Review of the Month May 2019 – Bethpage (Red)
Bethpage Black's notorious warning sign gets all of the attention on the clubhouse patio, yet the opening hole that merits such a sign belongs to the "Red" course.
The 460-yard opener does well to remind players upfront that it is "Baby Black" in the same sense that Venus is the second-best player in the Williams household. Although it lets up—mostly—following what some argue is the toughest opener in golf, the "Black-lite" references remain relevant.
Bethpage Red 18th hole photo courtesy of Bethpage State Park
The yardage is long, and there are only two Par 5s to water it down. Tillinghast's bunkering takes a more merciful approach to mid-handicappers, and almost all of its greens will accept a run-up...at least more graciously than Big Brother. Still, several holes offer passable passes for the Black experience. No. 13 features its own "Great Hazard," and the "Red Redan" at No. 4 might not live up to Black No. 3, but it certainly surpasses the average municipal Par 3. And, at the end of the round, as has been stated countless times before us, is a Par 4 that is reportedly under consideration to sub-in for Black No. 18 come 2024.
If you thought Black's greens played rather boring for the PGA Championship, Red's will induce considerable yawns. But, if you ask the average Long Island resident, a simple two-putt is appreciated after challenging these fairways. Indeed, Red is the preferred route for lifers, while Black is a once-a-year treat/punishment.
Review of the Month May 2019 selected by Editor-in-Chief, Keith Baxter, and sponsored by TaylorMade – click to read Ryan's full review and more about Bethpage (Red).