Ultimate Golf Destinations Long Island

By Erik PetersonJune 10, 2009, 4:00 pm
Before 2002, the year Bethpage State Park became the first true public venue to host the U.S. Open, most people didnt know much about Long Island golf. And of those who did, most thought of it as a cluster of stuffy private clubs, not the public golf mecca it's known as today.
 
There are two public venues on Long Island that stand above the rest: Bethpage State Park and Eisenhower Park. Both have multiple golf courses designed by such renowned architects as A.W. Tillinghast and Robert Trent Jones. Built long before the existence of golf destinations as we know them, each facility reflects the simple, hard-working virtues that personified late-19th-century New York. In short, all of the courses are challenging, but with numerous tee boxes and simple routing, theres something for every type of golfer.
 
Bethpage State Park
There are five courses on this giant property, each designed by A.W. Tillinghast. They are simply named: Black, Red, Blue, Green and Yellow. Situated on 1,500 acres of rolling terrain on Long Island, Bethpage State Park is the largest public golf facility in the country. Throughout its storied history it has hosted more than 18 million rounds, and averages 300,000 annually.
 
Not surprisingly, the Black Course is the most difficult, with a slope/rating of 148/76.6. In 1997 Rees Jones redesigned the course to bring it up to modern U.S. Open standards, but he didnt diminish the original quality bestowed upon it by Tilinghast, who is also credited with the design of Winged Foot, Baltusrol and San Francisco Golf Club.
 
There is almost no out-of-bounds at the Black Course, and only one hole (the par-3 eighth) has water. In typical Tillinghast fashion, each hole is routed in such a way that there are no secrets, it's right out there in front of you. If you hit it straight you will have a chance to post par. Spray it, however, and you'll find yourself hacking out of the rough or one of the many deep bunkers that dot the course. Its a mind-numbingly simple design philosophy that wears on you unlike most other courses youll play.
 
The par-4 fourth hole at Bethpage Black.
The signature hole at the Black course is No. 4, a 517-yard par 5. A massive cross-cutting bunker strategically placed between the lower and upper fairways forces most players to hit a very solid second shot. For those who have the distance to reach the green in two, good luck. The green is protected by deep bunkers short, and the area behind the green is closely mown, with a steep drop-off behind the green into thick rough.
 
Bethpage head golf professional Joe Rehor remembers one player in particular whos intimidated by No. 4.
 
I remember at the 2002 Open, Tiger Woods went for this green in two in the first round, said Rehor. Although he was successful, he told me afterward that Id never see him try to hit that green in two again. Its just too dangerous.
 
Another hole at the 2002 U.S. Open that had players talking was No. 10. At 508 yards, this monster of a par 4 requires a 260-yard carry to reach the fairway. With the hole playing into the wind during the second round and the course very wet from heavy rains, the fairway was unreachable for some of the shorter hitters in the field. To ensure the problem doesnt occur again, the USGA brought the fairway back about 35 yards. Even now, its one of the toughest par 4s youll ever play.
 
While the Black Course gets all the attention at Bethpage, the Red, Blue, Green and Yellow courses are impressive in their own right, particularly the Red Course.
 
Bethpage State Park
Web site
 
How to get there
From Manhattan, take I-495 E to 135 S. Take exit 8 toward Bethpage. Turn left and follow the road through a roundabout to the main entrance.
 
How to play it
Book a tee time by calling (516) 249-0700. Read about how you can walk-on at the Black course here.
 
19th hole
After playing the Black course the clubhouse bar is a great place to share a pint and lick your wounds.
 
Many of the holes play to elevated greens well-protected by deep, deep bunkers. One such hole is the par-4, 459-yard 15th, which played as the most difficult hole at the 2002 U.S. Open. The two-tiered green sits some 50 feet above the fairway, and slopes severely from back left to front right. It was by far the slickest green on the course in '02. Hit it long and you'll have an almost impossible up-and-down; and, as is the case with most of the bunkers on the Black, if you come up short of the green there's a good chance your ball will plug in the fluffy sand.
 
