Grand Strand residents visiting New York City now have a new attraction to visit in the Big Apple.
It isn’t a new Broadway play destined to win a Tony.
Instead it’s a stage where anyone can play, the very public 7,407-yard Trump Golf Links at Ferry Point. The course is located in The Bronx, smack dab between the Throgs Neck and Whitestone bridges.
The completion has been a long time coming for the Jack Nicklaus signature design neatly created on a New York City landfill. It is scheduled to open in the spring of 2015 with green fees likely just north of $100.
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Trump officials say they are more concerned with quality than the quantity of yearly play, and a golfer-friendly 14-minute gap between tee times is being considered.
When Ferry Point officially opens it will mark the finish line to a course that took 16 years to complete. The property has scenic rolling land bordering the Long Island Sound, and the vision was viewed as special because the property focused on endless views of Manhattan’s skyline.
The development of the course had its share of controversy from building on a landfill to multiple developers. Donald Trump turned the endeavor into reality.
Views put golfers squarely in line with Manhattan’s skyline and two massive bridges while other background features include an old country European look and St. Raymond’s Cemetery. And from every fairway players are greeted (or interrupted) frequently by planes into and out of LaGuardia Airport.
The project became a certainty thanks to the passion Trump has for golf course properties.
Rumors attach Ferry Point to hosting a PGA Tour event in the near future (2017 Barclays). Trump wants more: a U.S. Open or PGA Championship.
The course may be that good. Officials from the PGA Tour and PGA of America have made multiple appearances and, according to Trump officials, like what they see.
Trump envisions one of golf’s majors in a twilight conclusion on the par-5 18th amid the lights of the Empire State Building, Freedom Tower and rest of Manhattan’s skyline, and Whitestone Bridge twinkling in the background.
Diversity in difficulty is the attractiveness within the white stakes at Ferry Point.
Ferry Point can be as challenging as instate famed courses Bethpage Black, Shinnecock Hills Golf Links on Long Island and Winged Foot Golf Club in Westchester County. Strong winds dominate conversation on yardage, easily adding or taking away 40 to 50 yards or forcing players to severely adjust their aim. From the championship markers the course’s length is more than formidable.
The game’s best players, whether professional or amateur, will respect the numerous cavernous fairway and greenside bunkers.
But the average and high-handicap players shouldn’t be discouraged to play Ferry Point. The fairways are generously wide, three of the par-3s are 135 yards or less, the par-5 second hole is accessible in two from the white tees and the yardage from the women’s tees measures a friendly 5,278 yards.
Plans are for markers between 6,824 yards from the blues and 6,071 from the white tees. Course conditions are already groomed to tournament form, especially all 18 greens with more than subtle bends.
Like Trump’s plush, private courses in Westchester (N.Y.) and Bedminster (N.J.), a majestic clock is already a fixture adjacent to the temporary clubhouse. Groundwork on the Trump palace-like clubhouse is scheduled to begin next spring and be ready for entertaining by 2016 – a promise from Trump to New York City Parks.
From the Whitestone Bridge the course has an appearance of a links-style layout, with endless man-made moguls and no trees. Fescue grass is aplenty boarding winding tee to green paths, but must be kept below knee level to accommodate public golf.
There aren’t many bump-and-run shots in sight, as deep bunkers guarding the greens quickly erase those thoughts. The demanding 487-yard par-4 16th has a low-country look thanks to a rustic wetland-like area that protects the right side of the green.
Ferry Point will be the 14th public golf course currently operating within New York City’s five boroughs, and the first to open since 1964 when the Robert Trent Jones design Marine Park Golf Course in Brooklyn debuted. No doubt, New York City’s newest course is and will be unique.