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Has anyone played Bethpage Black?

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Has anyone played Bethpage Black?

Old 06-12-2014, 12:35 PM
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Default Has anyone played Bethpage Black?

My fathers day gift is my wife letting me do the whole sleep in the car thing and playing golf at the famed Bethpage Black next Friday.

I'll be going by myself, so I won't have a tee time etc.

Has anyone done this? How early do I need to get there to play early on a Friday AM? Midnight? 4:00 am?

I can't wait to do this, am really hoping the weather cooperates.
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Old 06-12-2014, 03:12 PM
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What a bummer if you can't get to play because they won't allow five-somes and no threes show up.

Can you call the pro shop and ask whether any three-somes with X handicaps (preferably) are on the roster? Showing up un-announced doesn't ring my bell at all.

Good luck, either way!
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Old 06-12-2014, 05:20 PM
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I have played the Black a lot but have never done the sleep in the car deal. You can call 2 days ahead as a non-resident to try to get a time but it's impossible. There are companies that you can get times from but they are expensive $300-$500. As a single you might do OK getting a spot that was a cancellation if you try to walk on but you need to be there early.

The Black is awesome. It's a long walk, no carts so you are carrying unless you bring or hire a caddy, they get about $100 a bag +/- and depending on who the caddy is. Not sure if you are a player but watch out for the hustlers. And keep an eye on your bag.

Enjoy it. A few friends played it last Friday it's in pristine shape.
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Old 06-13-2014, 04:07 AM
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I have done the Bethpage arrive before 4 am thing more than I care to admit (2-3x month for the better part of 20 years), although not very often in the last 15 years - since the 1999 re-design for the US Open in 2002, I average about 4 rounds on the Black per year.
They put out 7 foursomes per hour, of which the first 6 from opening and then 1 per hour are non-reserved. If you don't mind waiting around to get out, it is easily doable. If you want to be one of the first 2 walk-up foursomes, you will need to get there about 7 pm Thursday (park in the number spots in the back lot); if you don't mind getting there just before 4 am (when they give out the bakery tickets) and getting out around 10 am, that is imo, a better option.
What I usually do is get there around 5:45 am (after the lines abate) and select a tee-time for around 1 or 2 pm - I live less than 15 minutes from the course, so I don't mind making two round trips to the course to play, or playing into the early evening.
As far as the course is concerned, since I have about 400 rounds on it, including about 70 after the 1999 re-design, I would never use a caddy, but there are some blind shots and local knowledge is probably an asset, so if you go the caddy route make sure you do so when you book your tee time. I carry my clubs, but they do allow non-motorized pull carts (which are available to rent).
This may help - http://www.nysparks.com/golf-courses...addyPolicy.pdf

Last edited by LI32; 06-13-2014 at 04:26 AM.
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Old 06-13-2014, 05:43 AM
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I live about 4 minutes away from Bethpage and have done the over night sleep over before. Get there as earlier as you possible can, 12 am is much better then 4 am. Don't worry if you already see cars there, people sit on that line to play the red course too. The spots are on your right when you enter the park. I do it probably once a year and it's part of the black course experience. Have fun.
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Old 06-13-2014, 05:48 AM
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Thanks for the replies. I will give the tee time phone call a shot, but am resigned to sleeping in the car.

Avid24, what do you mean "hustlers"? If you mean gambler hustlers, that's fine. I'm not naïve about gambling on the course, but I'm not a big fan, except for playing with my buddies, where the money never changes hands, its always left on the bar!

"Watch your clubs"? I'm a pretty alert guy, and always on guard for my stuff. Certainly not leaving my clubs unattended (I took them into the bathroom once...)

10 handicap, but on a very good streak now that I'm playing on a fairly regular basis. Revision comes out on Sunday, and expect to be back to a single.

I can not wait.
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Old 06-13-2014, 07:10 AM
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Yeah gamblers. Sounds like you have it covered.
Don't leave anything unattended- sounds like you have that covered. I know a few people that have lost their bags there or a driver or two.

You will enjoy it as a single digit. I've been everywhere from a 7 to an 11 over the past few years and there are holes you can score on, the greens are classic Tillinghast pretty straightforward but small. Many people over read the greens. Have a great time. Let us know what you shoot.
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Old 06-13-2014, 08:46 AM
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What the hell are you guys talking about?
You sleep in your car to play golf?
I play quite a bit of golf, and I have played what I think are some pretty prestigious courses, but I have never heard of anything like this.
Seriously, you sleep in your car?
On a municipal course, no less?
Do they not take tee times?
Somebody fill me in here.
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Old 06-13-2014, 10:33 AM
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superjag, yes, It is crazy. Bethpage Black has hosted two US Opens and the Barclays... on a public course.

Very few public courses can claim this, and none in a very populated area like Long Island. Its less than 1/2 hour outside of NYC.

