Overnight Parking at Bethpage Black

bethpage clockThis is the option that is most commonly sited as the way to get on Bethpage Black. This involves parking your vehicle in one of the numbered spots in the parking lot and hunkering down for a long night of “car camping”. The first hour of tee times at Bethpage Black are reserved for the overnight “campers” as well as one slot per hour for the rest of the day.

The way this process works is that campers need to arrive the day before they wish to play and park in one of the numbered spots designated for overnight parking. What time to arrive really depends on what time of year it is and what day of the week you are trying to play. For a Saturday or Sunday in peak season people will sometimes start filling in the numbered spots as early as 4PM the day before. That said I also know people who have been able get a weekday tee time by showing up just before midnight. It really just depends on the time of year and the day of the week. Once a numbered spot has been secured players will need to find a way to entertain themselves until early the next morning. From what I understand the local tradition typically involves barbeques, beer and music.

Sometime between 4 and 4:30AM the next morning a Bethpage State Park representative will show up and distribute tickets which the campers will then take to the clubhouse to claim their tee time. ALL members of the group MUST be present when the tickets are distributed AND when they are exchanged for tee times. When the ticket is exchanged for a tee time and the green fee has been paid each player will have a bracelet put on their wrist which must stay in place until the starter removes it.


1. Only 1 golfer needs to be present with the car all night. If the car goes unattended for 1 hour or more their spot in line will be forfeited.

2. ALL members of the group MUST be present at the time that the tickets are distributed between 4 and 4:30AM AND when the tickets are exchanged for tee times/bracelets.

With the first tee time being just before 7AM there will be a little bit of time to get some more shut eye in the back seat or to wander around and soak in the Bethpage Black experience. I have not personally participated in the overnight camping at Bethpage Black, but what I hear from my friends who have is that it is quite an interesting adventure and one of the unique experiences in golf.
Please feel free to comment below about your experience overnight parking at Bethpage Black

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  • genser95

    I did it by myself a few years ago on a hot summer weekend. Was a bit confused about the whole backing into the numbered space thing before I noticed a few folks and figured it out. I probably got there a bit before midnight; there were already 15 cars ahead of me.

    My time was somewhere around 11, so you need to be prepared for that: you might have many hours before you tee off, and you’re gonna be playing in midday heat. But once you get a time and pay for it, it’s not like you need to hang around the whole time.

    Great course because it’s hard but there are no tricks really; I don’t remember any blind shots. It’s a municipal course, but you don’t have that back/forth sameness of holes; the property is so huge and undulating. Maybe the greens are boring, but it’s such a difficult course I kind of liked having a chance if I hit a good shot.