Course Notes: Bethpage Black

These course notes were provided by WGT user Kilbraur.  Select her name and thank her on the profile page.

These notes are for my clubs and balls. English not my first language I have use Google Translate and check by friend who speak English. If you not agree with some things here that is ok, you play your way, I play my way. Good luck, Kilbraur.

Bethpage Black

1) If wind behind I aim between facing camera and path to right of it and use full backspin to carry trees and rough. Any kind of wind against I aim at left edge of facing camera.

I read people say you has to play 4 yards long, this is misleading and cause many to hit too long. You need to know your clubs. Playing wedge with wind behind I not add on 4 yards. Play short iron, wind against then I do. If your approach to back pin is from left of fairway you have steep hump on green, shot has to be full backspin. If from right of fairway hump does not count so much. Easy putts are from pin high or behind pin.

Front pin you has to be accurate with 2nd, best to be short, downhill or side putts difficult slope.

2) I always hit drive full back spin whatever wind, essential from back tee to clear trees. Front pin I play 6 feet extra right to bring ball off right to left slope. Back pin I put on 25% forward spin to roll to hole. Pitching wedge and short irons you need to add 6-7 feet for elevation to both pin placements.

3) All par 3 holes I use my chart I make. I have all wind strength and directions. Some for this hole as examples are Front pin 7 wind at 12 o’ clock = 3 iron 50% back spin don’t move pointer. 10 wind at 7 o’ clock = 3 wood 50% back spin 10 feet right. I just look at wind strength, check my chart for the hole and play shot. You can do this for par 3 holes because the tee is in the same position every time you play. For all par 3 holes I have my chart for all wind strengths and directions (about 30 for each par 3)

Back pin, I find plays 3 yards short of distance. If in doubt better be right than left. Front pin haven’t played for long time I forget how to play it.

4) Drive right of fairway. Front pin I take 40 yards off distance and move pointer to right of front bunker. Adjusting for wind, elevation etc I now have 40-50 yard wedge shot to pin going over bunker. I find this more easy than play pin high to right of green, that leaves awkward shot to green above you and sloping. Back pin I play long to go off green at back, it easy pitch to pin. From back of green pitch easier than from side.

5) Approach shot has to have at least 75% back spin. I play 6 yards extra to allow for elevation. If I land in front bunkers I use my charts I make, for example front left bunker 15/20 sand = full sand wedge pitch less one avatar. Front right bunker 19 yards = full sand wedge pitch 100% back spin. I make chart all distances all bunkers.

6) For drive I put marker to exact distance my driver hit plus 6 yards. If left to right wind I put to left edge of fairway and right to left on right edge of fairway. Full backspin with wind behind and 50 % backspin wind in my face. For both right and left pins I find punch shot to spin is best. I ignore elevation but allow for wind.

7) You must drive to left of fairway to open up fairway for 2nd shot if you play right your 2nd shot blocked by trees. Don’t be greedy with drive, play for position.

Right hand pin with wind behind you are going to play 3 or 4 iron full backspin to land on a right to left slope, over bunker, beside pin, except you not that good so forget it. If you a good putter you aim front centre of green and have easy putts. If you good with pitch and flop you play short of green in front of right bunker and flop or pitch. I rarely get birdie at this pin but I never get bogey. Be realistic and you be OK.

Back pin more easy, long iron, more easy putt short of pin, go long you roll to rough.

8) This a par 3 so I use my charts, see hole 3.

9) If wind behind I drive full back spin to left of bunker this gives lot of distance. Wind against I play right up to right edge of fairway on right. If you not go far enough right you lose distance sticking on hump.

Right hand pin better to play 2-3 feet more left and full backspin shot. I add on 8 feet extra for elevation

Left hand pin same I add extra 8 feet for elevation but aim 3 feet extra right.

10) Try to keep drive to left side of fairway, I go as close to left edge as possible. Right hand pin, best approach shot is play with 50% forward spin it roll up to hole and eagles are possible. Maybe add 6 feet extra to distance. If you playing full iron with backspin you need to add about 10-12 feet.

