Course Architects: A.W. Tillinghast (1936), Rees Jones (1997-98,
                   2007-09 - redesign/renovation with Greg Muirhead)
Year Opened: 1936
Location: Farmingdale, New York
Slope: 148. Rating: 76.6
Par: 71
Yardage: 7,496
Hole-by-Hole: 1 - Par 4 430 Yds    10 - Par 4 508 Yds
                      2 - Par 4 389 Yds    11 - Par 4 435 Yds
                      3 - Par 3 232 Yds    12 - Par 4 504 Yds
                      4 - Par 5 517 Yds    13 - Par 5 605 Yds
                      5 - Par 4 478 Yds    14 - Par 3 158 Yds
                      6 - Par 4 408 Yds    15 - Par 4 458 Yds
                      7 - Par 5 576 Yds    16 - Par 4 490 Yds
                      8 - Par 3 230 Yds    17 - Par 3 207 Yds
                      9 - Par 4 460 Yds    18 - Par 4 411 Yds
                      Par 36  3,720 Yds     Par 35  3,776 Yds

Key Events Held: Ryder Cup (2024),
                 PGA Championship (2019),
                 Barclays (2012, 2016, 2021, 2027)
                 U.S. Open Championship (2002, 2009),
                 New York State Open (1998-2001),
                 Metropolitan Golf Association Open (1989, 2001),
                 U.S. Amateur Public Links (Blue and Red Courses) - (1936).

Awards Won: #5 by Golf Digest - America's 100 Greatest Public (2009-10),
            Ranked #6 by Golf Digest - Toughest Golf Courses in US (2009-10),
            #29 ranked Golf Digest - America's 100 Greatest Courses (2009-10),
            Ranked #6 by Golf Digest - Best in State (New York) (2007-10),
            #7 by Golf Magazine - Top 100 Courses You Can Play (2006-08),
            Ranked #1 by Golfweek - Best State-by-State Public-Access (2007).


HISTORY:  The history  of this mighty test  of golf is quite storied, as famed
architect  A.W. Tillinghast is credited with creating one of the finest venues
in all of golf.

Previously  owned by  the Yoakum family, State parks commissioner Robert Moses
purchased the land for the state of New York in the early 1930s and had nearly
2,000  workers building  the  Black, Red  and Blue  courses  and the  original
clubhouse  as  part of a  Depression-era work  relief project. Moses wanted to
create  an enormous  golf  complex that  would  be open  to  the public,  "The
People's  Country Club,"  as it has been dubbed. Tillinghast was brought in to
design  and  oversee the  construction of the  aforementioned three courses at
Bethpage, and to renovate the existing course, Lenox Hills Country Club, which
would  become the  Green Course  (originally designed  by Devereaux  Emmet). A
fifth  course, the  Yellow,  was  later designed  by  Alfred  Tull and  opened
in 1958.

Tillinghast,  who designed  Winged Foot, Baltusrol and San Francisco Golf Club
to  name a few,  crafted golf courses all around the United States, but it was
the  northeast  region  where  Tillinghast  shined.  The  latest  rankings  of
America's  100 Greatest Courses, lists seven Tillinghast designs, six of which
are in New York and New Jersey.

Some  believe Tillinghast had little to do with Bethpage, but existing designs
and  drawings confirm  that he definitely created this masterpiece. That said,
Joseph  H.  Burbeck, the park superintendent  at the time, deserves credit for
carrying out Tillinghast's ideas.

Bethpage  State  Park is the  largest public golf  facility in the world, with
five  18-hole golf courses centered at one clubhouse. The 1,500-acre state-run
facility  at  Bethpage has  hosted more  than 18  million rounds, and averages
300,000 annually.

