The Buffalo Golfer triumvirate made the cross-state journey to New City, New York, to begin the 2011 Bethpage Binge. Although the focus of this year’s junket is to play the five crayons, err, courses at Bethpage state park, our brain trust desired also to include a number of other area courses, for variety’s sake.

The indelible stamp at Bethpage is that of Albert Warren Tillinghast, or A.W. for historical purposes. He designed four of the five courses at the park and also laid out the course that opened our golfing journey. Paramount Country Club, formerly Dellwood, was once the estate of Adolph Zukor, founder of Paramount Pictures. Over these grounds, Tillinghast designed a remarkably interesting olf course, one that stood firm over a great many years. The club has retained the services of renowned golf course architect Jim Urbina to restore forgotten features and potentially reroute certain holes for safety’sake.

It’s pushing midnight here in Bethpage, so I’ll sign off for tonight. I’ll check back tomorrow for an edit of this entry and an update on rounds two and three of the foray. [Edit begins here]

5:30 AM Monday at Bethpage…A few thoughts on Paramount, Tillinghast, restorations, caddies and hills…
~~No matter how many intricate, intriguing, beguiling, memorable courses an area may think it possesses, metropolitan NYC beats them all. Being the financial capital of a great country has its perquisites. Paramount is an interesting layout with splendid, golden-age features. The bunkers are placed with forethought and subtlety. The putting surfaces, while forceful, reveal the secrets to their curves and fall lines without rancor. After an initial playing, proper sides of fairways and lines into greens became obvious. Paramount is one of those fortunate courses that looks gorgeous from green back to tee. Sadly, my fickle camera went AWOL on the first green, leaving 17 holes unfilmed.

~~The only Tillinghast I’ve been exposed to on a playing basis is Niagara Falls Country Club and, according to many sources, that enjoyable track has had its Tillinghast features TrentJones-ified and Cornish-ed over the years. Paramount was the first, pure Tilly I’ve had the opportunity to take on.

~~Jim Urbina, a former design associate of Tom Doak, was retained by the club to restore Tillinghast features at Paramount. A few tricky areas, such as road crossings, will also be addressed. In other words, if I return, Paramount will be even better!

~~If you ever have the opportunity, take a caddie. The interplay and the assistance are immeasurable. Dave, our looper, hiked two bags up and down the hills and never failed to give accurate advice.

~~Nothing like hills to remind a man of his mortality and to challenge his fitness. Bring ’em on!