TRUMP GOLF LINKS AT FERRY POINT
Course Architect: Jack Nicklaus (2013), along with John Sanford Design
Year Opened: October 9, 2013
Location: Bronx, New York
Slope: 146. Rating: 76.3
Hole-by-Hole: 1 - Par 4 444 Yds 10 - Par 4 460 Yds
2 - Par 5 518 Yds 11 - Par 4 352 Yds
3 - Par 3 243 Yds 12 - Par 3 166 Yds
4 - Par 5 561 Yds 13 - Par 4 441 Yds
5 - Par 4 458 Yds 14 - Par 4 471 Yds
6 - Par 4 468 Yds 15 - Par 5 596 Yds
7 - Par 4 344 Yds 16 - Par 4 487 Yds
8 - Par 3 214 Yds 17 - Par 3 193 Yds
9 - Par 4 425 Yds 18 - Par 5 576 Yds
Par 36 3,665 Yds Par 36 3,742 Yds
Awards Won: Top 10 Municipal Courses in the United States by GOLF.com,
Top 5 Developments of the year by Golf Inc. Magazine (2014),
Ranked 5th on Golf Digest's Best New Course List (2014).
Web site: www.trumpferrypoint.com
HISTORY: It's not every day that a golf course is built in New York, let alone
the Bronx. In fact, Trump Golf Links at Ferry Point is the first such project
to be built in this city since 1964, and if it wasn't for Donald J. Trump, it
might never have happened.
"I am honored to have played such a major role with respect to this great
course for the people of New York City and finally finished what many could not
in a very short period of time," Trump said.
Not only did Trump resurrect this project, he maintained the current architect
who was working on the course, none other than the greatest golfer of all time,
Nicklaus, who has crafted some of the greatest courses in the United States,
such as Muirfield Village Golf Club, Valhalla Golf Club and Shoal Creek - all
host to championship events - is nearing 300 layouts under his watchful eye.
"I think Ferry Point will be a tremendous golf experience," Nicklaus said.
"Ferry Point was created to be a unique public golf experience and it is our
collective hope that the golf course will add to New York City's global
reputation, enhance New York's reputation for quality golf, and give the proud
residents of New York City a place to play and call home. Donald Trump has a
deep-rooted love for New York City and he deserves a great deal of credit for
getting Ferry Point to the finish line and for delivering it to the golfers and
golf fans of New York."
The links-style design, which sits upon almost 200 acres, is sensational. At
the foot of the Whitestone Bridge in the Bronx, the course offers wonderful
views of the Manhattan skyline and the East River.
However, we must revert back to the beginning, as the building of this course,
the 14th in the city, has an amazing story.
You see, the land that Trump National Golf Club at Ferry Point sits on was
literally a garbage dump. That's right, this was a landfill that was called an
eyesore, an environmental disaster, and it sat like this for decades. That was
until the late councilman Mike DiMarco had an idea.
District 82 Assemblyman Michael Benedetto from the Bronx recalled that the
thought process behind a golf course dates back to the mid 1990s. "Three
council people before, councilman Mike DiMarco, who represented this district
for 27 years, had the idea in the mid-90s that this would be a perfect location
for a course and he set the wheels in motion back then to do it. He's no longer
with us, but he's looking down on us today."
The fact of the matter, however, is it really wasn't until Trump stepped up in
2011 that this finally happened.
After the original developer pulled out, Trump took over the reins, and in less
than three years pushed all the right buttons, spending millions of dollars to
fast track the development, whether it be legal or environmental issues, it was
Trump and his team that pushed it through.
"I want to thank Donald Trump for investing in the Bronx and believing in this
project, and getting things done," Benedetto said, "because that's what
Donald Trump does - he gets things done."
