Bethpage ( Black)
Bethpage State Park, a mecca for public golf featuring five 18-hole regulation golf courses including the world-renowned Black Course which was the site of the United States Open in 2002 and 2009. Bethpage State Park was developed from an estate owned by the Yoakum family and other properties. The Yoakum family leased their estate to the Lenox Hills Corporation which subsequently used the property to build the Lenox Hills Country Club.
In the early 1930s, the Bethpage Park Authority purchased the Lenox Hills Country Club and other adjacent properties to build what we now know as Bethpage State Park. Famed golf course architect A.W. Tillinghast was hired to design and oversee construction of three new golf courses (Black, Red and Blue) as well as modify the Lenox Hills Course which became the Green Course. Due to the increased demand for golf, the Yellow Course designed by Alfred Tull was opened in 1958. Approximately 300,000 rounds are played annually on the five courses at Bethpage, all of which start from the Clubhouse area.
The Black Course is a difficult and challenging course that should be played only by low-handicap golfers. The course is for walkers only and its slope rating is one of the highest in the northeast. Anyone who has played will tell you it is a true test of golf skill and physical endurance. This was one of the last courses designed by master golf course architect A.W. Tillinghast, and is said by many to be his finest work. The Black Course served as the site of the 102nd U.S. Open Championship in 2002, and again at the 109th U.S. Open in 2009. The Barclays is scheduled to be played here in 2012, adding another major event to the list played at Bethpage. The narrow fairways, high roughs, well placed bunkers and small greens help to make this an extremely difficult course. It regularly ranks among the best courses in the country. Golfweek rated it the #1 best municipal course for 09-10, and again in 10-11, and it made their list of the top 100 classic American golf courses. It also made the Golf Digest’s top 100 American public and private course list in 2005, and was number 7 on their Top 100 American Public Courses. Golf Magazine included it on their Top 100 Courses in the World, and ranked it 10th in the Top Courses Since 1959.