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Newsday

Melville, NY

#1 Apr 24, 2009
Whether it was a huge round, a great birdie putt, or even a hole in one, we want to hear your best stories about the legendary Bethpage Black.
Tom Tunison

Binghamton, NY

#2 Jun 5, 2009
Playing with my good buddy Craig back in the early 1980's we both cleared the bunker off the tee on #12 on the left hand side to try to shorten the hole. Feat accomplished with identicle shots. As we approached our golf balls we easily found his but could not find mine. Upon further inspection we discovered that a rabbit was sitting on top of my ball! Silly rabbit. Bethpage Black is amazing in every way!
Bill

Hialeah, FL

#5 Jun 5, 2009
I lived in Farmingdale and caddied at Bethpage in the the mid 50's and played the courses through the mid 60's. Each course was good, however, the Black was something special. In a high school match I beat my opponent with a birdie on the 17th. It's a shot I'll never forget, inches from an ace. I think Roger Maltbie should do tee interviews throughout the tournament. I always thought Black #2 was the hardest hole on the course. My best round was 88 with birdies on #5 & #14.....my best Bethpage moment was March 16,1966 when I made a hole in one on the 17th of the Blue course. I hope a player gives Tiger a run in the Open.
Big Moe 33

Wake Forest, NC

#6 Jun 5, 2009
I remember the sign, at the first tee, that reminded everyone that the Black course was extremely difficult and should only be played by accomplished golfers. Being Long Islanders nobody obeyed it and I remember guys duffing their tee shots off number one, including me.
Nature Boy

Cedar Knolls, NJ

#7 Jun 5, 2009
During my 20 year addiction to golf I played The Black many times. Most of the time the course had it's way with me in that the best score I could manage to post was an 82....from the white tees.

Though one overcast, drizzly morning I was playing well out of my norm. I am even through six and pull the drive left off 7 tee. As I appraoch my ball, which was in the rough, I notice a fallen, hollowed out tree providing cover for about 6 or 7 fox cubs who were enjoying their new lives in the park.

When they noticed me they stopped and stared, their heads bobbing to and fro...apparently not sure if I was friend or foe. As I looked beyond them into the brush I noticed Mama Fox also keeping a watchful eye on me. Trying not to disturb their fun, I hit my shot and went on to post a 78 that day. My best round ever on The Black.

For me, an animal and nature lover, this was a joyous occassion. For me, enjoying the outdoors and taking in what nature has to offer is just as much a part of the golfing experience as making pars and an ocassional birdie.

This is why I welcomed the PGA tour with some amount of ambivilance. I knew when the tour arrived to preen up the course, that the hallowed log, which provided a natural temporary home for Mama Fox and her cubs would be removed. I knew the course would lose much of it's natural charm once the corporate world had their way with our public park course.

Personally, I was against the PGA coming to The Page. I knew this one event would transform our public park into something more than a public park...and I was right.

For a lousy $400,000 in extra annual income, Pataki and his parks commissioner turned our public historic clubhouse into a private catering hall that had no business operating on public property. The price of refreshments jumped 15-20 percent. In less then two years our public park became a money maker for the state...instead of a public service offered to it's residents.

And worst of all, every local or out of state duffer with a set of clubs and limited golfing skills came out of the woodwork and wanted to play The Black. They didn't seem to mind spending five or six hours playing a round of golf that should be completed in about four hours. For me, this was the end of golf at The Page.

When the PGA came to The Page, I reluctantly took my golf game out east.
Calise

Baltimore, MD

#10 Jun 8, 2009
This took place while I was playing in a high school match in 1997 for Bethpage HS. Just to let everyone know how difficult #5 can be. Luckily I ended up winning the match by 2 strokes due to the fact I was 2 under on holes 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, and 9. What made it close was the crowd pleasing 13 I took on #5. To this day I think it is still the toughest hole I have ever played.
Newsday wrote:
Whether it was a huge round, a great birdie putt, or even **** in one, we want to hear your best stories about the legendary Bethpage Black.
Calise

