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99 Quaker Meeting House Rd
Farmingdale, NY  11735-1847
United States
P: (516) 249-0701
F: (516) 249-1530
Black Course

18 hole regulation length course

Municipal golf course

71 par | 7,065 yards | 144 slope

75.4 rating | Rye grass

Recommend this course: +1 -0

Black Golf Course Description

The 18-hole "Black" course at the Bethpage State Park Golf Course facility in Farmingdale, New York features 7,065 yards of golf from the longest tees for a par of 71. The course rating is 75.4 and it has a slope rating of 144 on Rye grass. Designed by A.W. Tillinghast, the Black golf course opened in 1936. Confer Bethpage manages this facility.

Course Reviews

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My day as a 20 handicapper at The Black.

Our 8:12 tee time was called and there are 4 people already on the tee box, not knowing two are hired caddies, another golfer in the foursome behind us started complaining to the starter, welcome to New York. We walked down onto the tees area and apologized for the arrogant NY golfer behind us who was complaining. Before teeing off, I told our two playing partners, we were only out here to have a good time, subliminal message, we suck and will stay out of your way as much as possible and not slow you down.
Standing on the tee box, you just look out and see a 40 to 50 yard drop on the first hole and the beauty of the surroundings. The Black Course was as tough as I thought it was going to be, walking and pulling the golf cart up and down this very hilly course was burtal and very exhausting. On a beautiful sunny but cold day, I shot a round of 109 with a few mulligans, come on it is a US Open Course!

Designed by A.W. Tillinghast, Bethpage opened in May of 1936. The course was given 3 million from the USGA and was renovated from 1997-1998 by Reese Jones. The atmosphere walking up to the first tee could not get any better, especially with the signature Bethpage Sign which reads. "The Black Course is an extremely difficult course which we recommend only for highly skilled golfers." Right from the start you know that this course will test your game in every faucet. As you might expect with a top-notch course, it is immaculate. From the tee box to the greens you will not be disappointed with the maintenance of the golf course. The rough is long and thick, but still fair for the average golfer. The course is extremely long with narrow fairways and extremely large and in some areas deep bunkers. There is only one hole where water actually comes into play. Because of the length you will be hitting a variety of irons into moderate sized greens, surrounded by large bunkers. All of your tee shots will demand a great deal of accuracy and power.

After the round, we walked around the club house looking at all the pictures, etc... and hit the extensive pro shop.

FROM THE WEB SITE: 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, will again host the U.S. Open in 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. 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. Our National Championship will again return to the Black in 2009. The narrow fairways, high roughs, well placed bunkers and small greens help to make this an extremely difficult course.The Black Course is closed Mondays for course maintenance except holidays.

COURSE CONDITION: The course was in excellent shape, and except for a few areas of dead fescue grass, they are ready for the 2009 US Open now. No divots in the tee boxes or fairways, no pitch marks on the greens, but the greens were rolling slowly.

FACILITIES: Bethpage State Park provides top notch practice facilities, pro shop, locker room, restaurant, tennis courts, hiking trails, bridle path and picnic area.

SHOT OF THE DAY: Hole #8, Par 3, 191 Yards: Tee box sits 60 to 70 feet above the tee box with a pond front left of the green and a hill to the right of the green at the same elevation as the tee box covered with fescue grass. Take out my 18 degree rescue club, hit it on top of the hill on the right. I trek up the hill and find my ball deep in the 12” grass. I open up my 9 iron and swing through the grass, hitting a high shot. The ball hits the base of the slope of the hill and rolls to about 2 feet from the pin, one putt for par.

SUGGESTIONS AND COMMENTS: If you get a chance to play the Black Course, no matter your handicap, go and do it. I read numerous blogs and articles on the Black Course, warning golfers how hard it is and only highly skilled golfers should play it. Well, I’m a 20 handicap and loved it, and will play it again. Do you need your A+ game and extra balls, yes, if you love golf, you will love this course and want to play it again. And remember, walking only, NO CARTS. Did I get a physical and mental beating, hell yea, and it was worth it! There is a half way house between holes 5 and 6 which also can be accessed half way down fairway #11 on the left side.

GOLFNERDNESS: Walking only, no carts on the Black Course. Go play it, don’t worry about your handicap, just keep pace. The two guys we played with were better than us and on the back nine we keep waiting for them and their caddies to find their golf balls. Walk and play the links of past champion, Tiger Woods!

