Posts Tagged ‘Bethpage Red’

Played it on April 1 and for the awful winter we had, the Red was still a tremendous test and in excellent shape. Then yesterday (April 6), I took photos for Farmingdale State during a match they hosted. The brutal weather (I think at one point the temp was in the teens due to 25 mph winds) gave me inspiration to put everything in black and white. Consider that your fair warning. (I also wrote this about the Red back in 2009 or 2010, I can’t remember.)

Here are five of my favorites:

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I played my first round on the Red last week and was surprised to see that they added another tee to the eighth hole.

The par-4 plays about 390ish from the blues (not the tips) and about 380 from the whites.  There is a tee that was built a few years ago that is waaay back toward the trees, like 40-50 yards  from the normal blues. But it’s rare that they actually tip out the blue tees.  I’ve seen it done in a  few tournaments, but not in many leisurely weekdays/weekends.

But this new tee, I think, is right on.  It’s between the tips and the blues as you can see.  Although I promote all blues to be tipped out, this is a fair compromise and doesn’t ruin  the integrity of the hole.  It’s not supposed to play too long (aren’t there enough on the Red?), placing a high premium on a straight drive to keep out of the fescue on the left and bunker on the right.

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I should probably rephrase the headline.  Perhaps it should pose the question, “Most Demanding Starting Hole in the Northeast?”  Or even the East Coast?

Because if you’re familiar with the hole, you know that it requires a drive in the low cut grass, and then a mid to long iron to a mystery pin on a green the size of the parking lot.

During mid summers, when the fescue bordering the fairway is at its tallest, I imagine that the stroke average for the public is well above a double bogey.  Although not proven, I’ve played too many rounds having witnessed too many lost balls, wayward second-shot hooks and mishit chips from the greenside rough to count.

And similar to Black, you’ll have to camp overnight (or arrive around 1 a.m.) to get a semi-early tee time.  So that entails limited hours minutes of sleep, a runny egg sandwich that’s nearly doing just that out of your rear end and a peeved back that restricts a full hip turn.

A birdie you say?

Gracefully pluck your ball from the cup, graze the bill of your cap and strut back to your car.  A muni golfer’s bliss.

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Great news for all you overanxious, impatient, U.S. Open course chasers around the island and nation.  According to the fine folks over at Bethpage State Park, the Black is scheduled to make its first babies of 2011 cry on April 15.  The  Red is set to open on April 1.  No joke.

The Par-3 14th at Black. Who can't wait for mid-summer? Me me me me me!

The Green Course, another fan favorite, is set to open on March 29.  All of these dates are tentative of course, due to weather that’s more unpredictable than a Charlie Sheen interview.  And no one around here would be surprised if 12 inches of snow started dumping in the next week (please God NO!).

In ’07 and ’08, yours truly had the honor of opening the Black in the first and second groups, respectively.  I’m gonna try and do it this time around also.  Job, game and weather permitting.

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