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Bethpage State Park. The 1,500-acre park encompasses bridle, hiking, biking, and cross-country-skiing trails; tennis courts; and picnic areas. A polo field hosts weekly matches from mid-June to mid-October. But Bethpage is renowned for its golf complex, one of the best public golf facilities in the country. It has five 18-hole regulation golf courses, most designed by A.W. Tillinghast. The renowned par-71 Black Course, site of the U.S. Open in 2002 and 2009, is tough to play and tough to get on, especially on weekends. With small greens, soft slopes, and a good selection of holes, the par-71 Green Course is much less difficult. At the par-72 Blue Course, the level of difficulty drops after the challenging front 9 holes. The par-70 Red Course is formidable overall, but its opening hole is considered particularly tough. Although it has some steep slopes, the par-71 Yellow Course is probably the easiest course in the complex. Black Course greens fees are $100–$120 (nonresidents); at the other four courses, greens fees are $31–$41 (regardless of whether you're a resident) and carts are available. Blue, Green, and Yellow courses are open year-round. The Red Course is open from April 1 to December 1 and the Black Course is open from April 15 to November 15. 99 Quaker Meetinghouse Rd., off Powell Ave. east of Rte. 135, Farmingdale, NY, 11735. 516/249–0701 park; 516/249–0700 golf. nysparks.state.ny.us. Free (park). Daily dawn–dusk (park).
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