This is by far the hardest course I have ever played, makes Galloway National Golf Club (my previous hardest course ever played) look like a playground.

For all your local golf information, check out www.twooverpar.com!

My favorite course in all the world (native Long Islander).
Okay, I play to about about a 10 and my low on the Black is a 92. Here is my hole by hole play-card I think will get me below 85 on the black.

#1 - take 3 wood (1st hole) tee it up high so you dont top it. this hole should be a 3 wood & 5 iron

#2- 3 wood and 6/7 iron... whatever you think your 2nd shot yardage is its one extra club... over the green & left is safe. so play it that direction.

#2- I over shot this green w/ an 8 iron (i was playing to the skinny part on the left side) - depending where the tee is (up / down) will dictate which club you pull... NO MATTER WHAT- PLAY TO THE FAT PART OF THE GREEN - IE - THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE GREEN.

#4- Here is a chance to pull driver- aim center of the first fairway- dont try to play left - just hit the fairway is fine. the remainder of the whole... just make sure you play up the right side(dont be scared) aim off the part of the glacier bunker (on the right side of the bunker) that looks like a pair of nuts (no joke), and continue to play along the right side the whole hole.

#5- this one is not as long as it looks. just poke D / 3W out over the center of the wast bunker (dont try and clear it along the rigt side) - and take one extra club on your 2nd. (back of green is safe here! so play it long)

****** get hot dog & gatorade at the snack bar***** youll need it.

#6- if your hitting driver straight - hit driver. if not hit 3 wood, if not hit 4 iron. Just make sure you are straight on this one. - the hole really opens up nicely once you get up the hill- youll have to dial in your irons on this one... THIS TIME TAKE ONE CLUB LESS!!!! it plays down hill and with the wind... back of the green is big trouble.

#7 - a harmless par of 5 - except for the 3 acre wide glacier bunker.
Just play it center of the bunker and get in the fair way. than you can hit 3w, 4 or even 5 as your lay up.
dont go over the green- to the right and short is safer than left and long.

#8 - a long and beautiful par 3- I hit 3 wood short on this one last time. It plays MUCH longer than it looks. its either 3 w or 4 iron. - the green is about 3 yards deep. so use the whole green. dont worry about over, short is where the trouble is.

#9- driver definitely. Wide open fairway - do not go left. - should be a 9 iron / 8 iron in. can of corn this whole is.

******take a leak and eat a power bar, things are about to get fun**************

#10- you have to hit driver if you want to have a chance at getting to the green in 2. This is a long par 4.
make sure you pick a club that will get you to the green on the 2nd shot. - bunkers in the front, false back in the rear.

#11- par 4 - piece of cake- should be driver mid iron. - just make sure you stay out of the fescue on the right. take 3 w on tee if youve been hitting it straight.

#12.- You can clear the bunker - go for it.

#13- par 5 that should be an easy par. you wont reach the 1st bunker on your first shot. and on your second shot you should be able to clear the 2nd buker on left - 2nd shot- aim to the left side of the fairway - easy chip for your 3rd shot.

#14 - par 3 - take one extra club... it should be a 7 iron, NOT AN 8 . the green is huge, you will not overshoot it w/ a 7 - trust me.

#15 - play this one as a par 5- its a driver 3w /4iron hole. just make sure you club up to get it up to the green.

#16- beautiful par 4. Bombs away on this one. -- you can take 3 wood long iron for this one... but driver will be more fun. just grip & rip on this one. Make sure you commit to a yardage on 2nd shot. left of green is bad, right of green is bad. - short ok.

#17- club up- aim back left - its the only bail out spot. make sure you get it there.

#18 - take 3 wood. DO NOT HIT driver ON 18. Club up to get it on to the elevated green - long is good here - so make sure you club up!

**** have beer, lick wounds****

Before you go, go on ebay, locate the seller "tl_dealz_4_u!" and order the OFFICIAL Bethpage BLACK Tour Issued yardage Book for the BLACK course ($135.00) first, it's the right step, and the BEST INVESTMENT,...you're doomed without it!

