While the Black is about distance, the Red is all about angles. With many doglegs, plenty of importance is not only placed on how well you hit your drives, but how well you place them. Nice looking drives that find the wrong side of a fairway can yield partially blocked approach shots due to overhanging trees. However, don’t be fooled into thinking this is a short course as it measures over 7,000 yards from the back tees (and 6,555 from the middle tees) which is pretty impressive for a par 70 course. The yardages noted below are from the tips which will be too much for many of you to handle. Unless you can average drives of 280+ yards, play from the white tees and enjoy the ride.
As with any Bethpage course, the pace of play is usually an issue here but it has gotten better in recent years. The conditions are usually very good and the value is great, especially for walkers.
13th Hole – Par 4 – 400 Yards
The 13th is a great par 4 where you will have to make a decision off the tee. Dead ahead you will find a cluster if large bunkers and deep fescue that bisect the fairway. If you go right of the bunkers you will have a shorter shot into the green, but you’ll have to contend with a greenside bunker that protects the front of the green. Those that go for the left fairway will be left with a better angle into the green and a slightly longer approach shot.
15th Hole – Par 4 – 482 Yards
With the exception of the 4th hole on the Black, this may be the best hole at Bethpage. This is a double dogleg half par hole where a par feels like a birdie. Like the 5th on the Black, the tee shot here calls for a power fade whereas the approach asks for a draw to an uphill green. It takes two very well struck shots to get your ball on the green but be careful as a big number here can easily ruin your scorecard late in the round. Aside from the 1st hole, this is the toughest hole on the course and probably the best hole, though the same could be said for the…
18th Hole – Par 4 – 463 Yards
There’s a reason that USGA officials considered using the 18th hole on the Red to “replace” the 18th hole on the Black for the US Open in 2009. This is a fantastic hole and the view from the elevated tee box is nothing short of amazing. There is a fantastic bunker which guards the right side of the fairway as well as bunkers surrounding your slightly uphill approach shot to the green. The green itself sits a bit of a natural amphitheatre and was one of the reasons tournament officials preferred this as the site of the 18th hole for the US Open. The is a fantastic closer to a fantastic course.
Bethpage Red is an all out great course that offers a stern test and yet allows you to put up a low number if you stay out of trouble. The Black is like Jack Nicklaus and the Red is like Arnold Palmer…the Black may be better, but you may like the Red more.