The Black Course at Bethpage State Park is hosting the PGA Championship for the first time in its history.
Check out this hole-by-hole tour of the course ahead of the championship.
The opening shot from an elevated tee bends sharply to the right, but a cluster of trees to the right of the fairway will block any approach from that side. The left side is preferred, for a deep bunker guards the front right of the green. The front third of the green, the smallest on the course, slopes sharply, and approach shots with too much spin could roll off.
The only par 4 under 400 yards, this hole also starts from an elevated tee and features a sharp bend, this time to the left between tree-lined ridges. Most players will go with a long iron or fairway metal off the tee, then a short iron to an elevated green that falls off sharply to the left, as much as 10 feet below the putting surface. The right of the green is protected by deep bunkers.
The green is shallow and angled from right front to back left. Bunkers on the left side are so deep that players standing in them might only see the top of the flagstick. There is a severe drop-off behind the green.
The fairway bends to the left around a cluster of bunkers. Big hitters might opt for a 3-wood to keep the ball from running through the fairway. The rest of the hole climbs 50 feet toward a blind green. Cross bunkers are not in play unless someone misses the fairway into thick rough. The elevated green is protected by a series of bunkers, so the safe play is to the fairway right of the green, leaving an easy pitch.
Massive cross bunkers hug the right side of the fairway but can be carried by longer hitters. The ideal shot is down the right side because trees cover a ridge along the left side. Players must be careful not to go through the fairway. The green is relatively small and well-bunkered.
A straightaway hole with a landing area squeezed by large bunkers on both sides of the fairway, then drops some 20 feet. Some might go with a driver to get down to the lower portion and leave a wedge to a small green surrounded by bunkers.
A par 5 for the public, this converted hole requires two long shots. The tee shot is fairly straight, then the hole turns to the right, although tall trees down the right prevent players from cutting off any of the dogleg. The approach will be a long iron to one of the few greens that is not elevated, allowing for a ball to run up, a rarity at Bethpage. A large bunker guards the right side, with a smaller one left of the green.
Elevated tee to a green guarded by a pond in the front, plus large bunkers left and behind that come into play when the hole location is in the back. A towering oak and steep dune are on the right. The bank at the front of the green has been shaved, so anything short on a front hole location almost certainly will roll into the water. The green features a ridge that could serve as a backboard.
A new tee was added ahead of the 2009 U.S. Open after playing as the fourth-easiest hole in 2002. The hole bends to the left, with a large bunker complex on the left side in the landing area. Those wanting to play short of the bunker will find a contoured lie in the fairway and have a limited view of the green. Two deep bunkers protect the front of a relatively flat green.
A straightaway hole with bunkering down both the right and left sides. A tee shot missing left will find either tall fescue, sprawling bunkers or grass hollows. The elevated green is guarded by bunkers.
The blind tee shot to a fairway tucked between dunes should favor the right side, away from the bunkers on the left. The green is among the most severe on the course, with a false front that makes anything beyond the hole a difficult putt or chip. Bunkers nearly surround the front half of the green.
Perhaps the toughest tee shot at Bethpage Black, requiring a drive over cross bunkers to shorten the hole; a landing area toward the right is available for shorter hitters. Any drive too straight risks running through the fairway into the rough. The large green has pronounced undulations.
Despite its length, this is a straightforward hole possibly reachable in two if the course is firm. A large bunker on the left side is in play off the tee, and cross bunkers 30 yards short of the green will penalize shots coming up short. The green slopes moderately from the back to the front, but the bunker to the right is among the deepest on the course.
The shortest hole on the course. The tee shot is over a valley to a putting surface that was rebuilt to be wider than it is deep, sloping from back to front and from right to left, with a shelf on top. Gaping bunkers that tumble toward the valley guard the front of the green.
This long par-4 bends to the left, with the final 180 yards uphill to an elevated green that is protected in front by deep bunkers. Anyone missing the fairway most likely won't reach the green or be able to hold it. The green¬¬—one of the most difficult on the course—is 50 feet above the fairway, with two tiers that slope from the back left to the front right.
This hole starts with an elevated tee shot that drops 60 feet to a narrow fairway that angles from left to right. The hole bends gently to the left. A sprawling bunker sits short and right of the green, with another bunker to the left. It is one of the few holes at Bethpage where the putting surface can be seen from the tee box.
Perhaps the best par 3 on the course, although nothing fancy. The slightly elevated green sits 43 yards wide and split by a spine through its middle. A deep bunker guards the front of the green, with other bunkers catching poor shots to the right, long and left.
The finishing hole presents one of the few birdie opportunities at Bethpage Black. The drive is downhill to a fairway that has been narrowed and threads an enormous cluster of bunkers and fescue on both sides. Players can stay short of the bunkers and leave 160 yards to the green, or hit driver and have a wedge. The approach is to an elevated green that slopes from back to front, so keeping the ball below the hole is critical.
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