Bethpage  is a  truly public  golf course,  with a  daily fee  of just  $50 on
weekdays  for local residents, and $60 on weekends. For those wishing to visit
from  out of state,  fees are doubled. The daily-fee status of the venue meant
that  when the U.S.  Open Championship was contested there in 2002, it was the
first time the event was held on a truly public course. Although previous Open
courses  Pebble Beach and Pinehurst are open to the public, they are not daily
fee venues. Torrey Pines joined Bethpage Black in this category in 2008.

Prior  to hosting golf's grandest event (at least in the U.S.), Rees Jones was
brought  in to  make numerous changes to  the Black. The "Open Doctor" did not
disappoint.  Jones,  whose own resume  includes such wonderful layouts as Haig
Point  Club  (SC), Huntsville  Golf  Club  (PA)  and  Ocean Forest  (GA),  has
renovated  many of  the U.S. Open and PGA Championship venues in recent years.
At Bethpage, new tees were added, repositioning and restoring of all greenside
bunkers took place and green surfaces were adjusted.

When  the USGA  made its initial visit to  The Black for the '02 U.S. Open, it
was  world  No. 1  Tiger Woods  who captured the  Championship. Woods carded a
final  round, two-over-par 72 to defeat Phil Mickelson by three shots. Despite
bogeys  on two  of his final three  holes, Woods was the only player to finish
under  par  for the championship,  at three-under  277. Although Woods did not
putt  particularly well  (T-53), he finished first in greens in regulation and
seventh in fairways hit.

"I  think it's just a fantastic golf course, and especially [considering] what
it  used to  look  like prior  to  the renovation,"  said  Woods. "It's  quite
exquisite considering where it used to be and where it is now."

How  difficult  was the 2002 Championship?  The Black played over par all four
days,  with a total scoring average of 74.9. Sunday's final round yielded only
three  subpar rounds,  which makes it more remarkable that Nick Faldo was able
to shoot 66 (low round for the event) during round three.

Jones  was once  again brought in to refurbish the Black Course in preparation
for  the 2009  Championship. This  time around,  Jones, along  with the  USGA,
increased  the  course yardage,  as five  new tees were  added on holes three,
five,  seven, nine  and 13. The 10th  hole was also adjusted after most of the
Tour  players complained about its lengthy forced carry. In all, the 2009 U.S.
Open  will play  212 yards longer than in 2002. Several greens were re-shaped,
including the eighth and 14th, creating new pin positions.

"If  you look at  the two Open setups, we believe there will be more risk-and-
reward  shots than  in 2002," commented Mike Davis, the USGA's senior director
of rules and competitions. "Structurally the course is pretty much the same."

Bethpage did not disappoint in 2009, as Lucas Glover defeated Phil Mickelson,
David Duval and Ricky Barnes by two shots for his first career U.S. Open
title. The rain-soaked event took five days to complete, as several inches of
rain fell throughout the championship.

Mike Weir opened up the 109th U.S. Open with a six-under-par 64 to snare the
first-round lead, however Ricky Barnes shot rounds of 67-65 to post a new 36-
hole record of 132 and lead Glover by one shot. After third-round 70s, Barnes
maintained his one-shot advantage heading into the last round. At one time
during round three, Barnes had reached 11-under-par, however his six-shot lead
had dwindled to one by round end as he stood at 8-under.

During the final 18, Barnes stumbled with bogeys on the front nine and by the
turn, Glover held the lead. Mickelson, who had played steady throughout the
championship, was two-under after 54 holes and with an six-foot eagle putt on
13, reached four-under-par and was tied for the lead. His heroics were short-
lived, as he bogeyed 15 and 17. With the finish, Mickelson became the all-time
leader in U.S. Open history to finish second five times. He was the only
player in the field to post all four rounds at par or better.

Now it was Duval's turn, as he birdied holes 14 through 16 to grab a share of
the lead at 3-under-par, however a missed four-footer on 17, saw his chances
diminish. After making seven bogeys in 12 holes, Barnes rebounded with a
birdie on 13, but he parred the final five holes to tie for second.

