Bill's trip to Bethpage Black, Bethpage, NY
The Warning at the 1st tee. A dogleg right off of an elevated tee. I toe'd it into the 1st fairway of the Bethpage Green course; then promptly took my first mulligan.
The bunker I landed in on the right side of the 1st green. This one was an easy one.
The greens were beautiful, and somewhat easy. Let's just say putting was not my problem on this course.
This is one of the signature holes at Bethpage Black, the par 5 4th hole. This picture was taken from the 3rd green, the 4th tee is below. Note the monster sandtrap on the right and the two-level fairway. The big trap is about 300-320yds away. The best shot is to land short of that on the right.
I landed in the rough near the trap on the left, after hitting a 3 wood.
Another pic of the 4th.
Another pic of the 4th.
When hitting out of the rough, I played it safe. I just tried to get it over the monster trap. The rough grabbed my club like a beast and the club face opened up, sending me further right than I wanted .... and into the monster trap. After two shots to get out of the trap, I ended up in this stuff.
This is the "bad rough", but for the US Open they let the rough grow out so far that this is what the "good rough" looks like!
The 5th. This was a great hole. The green is up and to the right. The ideal drive is to fade it to the right over the big-long trap out in front. Its about 250-280 to the far end of the trap on the right.
The green of the 5th (I think).
The 8th hole. I landed a 4 iron on the green but could not convert, ended up 3 putting for a 4. Grrr.. Note the short grass in front of the green. Hit that and you role 10m back into the water.
I believe this is the 9th hole. The bunker on the left is new for 2008.
This is a shot of what happens if you go long over the green. The whole back of the green is shaved, much like the green itself... hence your ball rolls right off it and into the lovely rough.
12th hole, one of my better drives. This ankle deep rough is the "nice" rough:
Same shot, closeup.
The bunkers are deep. Very deep. Hard to tell from this shot.
The next several shots are a panorama from the tee at 15. 15 is the #1 handicap hole on the course, with a magnificent view across the 16th, 17th and 6th hole.
This is a shot from the green of 15 back down the fairway. This hole is deceptively brutal. While there is nothing between the tee and the hill to the green but fairway, the fairway is narrow and the rough is brutal. I hit a decent drive down the left side, but into the rough. 3 shots later I got it out into the fairway. Then I plunked a 52deg wedge into one of the traps in front of the green.
The tee on #16. This hole is from an elevated tee, onto a dogleg left hole. The tee elevation is a bit intimidating, and for the pros its back about 30yds from where I took this pic, making the drive narrow and requiring about 280 to get to the fairway.