Most people who have played both the Black and Red courses will tell you that the Red is very comparable to the Black. Give the Red Course a Rees Jones U.S. Open makeover and it could host the U.S. Open too, the first tee starter at the Red course said.
 
The first hole at the Red Course (127/76.6) is an uphill, 460-yard beast of a par 4 and is unquestionably the most difficult opening hole on Long Island. No. 18 is also a stern test. From beginning to end, the Red Course is one of the most underrated courses in the country, bookended by two memorable par 4s.
 
The Green Course (121/69.5) was the first course to open at Bethpage State Park, and was redesigned when the Black, Red and Blue courses opened. Considered the tamest course at the park, the Green Course is recommended for the novice golfer.
 
The Blue Course (124/76.6) is a challenging layout, and paired with the Black and the Red makes up the trio of original Tillinghast designs at Bethpage. Some of the hills at the Blue Course are severe, and blind shots are common. The front nine is more difficult than the back. It was redesigned in 1960 to make room for the Yellow Course.
 
The Yellow Course (120/76.6) is widely considered the easiest of the five at Bethpage, but from the back tees its a formidable challenge. Some of the original holes from Tillinghasts Blue Course can be seen from this par 71 layout.
 
Rates at Bethpage State Park: Black - $60, New York resident. $120, non-resident. Red - $46, resident. $92, non-resident. Blue, Green, Yellow - $41
 
Eisenhower Park
Located less than 20 minutes from Bethpage in the heart of Nassau County, Eisenhower Park sits on property once owned by Salisbury Country Club, host to the 1926 PGA Championship won by Walter Hagen. Additional public space was purchased by the county, making Eisenhower Park larger than New York's Central Park.
 
Eisenhower Red Golf Course
Web site
 
How to get there
From Manhattan, take I-495 E to Northern State Parkway E to Meadowbrook Parkway S. Make a left onto Stewart Ave. and take to park entrance.
 
How to play it
Book a tee time here or by calling 516-572-0427.
 
19th hole
The Palm Court Restaurant at the Carltun Hotel has a private cigar club, spacious wine cellar and live jazz.
 
Eisenhower boasts three 18-hole courses which, like Bethpage, are named after colors ' the Red, White and Blue. The Red Course is far and away the best of the three and the most sought-after for tee times. Designed in 1914 by Devereux Emmet, who also designed Garden City Golf Club, it most recently hosted the Commerce Bank Championship on the Champions Tour. The Red, which plays 7,199 yards from the tips and 6,518 yards from the middle tees, was a favorite stop of players on the Champions Tour, including Long Island teaching pro Darrell Kestner, who finished tied for 6th at the 2005 Commerce Bank Championship.
 
The 18th green at Eisenhower Red course.
'It's one golf course that has stood the test of time,' said Kestner. 'It's very straight forward. Long, demanding off the tee, very tight fairways, small greens. And there's some nice movement to the fairways. It's a ball-striker's paradise.'
 
It's also a public golfer's paradise because of the price. The weekday rate for residents is $36 and for non-residents $45. On the weekends, the rates increase slightly to $41 and $49, respectively. That's less than half of what it costs to play Bethpage Black.
 
'It's one of the all-time best values for a public golf course,' said Kestner.
 
And the course is a lot friendlier than the Black, says Kestner, who also played in the 2002 U.S. Open at Bethpage.
 
'If you enjoy shooting a real high score you'll like the Black,' joked Kestner. 'I don't know too many golfers who like that. The 15-handicapper can shoot 85 on the Red Course at Eisenhower, but he's not going to break 100 on the Black. It's going to play five to 10 shots easier, at least.
 