Left pin adjust for wind and elevation then plan to go more right because camera angle deceptive. You want to be a little short for uphill putt. Play 2nd shot long or to side then difficult putt on steep slope.

11) Right pin. Before driving look to wind direction. Your second shot is a pin placed on a slope, behind a bunker. You want 2nd shot to be against wind. Now plan which side of fairway to drive according to wind. 2nd shot now wedge or short iron. If in doubt play long, because you using backspin on the slope it will trickle back a few feet.

Left pin. Your second shot is to a slightly raised pin, a full back spin shot is best. Easy putt is below right of pin.

12) This another hole where you have to sacrifice distance off tee for accuracy. If left hand pin you need to drive right of fairway to open up hole. I put full backspin on driver to stop rolling to right hand rough. Any wind against then I check view from reverse before driving from black tees. If you land in front bunker then you put right edge of blue aiming box lined up with pin and full backspin pitch with lob wedge go very close. To guarantee par you just play 2nd shot to front edge of green, to right of bunker and flop or full backspin pitch to pin. I play 5 yards long full back spin, it land behind hole and roll back to hole, take out pin, eagle possible with this shot.

Back pin always check from rear view before 2nd shot. Angle from front can be deceptive. You don’t want to be short left.

13) It a par 5 you can’t reach green with drive. It not worth risking bad position on fairway for extra 10 yards on drive. Be smart, go for position. Before play 2nd shot ask youself where you want to play 3rd shot from. Bunker/from rough beside green/pitch from left edge/40 foot downhill putt? What it be? I choose full wedge from front of bunker in front of pin. I play my second shot to 45 yards in front of that bunker (not left of bunker bang in middle) Next shot, easy wedge to pin, tap in putt. I always get birdie. If playing punch onto green you hitting to upslope add on extra yard.

14) Par 3 hole I use my charts (see hole 3). Examples for this hole are 7 wind pointing to 7 o’clock = 6 iron 75% backspin aimed 9 feet right. 9 wind pointing to 10 o’clock = 6 iron full backspin 95% of power aim half way to right edge of green. Worst shot is too long, if you short you putting uphill and still birdie chance.

15) Many people not like this hole. I eagle this hole more times than any other par 4 hole. Once you learn it you will get many birdies and eagles. Again play drive for accuracy, centre of fairway. You drive to rough on this hole you lucky to get bogey.

Left pin. Now 2nd shot will be 36 feet extra elevation so you add 12 yards to distance. Now work out wind calculation and play it 10 feet left with at least 75% backspin. You will land above and left of pin and roll back to pin. Maybe a few feet below it. If it a good shot then make note so you can play it again. Now the putt on this hole look intimidating but go into reverse view and it look easy. Move the aim marker just behind hole to make sure you got exact distance and putt from reverse view.

Right pin same plan as front pin but not so far to left, maybe 6 feet.

16) Drive to left side of fairway for left pin and right side of fairway for right pin. 2nd shot for right pin I play full backspin to land on slope to right of hole it roll nicely to hole. Left hand pin if playing full iron with any backspin you need to add 9-10 feet to get up to hole. If you know your club distances a punch with iron is good shot for left pin. For example pin 175 yards with 3 wind against is 5 iron punch no spin, it roll up nicely to hole (remember to take pin out before you hit, you likely get eagle)

17) Par 3 I use my charts (see hole 3) Examples this hole are 10 wind pointing to 2 o’clock = 5 iron full backspin aim 28 feet left. 7 wind pointing to 6.30 = 4 iron full backspin 98% power don’t move pin.

18) I always aim drive for centre of fairway. Wind is funny on this hole and I not want to risk driving to rough. I always play safe for par on this hole. People who plan this hole for par sometimes get lucky with birdies. People who plan this for birdies can easily end up with bogeys.

Right pin. I play second shot to slightly above centre of green just short of pin high, remember to add a little for elevation depending on your club, 2 putts for par. Left hand pin you has to play full backspin shot then 2 putts for par.

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