Friday, September 24, 2010

Bethpage Black

After four months here now in New York, today I finally played my first round of golf.

At 12:24pm, I teed off with a sort of new friend and two of his buddies.

Let me just say right off that this is the BEST course I've ever played in the 22 years since I started hacking the ball around.

We played the back tees - 7,000 yards - but it plays LONGER than that with all the elevation changes. For example, on the 16th hole I hit a damn good tee shot into some wind but also down a huge hill. Yet I still had 240 yards to the pin!

Aggravating the length and difficulty of the course is the fact that there are no carts. And not at all interested in spending $75 on a caddie I had to lug my own clubs. As a compromise, our foursome hired a mostly useless forecaddie for $80 split evenly. I won't do that again.

Make no mistake, this is a real workout. On the 15th hole my legs started cramping. While it was somewhat warm, despite drinking a lot of fluids no one in the foursome needed a pee break all day on account of what had to be dehydration. (Though one guy defecated before we teed off...)

I'm really pumping the ball off the tee, except my short game is a mess. I 3-putted four times and only got up and down, maybe, twice all day. I shot a 90 - the same score as a guy in the group, a member at two private clubs, who asserts that he's a 2 or 3 handicap. Like I said, it's not an easy track - even though I'd describe it as fairly *open*.

The highlight of my round was a 254 yard 5-wood I plopped on the par 5 7th green. Not only was I shocked at how far it went, but so was the group ahead still putting on the green. Oh, yeah, I 3-putted that one for par...

You know I played Torrey Pines in San Diego and thought it stunk. Nor was I impressed with Kapalua in Hawaii or a handful of other *highly ranked* courses that I've been fortunate enough to play. I went into Bethpage today excited to play but also presuming to be similarly underwhelmed.

But it was truly terrific. I'd highly recommend the experience to anyone who can drive there.

As a state resident I paid $70 to play today. I believe non-residents pay nearly double - $130 during the week, and $150 on the weekend.

See also - Loading Up On Inflation-Protected, Hard Assets.


Anne Galivan said...

E-mailed this post to my 22-year old son who is working on his lifetime (well, since he was 13) goal of becoming a professional golfer.

Was talking to my daughter today about the time my son played the "stadium course" at the TPC Sawgrass. He was only 16 so played at the junior rate (it was only like $20). It cost me more to follow him in a cart than it cost him to play.

Though he was playing in a junior tour at the time I never saw him play so I went with him that day. It was not a happy day. Tough course AND they were in the middle of renovations. However, I did get to walk out and stand on the "island green." It's a lot smaller than it looks on TV.

Paul Mitchell said...

Ditch the cart bag and walk every round. That helped my game exponentially.

A FIVE WOOD? Playing with your wife's clubs?

Skallagrimson said...

Hey Dude,

Digital rules is dead dead dead!

CaptiousNut said...

Yo Skalla,

Do you mean it is all done?

Or just lacking in *vitality*?

I'm surprised he stuck it out so long. So for that I give Rich sincere kudos.

CaptiousNut said...


My 2-iron is an old Wilson Staff FG-17 blade. It goes maybe 210-215, if I hit the microscopic sweetspot.

A 5-wood hardly makes me less than masculine, particularly one that carried 250 yards.

What would, however, would be one of those so-called hybrid or rescue clubs that everyone is using these days.

Paul Mitchell said...

I actually bought a 1 and a 2 for my DCI Blacks. I hit them much better than a 3 or a 5 wood, too. And way lower.

I was funning you, dude. Unsand your panties.

Anonymous said...

Digital Rules is still around, just changed its website.
You can find it here.

CaptiousNut said...

Thanks for posting that link, Rich!

Skallagrimson said...

I did not find the new address before it was listed by Rich's anonymous comment.

CaptiousNut said...

Ken Fisher is a loyal reader as well!