Ferry Point Course in the Bronx Finally Completed; to Open in 2015

After years of controversy and cost overruns, construction on the long-awaited golf course at Ferry Point Park in the Bronx, N.Y., is complete. Work on the Jack Nicklaus-designed layout was finished October 16, with various dignitaries on hand for a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Among those in attendance were Nicklaus, New York mayor Michael Bloomberg and developer Donald Trump, who took over for the plagued project and saw it to fruition.

The 18-hole, links-style course occupies 192 acres of a former landfill and is situated at the foot of the Whitestone Bridge near the East River. It offers open views of the Manhattan skyline.

All told, over $100 million were spent on site remediation, legal and environmental problems and assorted other issues. All of the start-and-stop steps needed to complete the course will be worth it, according to golf's "Golden Bear."

"I think Ferry Point will be a tremendous experience," Nicklaus said in a release. "I've been asked to create something that is world-class, a source of pride for New York City, and if they wanted to hold a national or international event, a course that will be a strong golf course from the back tees."

Trump took over the project in 2011 after the original developer pulled out. The Big Apple magnate, whose Trump Golf group boasts an impressive list of courses, including the much-heralded and recently opened Trump International Golf Links in Aberdeen, Scotland, brought the Ferry Point project to completion. Like all his other facilities, this one will have a similar name: Trump Golf Links at Ferry Point.

"Had they not chosen me, it would have been 15 years before it opened," Trump told the Wall Street Journal. "I broke their [behinds], you have no idea. I sent the roughest guys there. I sent construction guys that eat nails."

From the tips the new course will extend nearly 7,400 yards and is certainly capable of holding big-time tournaments. The executive director of the USGA, Mike Davis, has made two visits. Both Trump and Nicklaus hope the venue lands a future U.S. Open.

"We want to see the golf course open," Davis told the WSJ. "It's certainly worth (the USGA) continuing to look at it seriously, but it's so early in the process and so few people have seen it."

The public layout will open for play in spring 2015. Green fees are yet to be established, but they may be upwards of three times that of the city's other municipally-owned courses. Trump plans to spend $10 million on a 12,000-square-foot clubhouse next to the course.

The course will greet its first golfers next spring with youth instruction programs run through the City Parks Foundation.

Nicklaus tipped his cap to the efforts of "The Donald."

"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," Nicklaus told Denis Slattery of the New York Daily News.

"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."