The joy of doing some sightseeing on the way to work
The Liberty National is similar to the French National golf course in that it has been built on a landfill
The view from the 17th green at Liberty National in Jersey City, New Jersey.
I recall arriving at golf venues by some unusual means in the past but this week’s preferred mode of transport for the Barclays sponsored first FedEx Cup event is probably the most uncharacteristic and interesting of all.
It is a long standing tradition on the US Tour that players get the use of a new car for the week, all they have to do is put a few drops of petrol into it, switch on the sat nav, cruise from the hotel to the course and simply leave it back at the closest private airfield for someone to collect after they have finished with it.
In Europe the players are frequently chauffeured by over-educated drivers in smart suits instead of the hands on policy of driving oneself in the US. Either way the modern top golf pro is accustomed to ease of passage with ground transport around a tournament.
So when we end up at a venue keenly overlooked by probably the most eye-catching metropolis in the world, inhabited by over eight million people and occupying a space usually designated to a fraction of that, it shouldn’t come as such a surprise that we ended up with an equally exotic mode of transport to get us to the course on time – a water taxi.
There are some elderly people left on the north side of Dublin who will remember the days of catching a boat from Malahide across the estuary and onto the peninsula of the Island golf club. It was a unique feature to the Island which was based on practicality and necessity. Finally a road was built around the coast and the boat was no longer required.
Catch a boat
There is a hole on a course outside Bangkok in Thailand where we played the Royal Trophy a few years back that required us to catch a boat to a floating green and back again to the next tee. In Japan we have all used different types of hoists and pulleys to get us from one hole to the next on courses that are carved out of mountains and totally unsuitable for golf without creative engineering and an abundance of on course elevators.
This weeks venue on the post industrial Jersey shoreline is undoubtedly the most exciting venue that even us more mature global toters have been to. The Liberty National is similar to the French National golf course in that it has been built on a landfill. We are all aware of the money involved in garbage and the recycling of it but the Liberty National brings this theory to a new level.
It cost $250 million to build and since the first Barclay’s FedEx play-off tournament was held there four years ago, already there has been major reconstruction. This came about because of the criticism that some key players gave the costly development’s putting surfaces. The final hole has also been changed dramatically. I assume that has taken the investment to a new level.