"The property, when I first saw it ... was a dump," Nicklaus said. "I remember
sitting down with Mayor Giuliani and he wanted to take this property and
develop it into a golf course and house a world event. As his turn passed, and
Mayor Bloomberg came on, the same conversation took place. That is what we
set out to do. You've got a golf course about 7,500 yards. You've got a golf
course that nobody knows what it costs. The golf course itself, I think, is
going to be a lot of fun. It's a course that you look at it and say, 'I'm not
used to seeing that in New York City.' You might see it in Scotland or England,
but it is a links golf course. It's a course that we worked on for about 10
years, until Donald came along and Donald said, 'I think I can get this to the
finish line,' ... and he did. It's been a real pleasure to have the opportunity
to work with the city and the parks commission to do a golf course that I think
is going to stand the test of time."
"For nearly 60 years it was one of the city's largest pieces of undeveloped
parkland," said Tony Macari, director of concession architecture and
development for the New York City Parks Department. "And now, it's a highly
acclaimed and award-winning Jack Nicklaus-signature golf course, designed by
John Sanford with collaboration with the great Jack Nicklaus. This is the
largest and, I can personally attest, the most complex concession capital
project that Parks has ever undertaken. This is truly going to put the Bronx on
a national stage."
Nicklaus has been doing this kind of quality course design for years, as 13 of
his designs are rated in the top 200 in the United States.
"He's one of the truly great golf course architects and this work is testament
to that," Trump said. "He's got tremendous talent. The reviews have been
fantastic and that is a tribute to Jack and John."
Beginning in 2016, the construction and completion of a $10 million clubhouse
will grace the New York skyline at Ferry Point. The noted architectural firm of
Hart-Howerton, which designed several of Long Island's extraordinary
clubhouses, such as Atlantic and Sebonack golf clubs, not to mention Bayonne
(N.J.) Golf Club's stunning structure, will create the final piece to the
HOLE-BY-HOLE REVIEW: Forget about easing into your round. Hopefully, you took
the time to hit balls on the range before you reached the first tee because
you'll be faced with one of eight par-4s well over 400 yards in length.
Number 1 reaches 444 yards from the black tees and is framed quite nicely by
the links-style mounding on both sides, not to mention the bunkers on each side
of the landing area. Your approach will be slightly uphill to a fairly
small putting surface of just 28 paces in depth. Three traps guard the green,
which slopes from left to right. If you can stay below the hole, you'll have a
good chance at par.
Played as a routine par-5 or a robust par-4 (for tournament play), the second
hole bends slightly to the left and can reach 518 yards. A successful tee ball
must avoid the fairway bunkers on each side of the landing area because the
short grass is pinched tightly. Going for the green has a couple of pitfalls,
such as the bunkers left, right and short. In addition, the chipping area to
the right is well below the putting surface. Finally, the green itself is quite
narrow and slopes from left to right. It's a birdie chance as a par-5, but a
difficult par-4 for the professionals.
Nicklaus didn't pull any punches on the third hole, the longest par-3 on the
course at a whopping 243 yards. With a pot bunker fronting the hole and a
bunker on either side of the green, you'll need to carry your tee shot all the
way home. The putting surface is 42 paces long and narrow with a chipping area
to the left. In addition, there's plenty of slope to the green to keep you
guessing. To set your mind at ease, this is the hardest of the four 3-pars on
Your first really good chance at birdie, as long as you played the second as a
par-4, is the fourth hole, a 561-yard par-5 that features an ample fairway off
the tee. Avoiding the fairway bunkers down the right is crucial and then you
have to make sure your layup finds the short grass. Now it's your approach with
a wedge of some kind to an elevated green with just one fronting bunker and a
chipping area to the right. This hole can be had, just as long as you keep it
in play. Easier said than done!
Number 5 is another one of those monster par-4s, this time reaching 458
yards in length. No fairway bunkers, just a roller coaster landing area that's
fairly generous. The real test will be your approach with a long iron or
fairway metal that must clear the fronting trap. Mounding protects the right
portion of the putting surface, so the premium on accuracy is keen.
Ten yards longer than the previous hole, the sixth plays back toward the New
York skyline. As Nicklaus mentioned, the user-friendly landing areas really
comes into play here, although this one slopes hard from left to right. The
fairway bunker in the middle of the landing area is quite reachable, so avoid
at all costs. Your approach from a hanging lie will test your ability as you
head toward a putting surface that's open in the front. A back-right flag will
be difficult to attack, so stay patient and play for par.
