- Bethpage State Park
Bethpage State Park is a convert|1476|acre|km2|sing=on
New York state parkin Nassau County (and partially in Suffolk County) on Long Island. While much of the park and its five golf courses are located within the hamlet of Old Bethpage, parts of the park are in Bethpage, and the clubhouse and offices are within the neighboring Farmingdale postal district. The late Jesse Merritt of Farmingdale, Nassau County Historian, convinced Robert Moses to name the park "Bethpage State Park" after the convert|15|sqmi|km2|sing=on tract of land purchased by his ancestor Thomas Powell in 1695 from three Native American tribes.
Long Island State Park Commissionopened the park in 1932 after the State of New York acquired the Benjamin F. Yoakum Estate. The Green Course, then known as the Lenox Hills Country Club, designed by Devereaux Emmet, was completed in 1923 as part of the Lenox Hills subdivision just south of the course. The other four courses were designed by A. W. Tillinghast under contract to the Park Commission. The park has picnic facilities, bridle paths, playing fields, a polo field, tennis courts, cross-country skiing trails, and hiking and biking trails including one leading south to Massapequa, but it is best known for its golffacilities.
Golf at Bethpage State Park
The park has five eighteen-hole golf courses, named the Black, Blue, Red, Green and Yellow, in decreasing order of difficulty. In 2002 the Black Course became the first publicly owned and operated course to host the U.S. Open. The tournament was won by Tiger Woods, being the only golfer to score under par for the tournament. The Tournament was seen as one of the most difficult and exciting U.S. Opens in history, breaking attendance records and creating a boisterous atmosphere for even the U.S. Open.
Prior to 2002, all U.S. Opens had been staged at private golf or country clubs or at privately owned resorts that, while open to the public, were very expensive for the public to play, with greens fees of several hundred dollars per round. The USGA's choice of Bethpage was seen as an egalitarian move; as of 2008, Bethpage Black's weekend price for 18 holes was $60 for New York State residents, and $120 for non-residents. There are a number of ways for golfers to secure a round on the always popular Black course. To register for a tee time, guests must have their driver's license on file with the park's reservation system. Walk-ups are also accepted, though often require that golfers wait in line in the parking lot through the night.cite web|url=http://www.golfvacationinsider.com/issues/golfvacationinsider/more_golf_vacation_tips/how-to-get-on-bethpage-black_385-1.html |title=How to Get on Bethpage Black, Site of 2009 U.S. Open|publisher="GolfVacationInsider.com"|date=March 24, 2008 |accessdate=2008-07-30]
Bethpage Black has been chosen to host the U.S. Open again in 2009.
Golf Digest" has ranked Bethpage Black #26 in its most recent list of America's greatest golf courses, cite web|url=http://www.golfdigest.com/images/rankings/gd200705100greatest.pdf |title=America's 100 Greatest Golf Courses 07/08 |publisher="Golf Digest" |month=May | year=2007 |accessdate=2007-07-20|format=PDF] #6 in the state of New York, #6 of America's 50 toughest courses, [http://www.golfdigest.com/courses/index.ssf?/courses/gd200703toughestcourses2.html] and #5 in its list of America's greatest public golf courses.cite web|url=http://www.golfdigest.com/images/rankings/gd200705100greatest.pdf |title=America's 100 Greatest Public Golf Courses 07/08 |publisher="Golf Digest" |month=May | year=2007 |accessdate=2007-07-20|format=PDF
In this context, "public" means a course that is open for the public to play, as opposed to a private club.] It is also the top-ranked course in the "Golf Digest" list that is operated by a governmental entity.
Major tournaments hosted
The Polo Field at Bethpage State Park offers a 900 x 400 field, with bleacher seating. Polo is played every Sunday from mid-May through October.
List of New York state parks
* [http://nysparks.state.ny.us/parks/info.asp?parkID=67 New York State Parks: Bethpage State Park]
* [http://www.golfclubatlas.com/bethpage1.html Golf Club Atlas: Bethpage Black Course]
* [http://www.golfclubatlas.com/opiniontmacwood415.html The Bethpage Mystery]
* [http://www.golfvacationinsider.com/issues/golfvacationinsider/more_golf_vacation_tips/how-to-get-on-bethpage-black_385-1.html How to get on Bethpage Black]
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