The White Course (6,932 yards from tips, 6,409 middle tees) was designed in 1950 by Robert Trent Jones, whose list of notable course designs include Spyglass Hill and Hazeltine National Golf Club, site of this year's PGA Championship. Jones also designed the Blue Course, which is the shortest of the three layouts (6,026 yards from tips, 5,705 yards from middle tees).
 
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CareerBuilder purse payouts: Rahm wins $1.062 million

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 12:50 pm

Jon Rahm defeated Andrew Landry on the fourth hole of sudden death to win the CareerBuilder Challenger. Here's a look at how the purse was paid out in La Quinta, Calif.:

1 Jon Rahm -22 $1,062,000
2 Andrew Landry -22 $637,200
T3 Adam Hadwin -20 $306,800
T3 John Huh -20 $306,800
T3 Martin Piller -20 $306,800
T6 Kevin Chappell -19 $205,025
T6 Scott Piercy -19 $205,025
T8 Brandon Harkins -18 $171,100
T8 Jason Kokrak -18 $171,100
T8 Sam Saunders -18 $171,100
T11 Harris English -17 $135,700
T11 Seamus Power -17 $135,700
T11 Jhonattan Vegas -17 $135,700
T14 Bud Cauley -16 $106,200
T14 Austin Cook -16 $106,200
T14 Grayson Murray -16 $106,200
T17 Andrew Putnam -15 $88,500
T17 Peter Uihlein -15 $88,500
T17 Aaron Wise -15 $88,500
T20 Ricky Barnes -14 $57,754
T20 Stewart Cink -14 $57,754
T20 Brian Harman -14 $57,754
T20 Beau Hossler -14 $57,754
T20 Charles Howell III -14 $57,754
T20 Zach Johnson -14 $57,754
T20 Ryan Palmer -14 $57,754
T20 Brendan Steele -14 $57,754
T20 Nick Taylor -14 $57,754
T29 Lucas Glover -13 $36,706
T29 Russell Knox -13 $36,706
T29 Nate Lashley -13 $36,706
T29 Tom Lovelady -13 $36,706
T29 Kevin Streelman -13 $36,706
T29 Hudson Swafford -13 $36,706
T29 Richy Werenski -13 $36,706
T36 Jason Dufner -12 $27,189
T36 Derek Fathauer -12 $27,189
T36 James Hahn -12 $27,189
T36 Chez Reavie -12 $27,189
T36 Webb Simpson -12 $27,189
T36 Tyrone Van Aswegen -12 $27,189
T42 Bronson Burgoon -11 $18,983
T42 Ben Crane -11 $18,983
T42 Brian Gay -11 $18,983
T42 Chesson Hadley -11 $18,983
T42 Patton Kizzire -11 $18,983
T42 Hunter Mahan -11 $18,983
T42 Kevin Na -11 $18,983
T42 Rob Oppenheim -11 $18,983
T50 Alex Cejka -10 $14,025
T50 Corey Conners -10 $14,025
T50 Michael Kim -10 $14,025
T50 Kevin Kisner -10 $14,025
T50 Sean O'Hair -10 $14,025
T50 Sam Ryder -10 $14,025
T50 Nick Watney -10 $14,025
T57 Robert Garrigus -9 $13,039
T57 Tom Hoge -9 $13,039
T57 David Lingmerth -9 $13,039
T57 Ben Martin -9 $13,039
T57 Trey Mullinax -9 $13,039
T57 Brett Stegmaier -9 $13,039
T63 Scott Brown -8 $12,449
T63 Wesley Bryan -8 $12,449
T63 Brice Garnett -8 $12,449
T63 Sung Kang -8 $12,449
T67 Talor Gooch -7 $12,095
T67 Tom Whitney -7 $12,095
T69 Matt Every -6 $11,623
T69 Billy Hurley III -6 $11,623
T69 Smylie Kaufman -6 $11,623
T69 Keith Mitchell -6 $11,623
T69 Rory Sabbatini -6 $11,623
T69 Chris Stroud -6 $11,623
75 John Peterson -5 $11,210
76 Abraham Ancer -4 $11,092
77 Ben Silverman 4 $10,974
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After Further Review: Tiger's return comes at perfect time

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 2:19 am

Each week, GolfChannel.com takes a look back at the week in golf. Here's what's weighing on our writers' minds.

