with some movement. A birdie hole.


And now... what to say prepare to war!!!

15. Your legs burn. The fairway is small. The hole is long. A par four dogleg left that requires a long drive and a almost impossible approach on a very elevated green super protected by the deepest front bunker of the course. Stay on the right side if you want to have a chance. A bogie is a good score lol. 

16 is another monster hole. Dogleg left. A downhill tee shot to a small fairway and a green that goes in opposite direction of the dogleg. Ideally draw the ball to have a decent approach.

17. What to say about it. A long, uphill par 3 to a super protected and very elevated narrow green. Anything else? Miss left is not bad...

18. Final hole and despite being scary visually is probably the easiest par 4. Secret is in  y opinion to use a 3 wood so to be sure to hit the fairway .The tee shot is a downhill one and only thing to avoid are the gigantic sand traps on the right and left. Execute well and you will have a 9 iron to an elevated green that does not easily hold the ball. Once there breath and be happy no matter the score because IT WAS AN EXPERIENCE.

Ciao!!!

 

 

 

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I’ll never make it that far east to even see the course, much less get a chance to play it. Thanks for the walk thru.

BTW, you mentioned ‘dogleg left’ five times. I’m getting dizzy!


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Sorry if I got you dizzy ahaha I am italian and I am working on my best English property😂

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It truly is the perfect golf course. Thanks for sharing the photos. I completely agree with you that 12 is an unreal hole from the tips as a Par 4.

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Do a lot of people usually walk bethpage or is it because of the covid ? I never been there in person but it looks insane to walk that course and by you writing by 15 your legs are fried, you would have to be in pretty good shape to walk that course. 

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The Course looks amazing still, last time I played there was after the First US Open there and it was hard AF.   I can imagine how pristine conditions it would be since been closed for awhile. Excellent pictures to give the visual of your descriptions.

 

Edited by MrBandit
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5 hours ago, Nolan220 said:

Do a lot of people usually walk bethpage or is it because of the covid ? I never been there in person but it looks insane to walk that course and by you writing by 15 your legs are fried, you would have to be in pretty good shape to walk that course. 

It is a walking only course. And yes is an hard walk... Remember John Daly asking for a buggy? I mean good shape is mandatory and despite me loving him, he definitely is not in good shape ahahaha

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What was the final tally for the day if you don’t mind me asking? Great write up!


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4 hours ago, MrBandit said:

The Course looks amazing still, last time I played there was after the First US Open there and it was hard AF.   I can imagine how pristine conditions it would be since been closed for awhile. Excellent pictures to give the visual of your descriptions.

 

It was pristine!!! Thanks for the reply and if you happen to be around message me and we go play!

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38 minutes ago, Rtracymog said:

What was the final tally for the day if you don’t mind me asking? Great write up!


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I don't like too much to write about scores cause i think people are here to read reviews... But i shot 47 on the front and 41 in the back. First time i broke ninety on this course.

I could have make couple more easy putt but also miss some more difficult so it all balances out. I am super happy and my 87 felt like even par... (said eon hole 4 that after 2 perfect shot i was 70 yds from the flag, hit a bad shot and finish with a double.... lol) And cost was just 65$!

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:ping-small: G400 3W Alta CB 65g stiff

:Sub70: Fairway Pro 5W Ust Mamiya V2 black stiff

:Sub70: 839X 4h Kbs TGI80

:Sub70: 639cb 5-PW Kbs TGI80

:Sub70: Forged Wedge  50.7 Kbs TGI80

:callaway-small: MD4 56.8, 60.12

PXG Bat Attack

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I don't like too much to write about scores cause i think people are here to read reviews... But i shot 47 on the front and 41 in the back. First time i broke ninety on this course.
I could have make couple more easy putt but also miss some more difficult so it all balances out. I am super happy and my 87 felt like even par... (said eon hole 4 that after 2 perfect shot i was 70 yds from the flag, hit a bad shot and finish with a double.... lol) And cost was just 65$!

I think that’s a heck of a score on that course! Great job!


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So jealous of you!  Great pictures and write up.  However, for me, hole 1 I always like to be to the RIGHT of the trees...more towards the Red course.  This takes all the trees out of the way on your second shot and makes the second shot much shorter.  Give that a try next time.  Man, though, that rough looks THICKER than normal!  Great job once again!

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So jealous of you!  Great pictures and write up.  However, for me, hole 1 I always like to be to the RIGHT of the trees...more towards the Red course.  This takes all the trees out of the way on your second shot and makes the second shot much shorter.  Give that a try next time.  Man, though, that rough looks THICKER than normal!  Great job once again!

I actually have been there previously but without intention ahahaha
(Green course you meant)
And is a good way to take advantage of the open field...
But staying on the left leaves you an open approach while the green course fairway leaves you with a long one over the bunkers on a green that never holds the shot.
But good strategy anyway
Rough was so thick! Like after the PGA last year..


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:Sub70: Fairway Pro 5W Ust Mamiya V2 black stiff

:Sub70: 839X 4h Kbs TGI80

:Sub70: 639cb 5-PW Kbs TGI80

:Sub70: Forged Wedge  50.7 Kbs TGI80

:callaway-small: MD4 56.8, 60.12

PXG Bat Attack

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It truly is the perfect golf course. Thanks for sharing the photos. I completely agree with you that 12 is an unreal hole from the tips as a Par 4.

To be correct it was a perfect golf course before Rees Jones got ahold of it. The layout before the first open was spectacular, the conditions not so much. In the early to mid 90’s it was the walk up course that nobody wanted to play.


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So jealous of you!  Great pictures and write up.  However, for me, hole 1 I always like to be to the RIGHT of the trees...more towards the Red course.  This takes all the trees out of the way on your second shot and makes the second shot much shorter.  Give that a try next time.  Man, though, that rough looks THICKER than normal!  Great job once again!

Or just rip driver over the trees with a little draw [emoji3]


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I heard it is in good shape and back to playing under normal conditions. My last round there was the Sunday after the PGA last year and it was just brutal. Fairways were cut down by a third on most holes and the rough was well let’s just say juicy.


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To be correct it was a perfect golf course before Rees Jones got ahold of it. The layout before the first open was spectacular, the conditions not so much. In the early to mid 90’s it was the walk up course that nobody wanted to play.


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And now it’s a novelty...

As much as everyone says it’s physically exhausting, it’s mental combat. I was most amused with how much you have to think your way through that course.
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And now it’s a novelty...

As much as everyone says it’s physically exhausting, it’s mental combat. I was most amused with how much you have to think your way through that course.

Not saying it is a bad track but I don’t think Rees did it justice. If you play the right tees and hit fairways it is not a tough second shot golf course. Most approach shots give you at least somewhere to bail out with the exceptions being 2 and 15, not sure where the miss is on either hole.


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Not saying it is a bad track but I don’t think Rees did it justice. If you play the right tees and hit fairways it is not a tough second shot golf course. Most approach shots give you at least somewhere to bail out with the exceptions being 2 and 15, not sure where the miss is on either hole.


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I get what you mean. You also have a unique perspective being a LI guy who’s seen it change over the years.

It’s really just a fair course. There isn’t a lot of trickery, hit a good shot and you’re rewarded. Hit a bad shot (one that stands out is firing at a right pin on 8 over the tree) and you’ll pay for it.

As far as 2 & 15, I’m stumped.
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