[Updated each season from the original, 2008 post]
Several readers have asked what we recommend in terms of getting tee times at Long Island, New York’s Bethpage Black golf course.
As you probably know, the U.S. Open was held at Bethpage Black in 2002 and most recently in 2009, so it’s more popular than ever. And, for out-of-staters, it’s that much tougher to get on because New York residents can make tee times up to seven days in advance; for everyone else, it’s only two days. Keep in mind, too, that the course is closed on Mondays unless it’s a holiday.
Yes, you read that correctly: the course is open on Monday holidays.
As for how to get on, you have a few options: 1) use Bethpage Black’s tee time reservation system, 2) go the infamous route of trying to walk-on at the crack of dawn, which often involves camping out in your car, or 3) hire a little-known company that claims to be able to get you a tee time on your preferred day of play. (All three are methods are covered in detail in our free guide, below.)
Let’s briefly discuss the first option:
Anyone (New York residents, non-residents, Canadians) can use use Bethpage Black’s tee time reservation system, but you first must become a registered user.
To register, you have to fax a copy of your driver’s license AND write or type out all of the information that appears on the front of it, plus your telephone number (an email address would help, too), in case the image is unreadable via the fax.
The fax number is: 516-753-0413.
For New York residents, the license/ID number doubles as the reservation number.
It used to be that, if you were not a New York resident, you were also encouraged to include your Social Security number (which then became your reservation system account number) to expedite processing.
Those days are over for obvious reasons. Now, you’ll be assigned a number.
Once that happens, you can begin using the tee time reservation system.
New York State residents can reserve seven days before the intended day of play. For non-residents, it’s two days.
[This advanced booking advantage isn't the only one New York residents have. They pay the $5 reservation fee, too, but their greens fee is $65/75 (weekday/weekend) vs. $130/$150 for non-residents.]
There is always some confusion over what, for example, “two days before” means. Do you count the day you want to play? Is it exactly 48 hours?
Also, “What if our group is a mix of New York residents and non-residents?” And, “How long does it take before I’m officially “in” the system?
Not to worry, all this, a price list for everything else — plus a great tip on when you can often score available tee times — is covered in the below guide.
Your second option for getting on Bethpage Black, as mentioned above, is to try and walk on, as all of the first hour’s tee times, and one slot per hour thereafter, are made available on a first-come, first-served basis.
The entire walk-on procedure — including exactly where you and/or your car need to be and when — and a ton of “frequently asked questions” are answered and discussed in detail in the guide.
Trust me, there’s a right way and a wrong way to attempt this, and the Bethpage staff won’t hesitate to give your slots away if you mess up.
Basically, you need to arrive at Bethpage the day before you want to play. Each night, a Bethpage official hands out wrist bands, which confirms the order for the next morning’s “bakery ticket” dispersement.
It is these tickets that allow you to purchase your round of golf.
Of course, there’s a lot more to it than that. For instance…
- What’s the best time to arrive the day before and where exactly do I go?
- What time are the wrist bands handed out?
- What time are the “bakery tickets” handed out in the morning?
- Does my entire group need to be together at all times?
- What are my chances of getting a tee time if I’m the fifth car in line? The 10th? The 20th?
Again, all this and more is answered in the ultimate guide we created called,
“10 Things You Must Know Before Playing Bethpage Black.”
See below to get your free copy.