The Black Course (in my opinion) is one of the MOST Challenging Golf Courses in ALL the World. It's the ONLY golf course that comes with a WARNING Sign on the first hole, hung on a railing (that should be amended to say, beyond this point, 5-1/2 hours, endurance needed, 285 yard drives a MUST* and no putt should vary outside the center of the hole). Followed by the words,...If you Play here, you can play ANYWHERE in the WORLD from the TIPS (assuming you start at the tips on the first hole). Your first move on the first hole is to CHOOSE the right tees; If you choose the Whites, it means you don't belong on the BLACK and will HACK your way around, so, enjoy your walk as a TOURIST and should you CHOOSE the Black tees, the BLACK will eat your ego, tempered by your first drive. (In addition to meaning you'll NOT BREAK 90 the first, second nor third time you play. This is a the true "PEOPLES" course that introduce you to storied friends from EVERY WALK of life; in the past I've played with a Mayor, a player from Japan, a teacher, a fireman and a kid (on each occassion. The BLACK Course let you know where you stand in GOLF. It can NOT be faked, it's REAL, it's "The BLACK",...Tiger Woods won, for ALL the Right reasons during the 2002 US OPEN. This course is the course to point out what's wrong with your game; I found, that I wasn't LONG enough of the tees with my driver, my long irons need checking, my putter lie angle needed to be more UPRIGHT and the line of each putt need to hold the line on the way in. By the time I reached the 10th, I had just enough time to catch my breathe, however, not adjust my ability, skill nor game. When I reached the 17th I was disappointed to realize that is was it was ALL about to come to an end. Coupled with exiting the 18th green, I gained fellowed troops in my foursome, and I looked back to discover I had NOT concord the BLACK,...that I appreciated LIFE and the game we love! For less than $105.00 (during the week for an out of state resident) you can trek the course that the BEST had challenged, and bettered the course a bit more than me, but the BLACK levels EVERYONE that does NOT heed the WARNING SIGN on the first tee. "The BLACK is an EXTREMELY difficult golf course that should be challanged by ONLY the Highest Skilled Players" (It's UNFORGIVING),...it's TRUE and REAL! Note: There is ONLY ONE Player that I know of that has EVER bettered PAR during the US OPEN,...and he WON! (Tiger Woods). The next player was Even Par,...Phil. ("EVERYBODY ELSE!!!" ...the BEST in the WORLD was OVER PAR,....so, should you Break 90 or 80,...you can PLAY ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD! A few TOUR Players, on the Par 4 (during the US OPEN) couldn't DRIVE past the bunkers on the 12th, and make the fairway (No names mentioned; however, I ALWAYS do). If you EVER need a fourth in the carline the night before I'm available, if you contact me days in advance tourpro19710@yahoo.com (Member at the TPC Sawgrass).

The only review you'll ever need.....

The sign in front of the first tee says it all--Extremely difficult, recommended for highly skilled golfers only. I understand the fascination the average golfer has with playing a course the pros have played but understand, this course will EAT YOU ALIVE, spit out the bones and wait for its next meal, especially if you don't have nearly every shot in the bag. Can't hit a fairway to save your life?bring at least two dozen balls. Can't get out of the sand? My deepest sympathies. Can't get out of the rough? Better hope you can pick up and throw quicker than your playing partner can pay attention. Can't control your speed on putts? I hope you have some money invested in anger management classes or a good supply of adult beverages to cool you off. I call myself a very good golfer and yet, every time I play, I walk off the 18th green feeling a sense of accomplishment if I shoot anything better than an 85. Tee to green, the toughest course I have ever played...and I have played a lot of them. I would like to see some water on more holes. I wish you could take either a cart or a ski lift on the last four holes and I really wish they could construct a decent driving range. Other than that, I still get butterflies walking onto the first tee and look forward to the challenge ahead. Oh yeah, getting a tee time on the Black isn't easy but spending the night in the parking lot is part of the fun...just get a good nights rest the day before-otherwise you'll be absolutely exhausted by the time you reach the uphill 480 yd. 15th--the HARDEST HOLE YOU WILL EVER PLAY. Be warned. Have fun!!

What a fabulous course. The conditions are incredible - the fairways are immacculate, the greens are firm, fast, and true, the bunkers are deep and filled sand so soft and so white, you'll think you're on Augusta National. The rough isn't all that high, but it's extremely thick.

And the layout... wow. Just about every hole demands that you shape the ball precisely off the tee if you want to be in optimal position. Diagonal hazards and narrowing fairways tempt you with risk-reward shots like almost no other course. The greens are generally elevated, tiny little postage stamps guarded by deep bunkers that will swallow your ball - and maybe even you - whole. Thick rough and fescue grasses surrond the fairways and greens. You'll need to bring your A+ aerial game for this course - there are basically no opportunities to run the ball up to the green.

