I parked just outside Bethpage State Park and walked the Nassau  -Suffolk trail north. I came to an entrance road to the polo field and was able to view a lot of green. Cutting left to stay along the edge of the fairways, I viewed the red course with light green greens and darker green fairways, sand traps and the dead stalks of little blue stem grass. Over the forest to the east, a huge hump that looked like a gray whale surfacing. No, it is the Farmingville Landfill. V-shaped water spouts added some drama. Along the hike, I picked up a few balls that had “smiles” from iron shots whose golfers made swings that didn’t make square contact with the ball. One such ball, embedded in dirt attracted my attention. I edged it out. It had a root coming out from the smile. This was a keeper for sure. I saw the clubhouse and headed up hill in between the boundary of red and black course. I asked for the pro shop in order to get a map. “You’re not allowed anywhere on the golf course.” I was holding my walking staffs, a dead giveaway. I headed along the edge of the yellow course looking for an exit. I stepped through an opening in the chain link fence and found myself back on the white blazed trail that I started on. I marveled at the abundance of acorns along the edges.

There is nary a dandelion anywhere on the course. There is, however, plenty of grass and smooth textures of sand traps, and greens. Groomed doesn’t do justice these courses. They look like they visited a beauty shop. This was to be my last visit to Bethpage State Park. I had a nice walk and some good exercise and plenty of nice views. I may take up golf. I noted that the fee for the black course is $75. Well, maybe I’ll hit balls with my number 2 iron on the large Dominican Sisters property in North Amityville. That’s free, and I can aim for the cemetery next door and consider those balls dead.

Tom Stock

Tom Stock has been involved in the Long Island environmental and outdoor education community for decades.

He has published two books; THE NISSEQUOGUE RIVER: A JOURNEY and HIDDEN AGENDA; A POETRY JOURNEY.He has also published many essays and poems in such journals as the Long Island Forum and The Long Islander.

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