Welcome To My 'Hood

June 09, 2002

What do you know about Long Island? The Great Gatsby? What
you've seen in glossy magazine photos? Take it from me, FDNY
battalion chief Dan Melia, that's not the real Long Island. I
grew up in Plainview, a couple of miles from Farmingdale, N.Y.,
home to next week's U.S. Open, and caddied at Bethpage Black...
...So let me take you on a tour of my home turf. Welcome
to the neighborhood

Island Hopping

Howard Stern ROOSEVELT
He went to Roosevelt High, same as Dr. J (Julius Erving). Howard
used to joke about how he was one of the only white guys there.

Shea Stadium FLUSHING
The Yankees will be visiting during the Open. I had season
tickets and was there when the Mets beat the Red Sox in the '86
Series--Games 6 and 7.

Steve Guttenberg MASSAPEQUA
He was the ball boy on my hoops team at Packard Middle School.
Look at him now!

Jerry Seinfeld MASSAPEQUA
He joked on one of his albums that his hometown is an Indian
name meaning "by the mall."

Lindbergh Monument WESTBURY
This is where Charles Lindbergh took off when he made his
historic New York to Paris flight. Now the place is a mall!

Billy Joel HICKSVILLE
Years ago I'd see him in bars in Oyster Bay, trying out new
material.

56th Fighter Group FARMINGDALE
A bar that claims to have the biggest happy hour on Long Island.
(I believe it.) It also has a large collection of World War II
stuff.

Powell Home FARMINGDALE
As kids we'd walk by this historic landmark, all lit up, and
believe what we'd been told: that it was a brothel.

John McEnroe DOUGLASTON
A great competitor.

Bethpage Polo Field FARMINGDALE
Games are played on Sundays; the rest of the time people fly
their model airplanes here.

Rosie O'Donnell COMMACK
She might make an O.K. golfer. Hey, she's been a baseball player.

Grumman Corp. BETHPAGE
A lot of my friends' fathers worked here. Grumman made the lunar
module that put Neil Armstrong on the moon.

B.K. Sweeney's BETHPAGE
The best place to get a cold beer near the course and
a fire department hangout.

Farmingdale Station FARMINGDALE
There will be a shuttle from here to the course. As a member of
the transportation committee, I considered driving it.

Sarah Hughes GREAT NECK
Great Neck is the first town on Long Island across the New York
City line.

Joey Buttafuoco BALDWIN
An embarrassment to Long Islanders. (This is his old
garage--it's been renamed, and he has moved.)

Jessica Hahn MASSAPEQUA
She had a famous tryst with televangelist Jim Bakker--in Florida.

Erik Lindbergh FARMINGDALE
Last month Erik flew to Paris from Republic Airport in
Farmingdale to commemorate his grandfather's '27 flight.

Baldwin Brothers MASSAPEQUA
One of them, I think it was Stephen, nearly ran me over in a cart
at a celebrity golf event to benefit the victims of 9/11.

Eddie Murphy GARDEN CITY
He went to Nassau Community College. We'd see him on open-mike
night at Gerry Cooney's brother's place in Huntington.

Amityville Horror House AMITYVILLE
Where Ronald DeFeo Jr. killed his parents and siblings. They made
a movie about it.

Wally Szczerbiak COLD SPRING HARBOR
A class act. He went to Cold Spring Harbor High. I still see him
around--I reffed a game he was playing in last summer.

HOLE PAR YARDS

1 4 430
Birdie hole for big boppers who can cut dogleg right
2 4 389
Better to take extra club on tricky, uphill approach
3 3 205
Distance control is everything; par is a good score
4 5 517
Pros will go for green in two but won't hold it
5 4 451
Tricky tee shot. Miss right; left is pitch-out territory
6 4 408
Bewildering tee shot calls for long iron with a draw
7 4 489
Converted par-5 probably toughest hole on front
8 3 210
Front-right tree blocks approaches to back-right pin
9 4 418
Easy hole for those who hit long, tight draw off tee

OUT 35 3,517

10 4 492
New way-way-back tee favors gorilla-long hitters
11 4 435
Straight and short--nice place to lick wounds after 10
12 4 499
Another beast, and rare green with some pitch to it
13 5 554
Easiest hole on back; eagle is distinct possibility
14 3 161
Second-best birdie hole--and last one on course
15 4 459
A killer. Long, uphill hike to toughest green of the 18
16 4 479
Nice view, hard hole. All in the drive off elevated tee
17 3 207
Two-tiered, 43-yard-wide green elicits three-putts
18 4 411
Better be straight. Landing area only 16 yards wide

IN 35 3,697
70 7,214

COLOR PHOTO: PHOTOGRAPH BY CHUCK SOLOMON BLACK MAGIC The Black course at Bethpage State Park (page G33), site of next week's U.S. Open, was conceived as the people's Pine Valley and built in 1936. This is the 4th hole. [Inside T of C]
COLOR PHOTO: PHOTOGRAPH BY ROBERT CLARK COLOR PHOTO: ROBERT CLARK (MELIA) SEVEN COLOR PHOTOS: CHUCK SOLOMON (POWELL HOME, BUTTAFUOCO GARAGE, FARMINGDALE TRAIN STATION, LINDBERGH MEMORIAL, AMITYVILLE HOUSE, B.K. SWEENEY'S, 56TH FIGHTER GROUP) COLOR PHOTO: STEVE GRANITZ/RETNA (STERN) COLOR PHOTO: DMI/TIMEPIX (BALDWIN BROTHERS) COLOR PHOTO: BOB ROSATO (SZCZERBIAK) B/W PHOTO: TOM GANNAM/AP (ERIK LINDBERGH) COLOR PHOTO: DREAMWORKS VIA REUTERS (MURPHY) COLOR PHOTO: ANN SUMMA/LIAISON (HAHN) COLOR PHOTO: ED BAILEY/AP (SHEA) COLOR PHOTO: HEINZ KLUETMEIER (HUGHES) COLOR PHOTO: MIREK TOWSKI/DMI (GUTTENBERG) COLOR PHOTO: DAVE ALLOCA/DMI (O'DONNELL) COLOR PHOTO: KEVIN MAZUR (JOEL) COLOR PHOTO: KEVIN MAZUR/WIRE IMAGE (SEINFELD) COLOR PHOTO: WALTER IOOSS JR. (MCENROE) COLOR MAP: COURSE MAP BY GIACOMO MARCHESI

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)