Glover was steady in round four, but was four-over par following a bogey on
15, as he stood tied with Duval. His approach to the 16th was stellar and when
the putt dropped from six feet, he was back on top to stay. Pars on the final
two holes solidified his spot in history, as he became only the sixth
qualifier since 1960 to win the U.S. Open.

For the week, Bethpage Black played to a scoring average of 72.931, with only
five players under par. World number one Tiger Woods, who captured the 2002
title, could do no better than tie for sixth. After an opening 74, Woods
countered with rounds of 69-68-69. As was the case in 2002, the 15th was the
most difficult hole on the course at 4.470, yielding only 17 birdies.

REVIEW:  The golf  course itself  has extremely  hilly terrain  with expansive
fairways,  humongous bunkering and relatively flat greens, but the powers that
be  certainly let you  know what's in store right from the get-go. All players
are  warned on the first tee, "The Black Course is an extremely difficult golf
course, which we recommend only for highly skilled golfers." Not something you
want  to  read when  you reach  the first tee,  but as  you'll find out, quite

The  opening hole  is a dogleg to the  right, flanked by a row of trees on the
right  side. The first  shot is played from an elevated tee to a tight fairway
with  the  second shot towards  the smallest  green on the course. Three-metal
might  be  the play off  the tee to  set up short  iron to the severely sloped
putting surface. A nice opening hole which could produce some early birdies.

The  second hole, the  only par-four on the course under 400 yards, bends from
right  to left  to an  elevated green.  A long  iron or  fairway metal  should
suffice  off the  tee,  leaving a  short-iron approach  to  the blind  putting
surface.  Sand short  and left is not the  place to be, as this will result in
bogey...or  worse. If  your distance control is on, then birdie is certainly a
possibility as the green is quite benign.

A new teeing area has been added to this devilish par-three that now stretches
to  232 yards. A  pinpoint tee ball must be struck precisely to find a shallow
green that is angled from right to left. The putting surface is fronted by two
huge  deep bunkers on the left, allowing the players only a glimpse of the top
part of the flagstick from the sand. A back-left pin can be a killer.

A  sure birdie hole  is the par-five fourth, or is it? The tee shot must steer
clear  of the  huge wasteland of sand on  the left and trees on the right. The
second shot must carry over the "Pine Valley" like crossing bunker towards the
green or to the right. Players attempting to reach this hole in two, will have
their hands full, as the blind uphill shot to a shallow green slopes away from
the  player  to  a  thicker  pitching area  behind  the  green.  Trees,  which
originally  played havoc  behind the  putting surface  have been  removed, but
going for this green in two will certainly be quite a test.

A  270-yard carry awaits players on the fifth, a classic par-four that reaches
478  yards from the  tips. Even with a successful tee shot, the player is left
with  a long iron  approach to an elevated, small and well bunkered green. The
tee  shot must hug the right side of the fairway, as a wall of trees cover the
hole on the left side leading up towards the green. Stay below the pin, as the
green  slopes from  back to front, otherwise, you're looking at an easy three-

Birdie  is a  likely possibility on the  sixth, as players will tee off with a
three-metal  or  hybrid to a  plateau, with a  second shot that drops sharply,
some  50  feet to a small  green guarded on both  sides by sand. The USGA made
significant  changes to  the left  side of  the hole,  allowing the  player an
opportunity  to take driver out and reach the bottom fairway. Risky, but worth
the reward.

Although  a par  five for  most mortals,  the seventh  hole will  play as  the
longest  par four  in U.S. Open history  at 525 yards. Playing to 489 yards in
2002,  a  new tee box  was added for 2009,  putting additional pressure on the
competitor.  Tall  trees guard the right  side, so cutting the dogleg right is
not  an option,  thus leaving a long  approach to a fairly easy putting green.
That  is, if  you reach the green  in regulation. To add insult to injury, the
putting surface features a pair of traps, one on either side. Guaranteed, this
will be the most difficult hole at the 2009 Open. The locals play this hole at
576 yards and without a doubt, a par five!