On the current state of golf as Tiger Woods returns to competition ...

Less than four days before Tiger Woods returns to official competitive golf for the first time in a year, Jon Rahm, the new second-ranked player in the world, won on the PGA Tour and Rory McIlroy made an impressive 2018 debut on the European Tour (T-3).

Not since Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus crossed paths at the 1960 U.S. Open has there been so many superstars all poised for big seasons, with world No. 1 Dustin Johnson having already won this year and Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas both coming off stellar seasons.

It’s a good time for golf. - Rex Hoggard


On Tommy Fleetwood's continued success ...

There have been scores of talented European players whose skills didn’t translate to the PGA Tour … and maybe, in a few years, Tommy Fleetwood will prove to be no different.

He sure looks like the real deal, though.  

His title defense in Abu Dhabi – on the strength of a back-nine 30 in windy conditions – was his third title in the past 12 months and 11th top-10 overall. A few of those have come in majors and World Golf Championship events, too, which led the reigning Race to Dubai champion to accept PGA Tour membership for this season.

Beginning at Riviera, he plans to play exclusively in the States through May, then reassess for the rest of the year. Hope he sticks, because he’s a fun personality with tons of game. - Ryan Lavner

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Rahm passes Spieth to become world No. 2

By Nick MentaJanuary 22, 2018, 1:25 am

With his win Sunday at the CareerBuilder Challenge, Jon Rahm picked up his second PGA Tour victory and moved to No. 2 in the FedExCup points standings.

He picked up one more No. 2, too.

The 23-year-old Spaniard passed Jordan Spieth to move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, behind only Dustin Johnson.

In 19 months, since June 2016, Rahm has rocketed from No. 776 in the world to No. 2, thanks in part to his low divisor, his number of events played.

Asked after his playoff victory over Andrew Landry to discuss his rapid ascent up the world rankings, Rahm was almost at a loss.

“It's hard to believe to be honest, passing Jordan Spieth,” he said. “That's a three-time major champion. I only have two wins. He's got 10-plus, right? It's again – I've said it many times – I never thought I was going to be at this point in my life right now.”

Rahm may only have two PGA Tour titles, but this is his fourth worldwide win in the last year, dating back to last season’s Farmers Insurance Open. He also took the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open and the DP World Tour Championship on his way to claiming the European Tour’s 2017 Rookie of the Year Award.

Dating back to the start of last season on the PGA Tour, Rahm has racked up 12 top-10s, three runner-ups, and two wins.

He will head to Torrey Pines next week ready to defend for the first time.

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Brady compares self to Woods after winning AFC title

By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 1:05 am

Tom Brady and Tiger Woods are two of the all-time greats in their respective sports ... a fact that is not lost on the five-time Super Bowl winning quarterback.

Fresh off leading the New England Patriots to a AFC Championship victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars, Brady was asked about winning the game despite a cut on his throwing hand - which made national news heading into the matchup.

His response invoked the name of a certain 14-time major winner, something that would be tough to pull off, if not for the fact that he is, you know, Tom Brady.

“I think it's kind of arrogant to say it bothered me when we had a pretty good game, so I wouldn't say that," the 40-year-old told reporters after the game. "It's like when Tiger Woods said, ‘That was my C game’ and he won the tournament."

Tiger Woods winning with his "C game" may be a distant memory for golf fans, but no matter what game he brings, his next chance to win comes next week at Torrey Pines during his official comeback to the PGA Tour.

Brady has a shot at his sixth Super Bowl title in two weeks. The Patriots would probably benefit from him bringing a little better than his "C game" as well.