Not sure what I was expecting at Ferry Point, but it sure wasn’t this.
I didn’t anticipate being wooed away from Long Island golf — specifically the signature courses at Bethpage — so easily. I didn’t expect to find the “Chambers Bay of the East.” (I love Chambers, so that’s a compliment.) I saw the beautiful Ferry Point photos from Ashley Mayo, formerly at Golf Digest, and assumed they had to represent just a few dramatic holes, and that the skyline had to be airbrushed or Photoshopped somehow. Nope.
Trump Golf Links at Ferry Point was a pleasant and surprising round through and through, a logical top-100 contender on every legitimate rankings list. “Best New Course” was a no-brainer designation for this Jack Nicklaus Signature, along with his project at Potomac Shores (near D.C.). New York City golfers deserved a public-access masterpiece like this so close to the city, at the waterfront base of the Whitestone Bridge in the Bronx. Pretty cool standing on the 18th green and looking up at that bridge!
Then again, Ferry Point should be impressive, as residents are footing the bill for this former landfill’s conversion, to the reported tune of $125 million or more. The New York Daily News lists it as one of the most expensive courses ever built — definitely the costliest municipal golf facility — just behind Trump National in Los Angeles and Liberty National in Jersey City. But in a city with hot borough condos selling off at $5,000 per square foot, I’m guessing this nine-figure sum is essentially chump change. If only it were chump change to play it. (More like Trump change.)
The tree-less Irish links-style course with massive fescue-covered mounds costs residents of the Five NYC Boroughs the equivalent of 12 Shake Shack hot dogs to play. I think it’s worth that. I’d skip lunch for a week to play it. Not that I’d ever eat 12 hot dogs in a week.
A gripe, however: A course like this was made to be walked. Please allow pull/push carts (seriously), consider providing a barrel full of fresh apples at the first tee, (This is the “Big Apple”, after all.) and maybe build a “goose shield” over the seventh hole. That’s all I ask.
Trump Ferry Point just opened their majestic new clubhouse (with Jack Nicklaus) in June 2018, and with the Manhattan skyline defining the background on almost every hole, I absolutely consider it a “must play at least once” experience and (I’ll say it) the best public golf course in the state of New York. It’d be one thing if that were just my opinion. But my wife and son agreed. That’s some kind of a consensus, no? Check out the @TrumpGolfFerryPoint account on Instagram to verify that I’m understating my impressions.