The seventh has to be on most people's favorite holes at Ferry Point. Shaped as
a boomerang from the right, this beautiful par-4 features a lake all down the
right side through the green. Possibly reachable for the big boys at 334 yards,
this hole can play as the easiest, but when the wind is blowing, which often is
the case, then look out. A tight fairway with sand left from an elevated tee
can be quite dangerous, so flight your tee ball down and play smart. Your
approach to the green also will need to avoid the water, as it comes
precariously close to the putting surface. The long and narrow green makes for
a difficult target. Good luck.
With the wind at your back, the eighth might play simple to most because the
green is open in the front with just a bunker right and left to negotiate. The
putting surface is probably the biggest obstacle as it's quite wide and long
at 33 paces. In addition, it features plenty of undulation, and if the pin is
tucked right or left, then you have a big decision to make.
The closing hole on the front nine is a wonderful par-4, with the Whitestone
Bridge as a backdrop. Playing straightaway off the tee, you must stay away from
the bunker in the middle of the landing area. A tee shot down the ample left
side of the fairway will leave a shorter approach, although your angle of
attack will be limited. Set off to the left, the green is smaller than most and
tucked behind a massive bunker which sits well below the putting surface. A
front pin is the easiest placement, but a back-left flag is a real test. Keep
your mind on the prize because the bridge is quite a distraction.
If you thought you might ease into the back nine, forget it. The 10th is a
dogleg-left par-4 that stretches to 460 yards from the tips. A fairway bunker
down the right is your target off the tee, as this will set up a medium to long
iron to a medium-sized putting surface. Three bunkers surround the green, so
any misplayed shot will most likely gather into the white stuff.
In contrast, the 11th is a straightforward and short par-4 of just 352 yards.
It's a certain birdie opportunity, unless you happen to catch one of the
fairway bunkers that tighten the landing area. Three metal might be the play
off the tee, setting up a short iron to a slightly elevated putting surface
fronted by a pot bunker. Accuracy is key, as the green is just 16 paces in
depth but quite wide. A miss short and left might cause your approach to return
to the fairway, so check your GPS for accurate yardage.
If the "Donald" can do it, anyone can. That's a hole-in-one and the boss,
Donald Trump aced the 12th hole during the inaugural round at Ferry Point.
Playing from the next-to-last set of tees, Trump knocked in his 8-iron on
Oct. 9, 2013. From the black markers, this hole is only 166 yards in
length, so a mid-range iron will suffice. The key here is pin placement because
the green is fairly long and angled to the right. A back-right pin, tucked
behind the deep greenside trap, is quite devilish, so play toward the center
and move on.
With the great city of New York in the background, the 13th is another 400-
yard-plus par-4. Fairly straightforward, take aim at the grassy knoll in the
right-center of the fairway as a target. From there it's a medium to long iron
to a fairly simple green. Just 24 paces in depth and fronted by one bunker,
this hole, depending upon the wind, can be a realistic birdie chance. But
then again, it could be a bogey just waiting to happen.
You'll need to bust a drive on the 14th, as this par 4 tilts the scorecard at
471 yards. The good news ... a very generous fairway. The bad news ... you'll
need a long iron or fairway metal to reach the green in regulation. Don't be
fooled by the front bunker that sits 10-15 yards short of the putting service.
It's very deceiving and will throw your depth perception off. Play toward the
left side of the green, as most shots will feed right toward the pin.
At 596 yards, the 15th is by far the longest hole on the course. Not only that,
but it will take three precise blasts to reach the green. The fairway is wide
off the tee, so that shouldn't be an issue. Even your layup should be fairly
simple, but it's your third that will require know-how, as the green is
slightly elevated and the putting surface runs from back to front. The bunker
short of the green sits well below the hole, so avoid at all costs.
The closing stretch of holes are really good at Ferry Point. The longest of the
par-4s, No. 16 is S-shaped from tee to green and features a marsh right by
the green, massive mounding and bunkers left, and the beautiful East River in
the rear. The key here is two-fold, as you must stay right of the bunkers and
mounding and that means threading the fairway at its tightest point. Now comes
your approach, which must cover the marsh and the right greenside bunker with
a long iron or fairway metal. In addition, going long is not an option, leaving
little or no bailout area. My bogey was as good as I could have done, as I
chipped in from off the green.
