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HOLE-BY-HOLE GUIDE TO BETHPAGE BLACK.

1 430 yards, par 4 The opening hole of the Black Course features a shot from an elevated tee which bends sharply right. Trees to the right of the fairway block the approach to the smallest green on the course, which is guarded by a deep bunker on the front right.

2 389 yards, par 4 The shortest par four on the course also starts from an elevated tee but bends sharply left. Those players who find the fairway are faced with a short iron into a green which falls off to the left. The right is protected by deep bunkers.

3 230 yards, par 3 Bethpage's first par three is also its longest and features a shallow green which angles from right front to back left. Bunkers on the left are almost deep enough to obscure the view of the flag and there is a severe drop-off over the back of the green.

4 517 yards, par 5 One of the Black Course's two par fives and the hole which played the easiest at the 2009 US Open, the fairway bends left around a cluster of bunkers and longer hitters must be careful not to run the ball through the short grass. The remainder of the fourth climbs 50ft to a blind, elevated green which is protected by left-side bunkers.

5 478 yards, par 4 The right of the fairway on the par-four fifth hole is hugged by massive cross bunkers which can be carried by longer hitters. The right side is the ideal spot because trees occupy the left of a tough hole which is punctuated by a small, bunkered green.

6 408 yards, par 4 A straight shot into a fairway made smaller by bunkers on both sides. Longer hitters can aim to get to the lower portion of the fairway beyond the bunkers which leaves a wedge to a small green protected by bunkers on the left and right.

7 524 yards, par 4 Usually a par five, the seventh will serve as a long par four, just as it did at the 2002 and 2009 US Opens. The tee shot is straight before the hole turns to the right featuring a long approach shot into one of the few greens that is not elevated. It is guarded by a large bunker of the right and a smaller one on the left.

8 210 yards, par 3 Another elevated tee which features a pond at the front and large bunkers which are in play when the pin is cut at the back of the green. The bank at the front has been shaved so short tee shots are at risk of rolling into the water.

9 460 yards, par 4 Modified for the 2009 US Open, the par-four ninth bends left with a large group of bunkers on that side of the fairway. Playing short of the sand offers a limited view of a flat green which is guarded by two deep bunkers on either side.

10502 yards, par 4 This long, straight par four features extensive bunkering, particularly to the left of the fairway. Any shot missed in that direction will find either bunkers, fescue or grass hollows. Another elevated green is guarded by front bunkers on both sides.

11435 yards, par 4 A blind tee shot is required to a thin fairway which is heavily bunkered to the left and right. An all-important second shot follows to one of the most severe greens on the course which features a false front that can make life tough from the back of the putting surface.

12515 yards, par 4 The long par-four 12th is a brutal test and arguably the toughest tee shot at Bethpage Black. A drive over cross bunkers shortens the hole but anything too straight is likely to run through the fairway and into the rough. A long approach shot follows into a large undulating green.

This infamous sign greets the players on the first tee of Bethpage Black 13608 yards, par 5 Soft conditions are likely to turn this par five into a three-shot hole. A bunker on the left is in play off the tee and any approach which comes up short is at risk of finding the sand. The putting surface slopes from back to front and the right greenside bunker is one of the deepest on the course.

14161 yards, par 3 The shortest hole on the course, which played under par at the 2009 US Open, features a tee shot over a valley to a wide putting surface. The green slopes from back to front and left to right, featuring a shelf towards the back.

15484 yards, par 4 Finding the fairway is the key to an ultra-tough hole where par is a good result. Anyone playing from the rough will either fail to reach the green, which is guarded by deep bunkers, or fail to hold it.

The two-tiered, sloping dancefloor is 50ft above the fairway and one of the toughest on the course.

16490 yards, par 4 An elevated tee shot drops dramatically to a narrow left-to-right fairway. The hole then bends to the left and the second shot is at risk of finding a large bunker on the right side of the green. The putting surface is also protected by sand to the left.

17207 yards, par 3 The par-three 17th features yet another elevated green which is 43 yards wide and split down the middle by a spine. A large front bunker is the chief threat while poor shots are also at risk of finding sand over the back and to the left and right of the green.

18411 yards, par 4 The closing hole features a downhill drive which must avoid a cluster of bunkers on both sides of the fairway. The green slopes from back to front so keeping the ball below the hole is of the utmost importance for birdie seekers. JOE CHAMPION
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Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:May 15, 2019
Words:992
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