For the love of the game

Bethpage State Park was spruced up for the 2002 U.S. Open

Golf is a game people love to hate. Players curse their closest relatives, pray to the gods and foam at the mouth until they get the perfect drive or putt that makes the world make sense again. But sometimes, the craziest antics occur before a golfer even plays a round.

Consider Farmingdale, N.Y.-based Bethpage State Park, a public golf course touted to be "the people's course." Bethpage State Park has five courses—black, blue, green, red and yellow—and getting a tee time on any course, especially the Black Course, rarely can be done by telephone. Therefore, people arrive early to play the par-70, 7,214-yard (6565-m) Black Course, which bears a warning sign at its entrance stating, "The Black Course is an extremely difficult course, which we recommend only for highly skilled golfers."

Photo courtesy of Long Island Roofing and Repairs Service Corp., Bellmore, N.Y.

Bethpage State Park, a public golf course in Farmingdale, N.Y.