The  eighth is  a beautiful par-three from  an elevated tee over a pond with a
green  guarded  by a bunker  left and deep  and a tall  oak tree on the right.
Since  the previous U.S. Open, 20 yards have been added, but more importantly,
the  putting surface has been restored to its original size, thus bringing the
water back into play. With new pin locations added to this green, the hole can
play from as little as 135 to a whopping 230 yards.

At  418  yards, the  ninth  was  certainly no  pushover,  but  after the  2002
Championship,  the USGA, with  Rees Jones at the helm, extended the tee box an
additional 42 yards, making this a massive 460-yard par-four that plays uphill
to  the green.  The lengthy  bunker down  the left  side pinches  the sloping,
right-to-left  fairway  forcing the utmost  in perfection  off the tee. Not to
forget  the trees down both sides of the fairway. Clear the trap on the corner
of  the dogleg  and you'll  have a  reasonable shot  at birdie,  but only  the
longest of hitters will attempt this play. Two massive bunkers guard the large
circular green in the front.

A  brutal stretch of  holes starts the back nine, beginning with the 10th. The
second of three par fours that stretch over 500 yards, this monster requires a
long  carry just  to reach the fairway, however this was shortened since 2002.
The  hole is  straightaway, however  the greens  sits off  to the  left. Seven
gigantic bunkers guard the landing area, putting enormous pressure on your tee
ball.  The  fairly flat green  is dominated by  two large bunkers guarding the
entrance to the surface. Any shots with long iron will most likely end up over
the  green,  where a  new chipping  area has been  established, allowing for a
somewhat  easier up-and-down. Make par here and you've gained on the field. In
fact,  in  2002,  only three  players  that  finished  in  the top-10  of  the
championship made birdie on this hole during the four days.

Similar  in style  with the  previous  hole, the  11th is  reminiscent of  the
Scottish  links  across the  pond, where  the wind  sweeps through the exposed
land,  creating  havoc with your shots.  The tight fairway is again guarded by
deep  traps and if  you're lucky enough to miss the sand, the thick rough will
certainly  claim many  errant tee shots. Although  not as long as No. 10, this
par  four features the most severe putting surface on the course, as it slopes
steeply  from back  to front. Phil Mickelson had little issues with this hole,
as he birdied it three of the four days en route to his second-place finish.

At  one time, the 12th was the longest par-four in U.S. Open history, but now,
even  with its  additional five  yards, it's  just the  third longest  on this
course  at  504 yards. During  the previous Open,  this was the second hardest
hole  on the Black. No surprise, as this hole doglegs sharply to the left with
a  huge cross-bunker  to carry,  some 260  yards from  the tee.  The green  is
slightly  elevated,  but features one  of the  largest putting surfaces on the
course  with a tier splitting the front and back. Par here would be great, and
even  bogey is not  so bad. Tiger Woods was one of the few players to par this
hole all four days in '02.

Depending  on the wind conditions, the par-five 13th could be a birdie chance,
as  players head  down the  stretch. During  the 2002  U.S. Open,  competitors
rarely  made  bogey, in fact,  Jose Maria Olazabal  made birdie all four days.
This  time around, that  might change, as the hole was lengthened 51 yards, as
Jones  added a  new teeing ground. The  fairway bends to the right, so players
must  be careful  not  to drive  through  the  short grass,  as  the rough  is
extremely  difficult.  With the  added length, the  cross-bunker down the left
side  certainly  comes into play,  not to mention the  trap that sits 30 yards
short  of the  green. The putting surface  is sloped from back to front with a
right green-side bunker, but players should be able to gain one back.