Playing away from the water, the 17th, a wonderful par-3, plays slightly uphill
and into the breeze from 193 yards away. Another long iron or fairway metal
will be required to reach the very long putting surface. Pot bunkers left and
long and a deep trap to the right will keep even the best players honest. At 40
paces, the 17th has many pin placements, so pick the right stick; otherwise a
three-putt might be in the offing.
Nicklaus didn't scrimp when it came to crafting the closing hole at Trump Golf
Links at Ferry Point. This par-5 features all the elements of a classic design,
such as rick-reward, strategic placement and sheer beauty. Although the fairway
is generous off the tee, you'll need to avoid the two bunkers, one in the
center of the fairway and the other to the right. Your layup now must dissect
the tightest portion of the landing area, as it tightens the closer you play
toward the green. The big hitters, who blast a big tee ball, might be tempted
to go for it, but be wary, as the green is situated as close as possible to the
river, within striking distance of the bridge. Bunkers and chipping areas guard
the long and undulating surface. It's a wonderful finishing hole.
FINAL WORD: If you know Mr. Trump, then you'll realize that Ferry Point will
become one of the finest courses in his stable of layouts.
Not one to sit on his laurels, Trump will make sure this course will host a
major championship in the near future. You can bank on that. Just look at what
he's done with Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey, which
hosted the U.S. Junior Amateur and the Girls' Junior Amateur in 2009 and will
hold the 2022 PGA Championship. In addition, the 2017 Senior PGA Championship
was awarded to another Trump venue in Potomac Falls, Virginia.
"If you are going to have a golf course that has the ability to host a high-
profile national or international event, you have to have some spice in it,"
Nicklaus said. "Our goal as a public golf course is to have it play well on a
daily basis and serve the needs of those golfers who visit Ferry Point. But
when asked to host an event, we believe we have the ability to move to the back
tees, hide the pins and create a test of golf fitting of any tournament or
"The golf course is sort of a shell of what you would have for a major
championship," Nicklaus continued. "Right now the course is fairly open and
very user-friendly. It's not an easy golf course. If the USGA or the PGA came
in, we would probably add a few bunkers and a couple of tees, which would be a
normal thing to do. The golf course as is, if you brought any PGA tournament
here today, they would find the golf course challenging, they would find it
interesting and I think they would walk away, saying, 'Hey, when can we get
back there again.' That's what we want. You want the course to be scoreable,
but you don't want a course where they shoot nothing under, so there is a
balance in there and I think we got that here."
Another great aspect of Ferry Point is the Michael Breed Golf Academy.
Named the PGA National Teacher of the Year in 2012, Breed will bring his
energetic style and flair and some quality instruction to the golf course. In
fact, he was named the No. 1 instructor in the state of New York.
Just like any other new course, certain areas need to continue to grow in,
mainly the rough, but from tee to green, the venue is as pristine as it gets.
Rolling fairways, framed beautifully by the rich fescue and mounding, a variety
of bunker designs, undulating putting surfaces and the Manhattan skyline along
with the feel of the Scottish courses built hundreds of years ago will
certainly make Ferry Point a must-play for all golfers.
There is no doubt that from the back markers, Ferry Point is a brute, but with
five different teeing grounds, ranging from 5,278 yards to just over 7,400, I'm
sure you can find a spot suitable for your game.
That certainly is key, as golf should be a game for enjoyment. Play the correct
tees, speed up play and meet new friends and you'll find that your experience
on the golf course can continue for a lifetime.
So everyone wants to know ... what's the price tag?
For the New York City resident, it tops out at $169 on the weekend, and as low
as $98 during twilight hours on weekdays. The non-resident won't be as
fortunate, as the going rate on weekends is a smidge over $200. The good news
is juniors, seniors and the military get special discounts.
How good will this course get? Only time will tell, as the variety of holes
will begin to stand out, but the bottom line, Trump Golf Links at Ferry Point
is a dump no more!