Bethpage Black: The 5 Key Holes


Where the PGA Championship will be one and lost this week?

The PGA Championship returns to May for the first time since 1949 this week and will be contested over Bethpage Black Golf Course in Long Island - the site of the 2002 and 2009 U.S. Open, as well as the 2012 and 2016 Barclay's Championship (now known as The Northern Trust). 

Below, we take a look at the key holes likely to make an impact at the second major of the year.   

Venue: Bethpage State Park, Long Island, New York
Course: Black
Yardage: 7,432
Par: 70

4th Hole

PAR 5, 517 YARDS

Played as two dog-leg lefts, and considered by many to be the best par 5 in the northeast. To reach the green in two, the tee shot must hug a cluster of bunkers on the left to avoid running out of fairway on the right. From there, the approach plays blind and needs to be hit high enough to carry the front greenside bunkers and stop short of a run-off area at the rear.

4th hole

7th Hole

PAR 4, 524 YARDS

Ranked as the hardest green to hit in regulation during the past two US Opens. A large oak prevents players cutting the corner of the dogleg from the tee. Instead, they'll need to carry it 280 yards to avoid a sprawling bunker on the right, the largest on the course. The green is one of few which is slung low and invites low runners between two small bunkers.

7th hole

13th Hole

PAR 5, 608 YARDS

The only par 5 on the back nine. If conditions are firm, players can reach in two, but will need to find one of the narrowest fairways at Bethpage. For those forced into laying up, the bunker 120 yards out is very much in play since the fairway tips in its direction. More sand protects the table-top green, which slopes from back to front.

13th hole

15th Hole

PAR 4, 457 YARDS

The toughest hole in 2002. This dog-leg left plays to a narrow landing area and up a hill for the final 180 yards which is so steep that locals used to sledge down it! The two-tier green sits perched on top of a bank, and is guarded by steep bunkers. It also slopes so severely, both back to front and left to right, that some front pin locations are off limits.


18th Hole

PAR 4, 411 YARDS

A good birdie opportunity. The key is to avoid a group of bunkers which line both sides of the fairways. The conservative approach is to lay up short, but those needing a birdie to win on Sunday will attempt to drive between – or over – the hazards to leave a wedge in. The approach plays blind to an elevated green. Keeping it below the hole is a must.