You'll also need to bring the power. The course typically tops out about 7,100 yards from the back tees, but plays much longer - it's a par 71, the length comes almost exclusively on the par 4s (the par 5s are surprisingly short - and reachable), and the huge elevation changes add immensely to the playing length. It'll feel more like a 7,300 yarder. Even the whites, at 6,800 yards, play closer to 7,000 in terms of club selection.

Amazing course. It's hosted the US Open twice in the last decade yet still only costs New York State residents $75 to play on weekends. Conditions are typically great.

Regarding what tees to play, PLEASE do yourself and others a favor and stay away from the blue tees unless you can consistently break 80 from the whites. I've played this course tons of times and maybe only once or twice did I see someone play from the blues that really belonged there. On this course it's not just about how far you can hit it... you need to be accurate and consistent. A 300 yard drive that misses the fairway by a yard can be toast. For normal play the blues are almost never setup even close to the 7,500 yard number on the card so just play the whites and enjoy the challenge. (Or else you'll be one of these hackers that plays the blues and shoots 95+ while everyone else rolls their eyes :-) ).

By the time you've finished walking 18 here you'll be both physically and mentally exhausted... but you'll be glad you came and anxious to battle the beast again.

Just a great course. A real thrill to play the same course that hosts the US Open. Extremely difficult, so if you are not a very good golfer, do yourself and everyone else a favor and opt for one of the other Bethpage tracks. I played AWFUL that day, which was very frustrating, but I must say I thought the course was mostly fair although very difficult. It's very long, but the fairways are fairly wide. Even if you drive the ball well, which I did not, you are often hitting very long irons or fairway woods into the greens. The greens were fairly fast, but very true.

The facilities are not very good for suck a great course. Nice pro shop and an OK bar and restaurant. The driving range stinks. Can't hit driver there and I was about to go out and play a course where you need to hit a ton of drivers?!?! The traps were not that well raked, but that is more a function of poor etiquette as opposed to poor maintenance.

Wow what can I say. Played it 8/24/07. Conditions beautiful. Rough crazy long. 10 yards off the fairway is heather grass knee-high. Long enough from the whites with the hazards and rough. Sand and waste bunkers everywhere. 15 is nasty and doesn't look that difficult from the tee. Hit the ball straight and make sure you practice chipping around the greens from thick, above the ankle rough. Took some getting used to for me. HIGHLY recommend for decent golfer, hackers will be frustrated with length and penial rough and bunkers.

Get food and drink on 6th hole, only place and time to get it until after 18! Found out the hard way.

They force you to walk and I am a walker, but this course is NOT easy to walk. MANY steep hills. Pull cart is only $5 and well worth it. Even if you walk normally.

lol this is so funny....obviously u guys have never played in Iowa...try 450 yard par 4's up hill into a green 1/10 the size of normal greens on the pga. this is the first 3 holes at my home course 1. 450 par 4 up hill into a green around 15-20 feet across 2. 220 par 3...blind tee shot with water behind the green and once again a green around 15 feet across 3. 600 yard par 5 with huge trees on both sides of the fairway...the fairway is around 35 yards wide into once again a tiny 20 foot green. now try playing that then look at courses like this and they dont seem so tough anymore with their huge greens and hard fairways that give you 50 yards of roll(in Iowa you get around 10) im not saying that black isnt hard im just saying that it can get worse.

Amazing golf experience. You must play it and you will want to play it again as soon as you can. PLEASE keep the pce of play moving though otherwise I will be yelling at ya :) Very Tough to score on but easier than described from the various forward tee boxes IF the rough is not too bad. once the rough is up it is brutal from any Tees. The Black Rough is Legendary. The pros at US Open in the rain and mud must have been in hell. BEAUTIFUL golf course, amazing history. A MUST PLAY. Contrary to popular belief there are phone reservations available. just not easy to get. Walking only - keep moving!