Baltimore, MD

#11 Jun 8, 2009
I agree though it was nice to see our corse on the National Stage it did put an end to a great era of golf in one of the worlds best golfing facilities.
Nature Boy wrote:
During my 20 year addiction to golf I played The Black many times. Most of the time the course had it's way with me in that the best score I could manage to post was an 82....from the white tees.
Though one overcast, drizzly morning I was playing well out of my norm. I am even through six and pull the drive left off 7 tee. As I appraoch my ball, which was in the rough, I notice a fallen, hollowed out tree providing cover for about 6 or 7 fox cubs who were enjoying their new lives in the park.
When they noticed me they stopped and stared, their heads bobbing to and fro...apparently not sure if I was friend or foe. As I looked beyond them into the brush I noticed Mama Fox also keeping a watchful eye on me. Trying not to disturb their fun, I hit my shot and went on to post a 78 that day. My best round ever on The Black.
For me, an animal and nature lover, this was a joyous occassion. For me, enjoying the outdoors and taking in what nature has to offer is just as much a part of the golfing experience as making pars and an ocassional birdie.
This is why I welcomed the PGA tour with some amount of ambivilance. I knew when the tour arrived to preen up the course, that the hallowed log, which provided a natural temporary home for Mama Fox and her cubs would be removed. I knew the course would lose much of it's natural charm once the corporate world had their way with our public park course.
Personally, I was against the PGA coming to The Page. I knew this one event would transform our public park into something more than a public park...and I was right.
For a lousy $400,000 in extra annual income, Pataki and his parks commissioner turned our public historic clubhouse into a private catering hall that had no business operating on public property. The price of refreshments jumped 15-20 percent. In less then two years our public park became a money maker for the state...instead of a public service offered to it's residents.
And worst of all, every local or out of state duffer with a set of clubs and limited golfing skills came out of the woodwork and wanted to play The Black. They didn't seem to mind spending five or six hours playing a round of golf that should be completed in about four hours. For me, this was the end of golf at The Page.
When the PGA came to The Page, I reluctantly took my golf game out east.
Bob the golfer

Brooklyn, NY

#12 Jun 8, 2009
As a lifelong resident of Bethpage for 54 years and a golf nut I can remember before the USGA ever came to Bethpage. The Black was unkept and almost unplayable if you missed the fairway. Who remembers the rough on the right side of 16. If you were in there it was not rough, it was lost. You could not put a tee in the ground on most tee boxes. You could not hold the green if you landed on it as it was like asphalt. Since the USGA has come all 5 courses at Bethpage have benefited. Bethpage has become the best public facility in the country. Where else can you find 5 public courses with the design and condition of Bethpage. Yes Bethpage has lost some of its original charm. Good riddance. Get your head out of your ass and be thankful that we get to play one of the greatest golf courses in the world. And every few years we get to watch the greatest players in the world struggle on our home turf.
Hoss

Edison, NJ

#13 Jun 8, 2009
Right on, Bob! I'm with you.
Mike O

Levittown, NY

#14 Jun 9, 2009
My dad, Pat O'Shea from Bethpage, had a single digit handicap in 1975, when he was 30. He was -2 after hole 14 (with an eagle on hole 4) and went on to bogey 15 and 16. After parring 17, he double bogeyed 18 for a 2-over 73.
Tom Coleman Jupiter Fl

West Palm Beach, FL

#15 Jun 9, 2009
I bought my second set of clubs Macgregor Jack Nicklaus Tourney irons in 1979 at Bethpages Pro shop and immediatly played the Black with my good friend Puppy,Don K. Don't remember the score but I will finally be coming back Sunday 6/21/09 for the Opens final round the day before my 57th birthday. Can't wait
nature boy

Cedar Knolls, NJ

#16 Jun 9, 2009
Bob the golfer wrote:
As a lifelong resident of Bethpage for 54 years and a golf nut I can remember before the USGA ever came to Bethpage. The Black was unkept and almost unplayable if you missed the fairway. Who remembers the rough on the right side of 16. If you were in there it was not rough, it was lost. You could not put a tee in the ground on most tee boxes. You could not hold the green if you landed on it as it was like asphalt. Since the USGA has come all 5 courses at Bethpage have benefited. Bethpage has become the best public facility in the country. Where else can you find 5 public courses with the design and condition of Bethpage. Yes Bethpage has lost some of its original charm. Good riddance. Get your head out of your **** and be thankful that we get to play one of the greatest golf courses in the world. And every few years we get to watch the greatest players in the world struggle on our home turf.
If you recall, in 1996 Dave Catalano took over as Bethpage Park's administrator. As a golfer himself, he immediately started transforming all five courses back to great condition.

