Superintendent Has Liberty National Ready for Top Pros

The PGA Tour started its 2010 FedEx Cup Playoffs Thursday with The Barclays, the first of four $7.5 million-purse events to conclude the regular season. Liberty National Golf Club in Jersey City, N.J., plays host this year.

A private club built across New York Harbor from New York City on a previously toxic dump along the Hudson River in 2006, Liberty National offers stunning views of the Statue of Liberty, Manhattan skyline and the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge.

Over the years the property served as an ammunition dump during World War I, a junkyard for a few decades, a petroleum tank farm, and then the site of massive storage warehouses, one of which was a base of operations for the Gambino crime family. After the land was cleaned up and decontaminated, 2 million cubic feet of soil was added to bring the previously flat property 10 feet above sea level to 52 feet above the water level in some places. The club also features a heliport and a marina to provide members ferry service by land, air and sea.

Greg James is the golf course superintendent at Liberty National. He has endured a very wet summer and topped the thick stand of Kentucky bluegrass rough at four inches for The Barclays. James added bunkers to the landing area of the first hole in anticipation of the event and expanded the 12th green for an additional, deeper hole location. The 155-yard par 3 shore-lined No. 14 with the New York City skyline as a backdrop might be the signature hole at Liberty National, but James says that No. 16 might be the most exciting because it is a reachable 325-yard par 4.

The above story originally appeared in GCM Newsweekly, an e-newsletter from the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (