Let's be real here. There's enough good to great golf in Bethpage State Park to keep every golfer smiling. You and your squad set up a roadie to come to Long Island. You're not the Hamptons set just yet, but Farmingdale is exactly your speed. We've played all five courses (Yellow, Green, Blue, Red, Black) at the park, and can tell you this: each one is different from the others. At no point will you ask yourself, didn't we already play this hole?
What else is around? Since it's metro New York, movement is mildly restricted. We've got your covered, in any case. Have a look at what we recommend on your way to/from Bethpage, and also while you're there.
On The Island
15 miles away, a mere 21-minute drive, is Eisenhower Park, in Westbury. EP has three courses, the White, Blue, and Red. For years, the Red was home to a PGA Tour Champions event, so it not only has teeth and interest but conditioning as well. It's a Devereux Emmet design, which means golden-age golf at its finest. Add in two Robert Trent Jones, sr., courses, and you have a nice blend of eras and styles. If you're in the mood to see the Hamptons, consider heading WAAAYY out to Montauk Point. You can play another state park course there, at Montauk Downs State Park. You'll drive past Shinnecock Hills and Southampton, and be super-close to a bunch of other, world-class courses. Most important, you'll see the tip of New York state, a cool place if ever there was one.
Coming From The North
If you're in Connecticut, stop by Richter Park in Danbury. As respected a municipal course as there is in the Nutmeg state. On the New York side, a drop-down the Taconic Parkway is nature's joyride. Visit James Baird state park (Little Bethpage, we call its 18 holes) and the Links at Union Vale.
Coming From The West
Whether you take I-287 or I-78, two things are certain: you come from New Jersey and you cross Staten Island. Along the northern route (I-78) stop by Galloping Hill golf course in the Garden state. The southern route takes you past the Green Knoll golf course, in Somerset county. Whether you stop by on the way in, or the way home, you'll find affordable and memorable golf at both courses.
Coming From The South
A southern entrance probably brings you past Philadelphia. You've no doubt heard of Merion. Did you know that Hugh Wilson designed a public course in the city of brotherly love? It's called Cobbs Creek, and it's in the process of restoration. Farther north, just in from I-95, is the Juniata golf course. Tipping out at 5300 yards, it won't break your back (which might happen at Bethpage!)
Check-in often with OnCore Golf for more Where else to play when you have to play suggestions. When you just HAVE to play a bucket-list course, we share where you should play, on the way.