And even for me, an out of state resident, I think it will cost $125. In state is like $65. In NY/NJ $125 is basically a bargin for good course, but for a place like Bethpage Black, its like the prom queen telling you tonight is THE night...
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Old 06-13-2014, 10:51 AM
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I can't think of anything I want to pay to do that involves sleeping in my car before hand.

You can play it in your home on Tiger Woods PGA Tour.
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Old 06-13-2014, 10:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Strike1 View Post
, but for a place like Bethpage Black, its like the prom queen telling you tonight is THE night...
That's strong...!!
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Old 06-13-2014, 11:20 AM
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As for those that don't understand waiting to play etc, I don't see the allure of covering myself in deer urine, and sitting in a tree stand for hours, afraid to fart because I might scare a buck away.

Too each his own, and I mean that nicely. We all have our "things". I don't understand my wife standing outside a store on Black Friday at 5:00 am either, but she likes it.
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Old 06-13-2014, 11:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Strike1 View Post
As for those that don't understand waiting to play etc, I don't see the allure of covering myself in deer urine, and sitting in a tree stand for hours, afraid to fart because I might scare a buck away.

Too each his own, and I mean that nicely. We all have our "things". I don't understand my wife standing outside a store on Black Friday at 5:00 am either, but she likes it.
I understand completely! Have a great round. No way to get your pro to call them and get you a time?
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Old 06-13-2014, 11:58 AM
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Bethpage black is the shazizle!
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Old 06-13-2014, 03:10 PM
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Strike1, so now the question is do you play it at 7,468 yards (par 71) from the blue tees or 6,684 from the whites?
Most of my golf career, I just about always played it from the blues, but this aging thing sucks - now as a senior tour eligible golfer (age not ability), I struggle to drive the ball more than 280 yards and I can't reach very many par 4's or 5's that are over 500 yards in two.
If you can't drive the ball with a 260 yard carry (the fairways don't run much), from the blue tee, holes 5, 10, 12 & 15 (all par 4's) can't be reached in two with a driver and a 3-wood - 16 at 490 yards is reachable (if not into the wind) as it is off a very elevated tee..

Scorecard: www.bethpageproshop.com/photos/black.pdf
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Old 06-23-2014, 05:39 AM
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Just following up on this...

So I got to the course Thursday night, roughly 9:00, and got spot #1. Two minutes later, I saw the BIGGEST raccoon I have ever seen in my life, and then it scared the bejesus out of a couple of people just hanging out in the lot...
I called a buddy of mine in the city and told him where I was, so he and another guy were going to meet me in the lot in the AM.
The next car showed up for spot #2 around midnight, then by about 3 am, there were about 8 cars or so. Very difficult sleeping in the car as every time a car rolled by I would bolt up, but overall, I thought I did alright sleep wise.
My buddy showed up at about 4:50, so we didn't end up in the first group, but nothing wrong with the third.
As for the course itself, I have never played a more difficult track! Between the steep hills (pulling a cart was very precarious at times), the very narrow fairways, and the absolutely BRUTAL rough, I was physically and mentally exhausted by the end of the day. So many holes where if you miss the fairway, or even hit the fairway but on the wrong side of it, you have no shot to the green. I was also hitting a lot of rescue woods or 4 and 5 irons into greens (and many times coming up short),
I did birdie 18 though... certainly enough to want to play it again!
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Old 06-23-2014, 11:47 AM
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Is it just me or do other people have a problem with
A. People having to pay $125 to play on a state park golf course and
B. Scalpers being able to effectively sell tee times on a state park golf course.
???????????
Yeah, it may be the great grandaddy of all east coast public courses, but it is still supposed to be a PUBLIC course.
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Old 06-23-2014, 12:09 PM
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Your not getting away THAT easily!!!!

Score please!
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Old 06-23-2014, 01:06 PM
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Originally Posted by spraynet 1 View Post
Your not getting away THAT easily!!!!

Score please!

Goal was to break 90. I didn't... Shot a 93, but left several shots on the course. Left bunker shots in the bunker on 14 and 15, but to be fair, I was on the verge of having a heart attack after climbing to the green on 15.

Played 5-9 in 1 over and really thought I had it going... until 10.

I have no problem paying $125 for a course like that.
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Old 06-23-2014, 06:22 PM
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Glad you enjoyed it. Imo, it is the best course in NY, and I am including places like Shinnecock, Winged Foot, Maidstone, Fishers' Island, etc.

People will pay $350 to play Doral, $300 to play Pinehurst #2, $500 to play Pebble Beach (last time I played those courses) - so for $125 Bethpage Black is a bargain.

Most people find carrying their clubs with a lightweight carry bag much easier than a pull cart on the Black.

So which holes did you bleed strokes: 1, 2 & 8 (7 & 9 only from the back tees) on the front and 10, 11, 12, 13 (if from the back tees), 15, 16 (if into the wind) & 17 on the back?
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