Second only to the 18 holes on the Black layout
at the five-course Bethpage State Park complex, Tillinghast’s Red course is
known to some as “Baby Black,” giving ample indication of the challenge that
Any golfer venturing to the 90-hole complex at Bethpage will no doubt be playing the famed Black Course and for good reason. The two-time US Open layout will host the '19 PGA and '24 Ryder Cup Matches and is one of America's superior layouts.
What many golfers need to do is be sure to play the course that is adjacent to the Black -- the Red Course.
The design is quite testing but not as intense as the carries one faces when playing the Black. The Red features a number of dog-leg holes and being able to position shots -- not just brute strength alone -- wins the day when playing the layout.
The opening hole at the Red is a stout hole and even better than the opener at the Black. The hole goes downhill off the tee and then you must reach an elevated target that sits high above the fairway. When you come to the 1st tee at the Red -- be prepared to play right away. The same can be said for the closing hole. The dog-leg right finished on the Red is a solid test to conclude the round and is clearly superior to the finishing hole on the Black.
The issue one faces at the Red is that the putting greens are generally fairly pedestrian in their demands and the scale and impact of the bunkering is far less than what the big brother Black Course provides.
The Red is often forgotten by visitors but those who play at the complex will quickly promote the qualities found on the Red and for good reason. A quality layout -- lacking in the aforementioned areas -- but still worth playing when at Bethpage.
by M. James Ward