Trump Golf Links Ferry Point Unveiled
By Torleif Sorenson on 10/16/13
Turning a horrendously ugly, disused landfill into a public golf course is a tremendously good idea that has been done in cities all around the United States. More than a decade overdue, the newest such course will be at New York's Ferry Point Park — and it is nearing the finish line.

Trump Golf Links Ferry Point will be a sculpted links-style course located just east of the Whitestone Bridge, along the East River in The Bronx. This faux-links will, like most true links courses, be devoid of trees. While the sculpted mounding will appear relatively natural, it is the result of careful design and construction.

In addition to being open to the public, plenty of junior golf programming and events are planned for this facility.

Originally spearheaded by then-Mayor Rudolph Guiliani in 1997, the course is being built over a 222-acre dumping ground that operated between 1939 and 1963. While much of the architecture credit is being given to Jack Nicklaus and his design firm, they collaborated with Florida-based architect John S. Sanford, Jr., who expertly turned two old Boston-area dumping grounds and excavated material from the Big Dig into Granite Links Golf Club in Quincy, Massachusetts.

As the course name suggests, Donald Trump and his management firm will operate the course as a public facility; the firm took over the stalled project from the original developer. Ferry Point probably would not have been completed without Trump's involvement; the City of New York was forced to spend an enormous amount of money combating legal challenges filed by various Luddites, along with mitigating some environmental concerns.

Not surprisingly, Jack Nicklaus is pleased:
"[Trump] has actually been very, very good with getting things done with the city. I think he pushed it over the edge. He did a really good job of getting it to the finish line."
In addition to constructing a $10 million clubhouse, Trump invested $850,000 toward grow-in of the course. Successful business magnate that he is, Trump also invested a tremendous amount of energy — his own and that of some of his employees — in order to get the job done:
"Had they not chosen me, it would have been 15 years before it opened. I broke their [behinds], you have no idea. I sent the roughest guys there. I sent construction guys that eat nails."

Quite literally, the centerpiece of the course will be a large practice facility, which is scheduled to open in 2014, along with the clubhouse. Grow-in for the course itself is expected to be done in time for the 2015 golf season.

USGA Executive Director Mike Davis has visited the site at least twice. While it is way to early to talk about a U.S. Open Championship at Ferry Point, the 7,300-yard course is certainly worthy of consideration for the Metropolitan Golf Association championships and USGA event qualifying. Both Nicklaus and Trump have indicated that they would love to see a major tournament or championship played here.

Trump told golf writer Stephanie Wei that he played nine of the completed holes at Ferry Point last week and aced the par-3 12th with an 8-iron. "Can you believe that? It's a great omen to the course," Trump said.

So, why did Mayor Michael Bloomberg hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony today? Two reasons:
  1. Construction of the final hole of the course is done, and

  2. Politics. The mayor wants some positive publicity before his term of office expires.

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Images via Nicklaus Design

[ comments ]
bkuehn1952 says:
I hope the heather is managed so balls into it are often found and playable. My limited experience in Ireland and Scotland compared to faux links-style courses in the USA is that the vegetation is vastly different. Across the pond the native heather/plants don't seem to grow into lush impenetrable jungles. The grasses lay down and just seem to be more golf friendly. In the USA our "heather" seems to almost always evolve into an unplayable mess.
legitimatebeef says:
Quite intriguing on several levels. I'm surprised this got done so fast. There might be some truth to Trump's self-aggrandizing claptrap. Also surprised that it's going to be a public course. If the fees aren't stupid expensive I would love to play it. Maybe there will be some deals on Golfnow or something. It's quite close to Manhattan, closer than all the other lousy Bronx munis. Funny though, because its surrounded by some nasty 'hoods. South Bronx is arguably the worst part of the whole city and that is saying a lot. Just driving through there, you feel gross and a little scared.

About the native grasses, from what I've seen in the area, at Marine Park and Bethpage they are gnarly. Almost like they are genetically engineered for maximum ball trapping.
Dusty23 says:
Can only imagine the price for a round. The Granite Links course that it is compared to has greens fees at $100 - $125 a round. The Nicklaus course near me has fees at $100+. Played there on a Group-on coupon for $60 otherwise it's too rich for my blood.
Torleif Sorenson says:
Beef: When it opens next year, you'll have to give us an expert report from the scene. Who knows when *I* will ever be able to travel to New York?
mmontisano says:
maybe Oob should cover the green's fee for that special report?
legitimatebeef says:
Great ideas, Tor and badcaddy. You can count on me.
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