I live 8 miles from the Black. I have played it often. If you truly believe you are an above average low capper, you will be despondent when you walk off 18. Then again, if you can accept the reality that you will be lucky to break 95 from the white tees, then you will enjoy a round of golf which will probably never be equaled in your life. You will be exhausted when you finish, but you will have a "Glow" that will last a week. It is truly a "Must Play" for any serious golfer. Enjoy!!! Ron Y, Huntington, L.I., NY

I play here at least 2-3 per month. Hit your fairways. From the thick rough, take the safest way onto the fairways. This course will most certainly make you pay for the mistakes. Challenge yourself and enjoy on THE greatest public course in the world, but expect to score high. Add about 10 to your usual handicap from the white tees. Forget about the blue tees unless you are scratch golfer. I've seen many wrist and elbow injuries trying to dig out of thick bushes. Beware, play at your own risk.

got lucky and got a tee time as an out of stater. just keep on calling all night and the next day for tee times to maybe catch someones cancellation. the course was immaculate - perfect condition, ready for the open (some grandstands and tents were already set up throughout the course). but damn it was difficult. rough was extra long and fairways were extra narrow. but well worth the drive out to bethpage and the out of state green fees. i would definitely recommend a pull cart though.

WOW!!!!!! This is the true test of golf.The course will destroy you both mentally and physically.You must put the ball in the fairway to even have a chance at par.If you miss the green, all you have to look foward to is 6 to 8 inch thick rough.On par threes, you must hit the greens or your looking at a big number.I'm a 10 handicap and this course kick my butt.The best golf round of my life and would recommend anyone under a 15 handicap to try it.Over 15 don't waste your time.

4 handicap here, this course is really tough, rough is brutal, the day i played they were doing maintenance on some of the back tees, but even playing them up it is tough, if you hit real errant shots - forget it, the fescue will eat your ball up and you won't find it, huge piece of property and very scenic, i will make effort to play again and hopefully drive the ball better next time. Probably the only course in the country where you can truly get USOPEN experience.

Was so jazzed, then....

Played it today (10/26/06). I liked the layout, but I wasn't floored by it. Course was in pretty rough shape; a lot of work is going to be needed before the 2009 Open. Was very windy, which adds to the difficulty since it's a long course, but I still think there are better designs and value at other courses in the area. As a non-resident, $86 was a bit steep for a course you have to walk, and considering the condition. Probably won't go back.

Stay off the black course unless you are a 10 or better hcp. I really enjoyed playing here. Need to be long and accurate. Greens were in fantastic condition. Bethpage is a large nat'l park with several courses. Black being the most difficult and demanding. Went to NY on business and stayed in a hotel nearby, hit the driving range and paired with three locals. Had a nice dinner in bar area. Lot of golf history here..

The Bethpage Black

Theres a sign in front for a reason that says "The Black Course is for highly extremely good golfers" and thats true.....Im not a great golfer but then again im only 14 and from a young kid the 15th hole too the 18th hole..have fun is all i have to say its a great course but very hard the key to playing this course is to keep it cool....dont get mad at yourself and just keep playing..

very difficult

Incredibly difficult to score well on. Many, if not most of the 4's play like 4.5 pars. Greens are true and fast. You'll never sink more 15 footers for par. The last 4 holes are very tough with 15 the most difficult par 4 most will ever see. All in all a bear to play. Hard to imagine it as your regular saturday game.




  • This Month
  • This Year
  • Latest Scores
Rank Golfer Name Handicap Gross Net Date
1 Gargoyle44 20 95 75 08/13/17
Rank Golfer Name Handicap Gross Net Date
1 Gargoyle44 20 95 75 08/13/17
2 c_tsutsui 17 93 76 05/10/17
Golfer Name Handicap Gross Net Date
Gargoyle44 20 95 75 08/13/17
c_tsutsui 17 93 76 05/10/17
ken4037 11 92 81 11/05/15
Soojirific 22 101 79 10/04/15
tmansfield 34 115 81 05/26/14

Golf Course Information

About Bethpage State Park, Black

Bethpage State Park Golf Course

Park facility

Managed by Confer Bethpage

26 tees driving range

90 regulation holes

Tournaments of Bethpage State Park, Black

No local tournaments listed for this course.

Course Staff

Joe Rehor, Director of Golf
Andy Wilson, Superintendent


Don Laughlin Scored 90 at Citrus Hills, Oaks Hernando, Florida

Luke Moeller Scored 74 at River Run Berlin, Maryland

Luke Moeller Scored a Birdie at Hole 17 of River Run Berlin, Maryland

Luke Moeller Scored a Birdie at Hole 15 of River Run Berlin, Maryland

Luke Moeller Scored 83 at Old South Lothian, Maryland

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