This took place a few years before there was any thought of the PGA coming to Bethpage.

Of course it was fun to watch professional golfers tear up a golf course that rarely sees a sub-par round.

Yet once the PGA left town, us locals were stuck with paying increased fees...and competing with the crowd of inconsiderate duffers who had no business playing this fine course.

Obviously we hold different opinions.

Enjoy your Open.
GeeDee

Orlando, FL

#17 Jun 10, 2009
Many years ago I had my first birdie on the 17th at the Black. It saved me from posting a 109 for the round.

Great Memories
goodbye to you

Baldwin, NY

#18 Jun 10, 2009
Bob the golfer wrote:
As a lifelong resident of Bethpage for 54 years and a golf nut I can remember before the USGA ever came to Bethpage. The Black was unkept and almost unplayable if you missed the fairway. Who remembers the rough on the right side of 16. If you were in there it was not rough, it was lost. You could not put a tee in the ground on most tee boxes. You could not hold the green if you landed on it as it was like asphalt. Since the USGA has come all 5 courses at Bethpage have benefited. Bethpage has become the best public facility in the country. Where else can you find 5 public courses with the design and condition of Bethpage. Yes Bethpage has lost some of its original charm. Good riddance. Get your head out of your **** and be thankful that we get to play one of the greatest golf courses in the world. And every few years we get to watch the greatest players in the world struggle on our home turf.
yeah the black was always the worst kept course in the early 80's when i played there alot. the funny thing was that was the course i played the most because you never had to wait to get on the black because of the poor shape of the course, the difficulty of the course and the fact you couldnt take a cart. unfortunately i havent got to play the course in probably 10 years.
i did get on the course onn the friday of the 2002 open. what a miserable day that was. must have rained 3 inches. that was worse than walking down the 16th fairway in the middle of july with about 100 strokes under your belt already, praying that you make it the clubhouse for some beer!
jamey

United States

#19 Jun 10, 2009
the first time i played the black was several weeks after the 02 open. our foursome said sure lets play from the tips. why not we didn't drive 6 hours to play from the whites. at one point in the round i believe i said wow! i have never hit so many driver, three wood, three wood combinations and still not be on the green. i had three personal challenges that day. 1. make it off of number one tee box with everyone around; 2. have a couple pars on the front and back; and 3. try to break 100. I achieved all three and enjoyed the black so much, that we make the trip annually.
FIZWIZZ

Locust Valley, NY

#20 Jun 11, 2009
BACK IN THE EARLY 60's my friends and I used to sneak on black and play a few holes till ranger kicked us off. We were around 11 yrs old and always played black when we payed because there was no wait.We thought all courses were like black. When we played the others it was a joke.
Nick T

Mesa, AZ

#21 Jun 11, 2009
I never have played the black course but, I remember going sledding there when we were kids back in the 70's. Some of those hills were amazing !!
John McKenna

Houston, TX

#22 Jun 12, 2009
The last time I played the course was with my brother and Uncle Bob Mulligan. My brother and I took up the game when we were about 10 and the hills and valleys of the Black became our nemesis as we got older. We finally played with our beloved Uncle who was a good golfer we were in our early 50's and sadly he passed away a few years later in his '70's. The course was a haven for us as kids when the snows came and we sledded our way down the hige hills. I will watch the Open with a tear in my eye.
Frank from Hicksville

College Point, NY

#23 Jun 12, 2009
A few years back, I had a memorable few weeks playing on the Black. I went out as a single, got paired with three others, and proceeded to make six birdies to go with a double and three bogeys. So, I was -1 after 16 but it was too dark to finish. Because of my handicap, I was able to take pars on 17 and 18 for an "official" round of 70, but it felt tainted to me.

Three weeks later, I played the Black with three buddies of mine, made four birdies and four bogeys for a nice, neat 71. Had to make a 6 footer on the last for par... Probably my best round ever!
JMB

New York, NY

#24 Jun 12, 2009
Played the Black on Nov. 1 2003. Shot the best round of my life on the Black that day, a 78. Got home from playing and my wife told me she was pregnant with our first, a boy, Joseph. The course has meant more to me since than.

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