With The Northern Trust landing at Liberty National this week, The Forecaddie recalls not long ago how Trump Ferry Point was thought to be part of the tournament’s rotation. Shoot, The Man Out Front is old enough to remember back in 2014 how Trump Ferry Point was considered by some to be penciled in for a U.S. Open at some point.
Now, the New York muni is losing money, has no big tournaments on the schedule and golf’s biggest organizations have locked up other, mostly older venues instead of chasing modern venues.
The backstory: what turned out to be an erroneous Golf.com report five years ago had the Jack Nicklaus and Trump Golf-managed public course hosting the 2017 and 2020 Barclays, now the Northern Trust. That same year, the USGA’s Mike Davis made two high-profile visits to the course featuring amazing New York City views, ostensibly to chime in with thoughts on what worked and what did not. There was a race to lock up New York-area courses and public venues, and Ferry Point fit beautifully as a New York City-owned property, a TV-friendly location and the Nicklaus branding adding to its allure.
Splashy openings were held for course and clubhouse, with the Trump family, Dustin Johnson and others on hand to give the course with a $127 million price tag a high-profile send-off.
Five years later, no tournaments are headed there, the course lost money for the first time last year and the tee sheet is filled with no shortage of summer-season times.
A New York Daily News story this week outlined how, after posting profits around $500,000 a year, Trump Golf reported a $122,000 loss for Ferry Point and blamed the city for a delayed gas pipe installation that cut into clubhouse revenues. The city gave Trump Golf a four-year rent-free start and covers irrigation costs. Next year a $300,000 rent fee will be tacked on to the bottom line.
With rounds for the course down, the Forecaddie poked around the online tee sheet and found that even in the prime month of August, in a strong economy and with reviews for the course mostly positive, Trump Ferry Point appears to be wide open for play most weekdays and weekend afternoons. At a $224 green fee and offering barely-noticeable variable pricing, the cost to play is significantly higher than other New York City courses.
The Forecaddie can safely say this is not where he expected to see Trump Ferry Point five years after creating so much buzz.