At  158 yards, the 14th will definitely give up plenty of birdies, but with an
enlarged  green, distance  control will  come into  play. The  putting surface
slopes  from back to front with a new tier in the rear to confound the player.
Sand on either side of the green will keep the player honest. Shigeki Maruyama
aced  the shortest hole  on the course during round two in '02, as he tied for

From  easy to  impossible greets the players  at 15. One of the most demanding
holes  on the Black with the most difficult green, the 15th plays to 458 yards
to  a green that  is perched on a hillside, 50 feet above the fairway. Missing
this  green to  the right, left or  short will prove costly, as the two-tiered
green  slopes severely  from back left to  front right. The key to taming this
beast is the tee shot which must split the narrow landing area, one of the few
holes  without fairway bunkers. Woods was one of the few players to finish the
four days without making worse than par (3 pars and 1 birdie).

Another  demanding tee shot  is required on the 16th from an elevated tee to a
narrow  fairway  that bends ever so  slightly. Eleven yards were added to this
par-four,  stretching  it to 490 yards.  With the elevation, a mid-iron should
suffice  to  a fairly receptive  green. The  circular putting surface has sand
right  and left, but  the area itself is benign. The 2002 champion nearly lost
the championship on this hole, as he made two bogeys in four days.

One  of the most  devilish holes on the course is the par-three 17th. A medium
to long iron will be played to an hourglass-shaped green that is quite wide at
43 yards, but very shallow and with little of the putting surface visible. The
green  side bunkers  were all shifted closer  to the green in the reworking of
the  course by Rees Jones back in '02. Club selection with the U.S. Open crown
on  the line  will be  critical, especially  with the  stadium-like atmosphere
created  by  the grandstands  and hillside  in the rear.  Scott Hoch aced this
beauty  during  the final  round, as  he tied  for fifth, however, Mickelson's
chances of a U.S. Open title fell by the wayside with a bogey here on Sunday.

All  aspects of the final hole were strengthened for the 2002 Open, as the tee
was  pushed  back 33  yards. At  411 yards, the  18th is  not the longest, but
certainly  the most  pressure-packed hole on the Black. The drive from another
elevated  tee must negotiate between enormous clusters of bunkers to a fairway
that  is just 16 yards wide. The second shot then rises to a green that slopes
gently from the back, but only partially visible from the fairway. Birdies can
be  made, as evidenced by Tiger's back-to-back threes in the first two rounds,
but with the title on the line, try to swallow that apple in your throat.

OVERALL:  A course  that was a beast before  Jones got to it is now a complete
test  of  golf that requires every  club and shot in your repertoire. Although
the fairways are slightly generous (when not holding a U.S. Open), missing one
will  cost you at least one shot and before you know it, breaking 90 or 100 is
out of the question.

How tough can this course play? Ask the best player in the world.

"If  [Bethpage Black] was set up the way we played the Open every day, I don't
think anybody would play golf anymore," added Woods.

Although the course went through extensive changes the past several years, the
layout  remains  intact, a Tillinghast  gem. Greens were enlarged to establish
additional pin placements. New teeing grounds were added to lengthen holes and
formulate  a  sterner test, and the  conditioning of the venue was improved to
heighten the beauty of the Black.

Woods  praised  the layout, saying, "I  think the golf course played extremely
fair in was right in front of you, come and get it."

The  Black is in  better shape than in 2002, but experiencing this great tract
is  not easy. The  price of admission is quite reasonable, with a top price of
just  $60 for  locals. It's  getting  a tee  time that's  next to  impossible.
Stories of golfers sitting in their cars overnight or calling for hours on end
are not uncommon, so you'll have to be creative.

What  makes Bethpage Black  even more unique is the fact that it is a "walking
only"  course, as golf  carts are not allowed. You'll have to grab a caddie or
hoof it on your own, but either way, it's worth the price of admission.

The  Black is truly a must play for the avid golfer, one of those "whatever it
takes"  kind  of venues. For the  player who is  not as avid, play a different
course  at Bethpage,  because  your  experience on  the  Black  could be  very
humbling. Hence the warning on the first tee.