What it's like to play the brand new $269 million golf course that Donald Trump just opened in New York City

Trump Golf Links Ferry PointTrump Golf Links Ferry PointThe 18th hole with the Whitestone Bridge in the background.

New York City has a brand new championship-calibre golf course designed by Jack Nicklaus.

And, anyone can play it.

Donald Trump officially opened Trump Golf Links in Ferry Point, New York on April 1. Last fall, I got a chance to play a round with our sports editor Tony Manfred.

It’s a great course. It blows away all the other public courses in New York City, which isn’t saying much because most of the city’s courses are pretty beat up and uninspired. (There are a surprising number of courses in New York City. Of all the courses I’ve played in New York, here are my city rankings: 1. Pelham Bay; 2. La Tourette; 3. Split Rock; 4. Marine Park; 5. Dyker Beach; 6. South Shore; 7. Silver Lake; 8. Douglaston; 9. Moshulu; 10. Van Cortlandt.)

More impressively, Trump Golf Links, which was built for a reported $US269 million, is in contention to be a top five public course in the New York metro area. My list of the best courses in the New York Metro area (which means ~1 hour drive out of the city) before Trump Links goes like this: 1. Bethpage Black; 2. Pound Ridge; 3. Neshanic Valley; 4. Ballyowen; 5. Bethpage Red.

The new Trump course could compete with those last three on the list, though as a friend of mine said of the course, it’s best to wait until it is in full bloom.

There are only two downsides to the course:

1. It’s expensive. A round ranges from $US141 to $US215, depending on the day of the week and whether you’re an NYC resident. An average round at a public city course is ~$US40.

2. It’s in the Bronx, but not near any train lines, so it’s not the most convenient place to get to.

Still! It’s a fun time, and it will be on every New York golfer’s list in 2015.

When I played I took some photos of the course so you can get a sense of the course. This is not a perfect representation because the course will have tall fescue grown in when it’s warmer, but this is an idea of what it will be like.

This is what the course will look like when it's in its glory in the summer of 2015. The fescue will be up; the city will be in the background.

And here's one more look at the 18th hole, with the Whitestone Bridge in the background.

Here's what it looked like when we arrived in the morning.

There is a generous putting green to warm up on. There is also a great chipping area to work on short-game shots. It feels like a high-quality course.

Here's the driving range, which is also very nice.

This is a view from the back tees of the first hole. At the tips, the course can play over 7,400 yards. The average golfer should play ~6,000 yards. Professionals play 7,400 and up.

On the first hole, my playing partner Tony Manfred got into some trouble.

Here we are in the first green looking back at the first hole's tee box.

The course is treeless, which is good. Trees are overrated on golf courses.

You will see a lot of great views of the city's skyline.

Anyway, the course is fun. It's not too hard, either. I played nine holes from the front, nine holes from the middle, and eight holes from the back. My score was roughly the same from each tee group, which illustrates how fair the course is.

The downside to no trees is that you don't really feel as if you're escaping the city. You feel as if you're on this funny parcel of land surrounded by the Bronx.

It's nice and wide open, which is how golf ought to be.

There are, of course, some tough holes, like this short par 4 that has water down the right side. It's drivable, which makes it a fantastic risk/reward hole. It also also a lovely view of the city.

The Whitestone Bridge is viewable all over the course.

Back in the fall, the fescue was cut. But by the summer it will be all grown in. This looks awesome now -- imagine how it will look with towering grass on all those hills.


This course took 14 years of development. It was built on a landfill that closed in 1963.

The greens are in good shape. They're nice and firm, like a links course. (It's not a true links course.)


There is talk of the course hosting the Barclays, a PGA Tour playoff event, in the future.

You can get a sense of how expansive and open the course feels, but at the same time, it is situated in the city.

Fore left!

Here, we stitched together the 16th hole on the left with the 17th hole on the right.

And, wrapping up, this is the 18th green.

And this is the scorecard. Ignore the actual scores, please.

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