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Friday, August 12, 2022
Home People Who Really Designed Bethpage Black? Rye Man Has Answer.

Who Really Designed Bethpage Black? Rye Man Has Answer.

Golf's US Open is in swing out at Long Island's Bethpage Black course. Until 2002, golf architect A.W. Tillinghast was credited with designing the course.

That was until Joe Burbeck, 78, of Stoneycrest Road in Rye, called up Golf Digest Magazine in 2002 and told them what really happened. How does Burbeck know? His father Joseph Burbeck served as Bethpage State Park superintendent for over 30 years and was responsible for the design of the famous Black course during the 1930s under the WPA and Robert Moses. Tillinghast was simply a consultant on the job.

A 2002 article from Golf Digest has the entire story.

"Now 71, Joe Burbeck, his face weathered by decades of competitive sailing on Long Island Sound, is retired after a career with a Manhattan advertising agency. At a meeting last fall near his home in Rye, N.Y., he was apologetic. He had none of his father's papers. Maybe they're at Bethpage or at the state park headquarters. Somewhere out there was the proof he needed.

It turns out Joe Burbeck is right. His father did design Bethpage Black. The evidence always has been out there, if anyone had bothered to dig for it. It's in the official history of the Long Island State Parks, published in 1959. "The four golf courses constructed as work-relief projects were designed and constructed under the direction of Joseph H. Burbeck, the Superintendent of the park," the book reads, "with A.W. Tillinghast, internationally known golf architect, as consultant.""

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