photo courtesy the PGA
The first tournament of the FedExCup is the Northern Trust, which has traditionally been held in the New York City area. The tournament is limited to the top 125 players on the FedEx points list and serves to cut 25 golfers from the next playoff event on the road to crowing a season champion. Because every point matters, the tension and action at the Northern Trust is higher than a typical PGA Tour event. For fans planning to attend the tournament, be sure and plan some time to see the sights and play some of the amazing courses in the NYC area.
Travel Guide to the Bronx
New York City is one of the world’s great tourist destinations. For visitors who have never travelled to New York City, then a trip to iconic locations like the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, Central Park and the 9/11 Memorial should be on the top of your list. Likewise, visiting Times Square or taking in a Broadway play are other popular choices for first time visitors. However, spectators who’ve visited the city before should consider visiting the Bronx, the borough closest to the Northern Trust that is often overlooked by tourists and can give a more authentic feel for the city.
The Bronx, the borough that birthed hip-hop, is sometimes maligned as a gritty urban district. However, the Bronx is also overflowing with green spaces. Be sure and check out America’s largest metropolitan zoo by strolling through all 265 acres of the Bronx Zoo. Or take a walk through the New York Botanical Garden, home to over 1 million plants from all over the world with exhibits displaying everything from tropical to desert ecosystems. After stopping to smell the roses, explore the Belmont neighborhood to see the Bronx’s own version of Little Italy without the crowds of tourists. Excellent homemade food is available throughout the Belmont district, or visit the locally loved Antonio’s Trattoria for authentic Italian cuisine. Or go for some lighter and sweeter fare from Artuso Pastry, home to some of the borough’s best desserts. If you’re looking for a drink, consider visiting Gun Hill Brewing Company’s extensive taproom featuring their own Bronx-made beers, or head over the Bronx Brewery for more local beers in many styles. Then it’s time to plan what courses you’re going to play during your stay.
There are numerous challenging and well kept courses throughout the NYC area. The following is a list of some of the best public courses you can play both in and outside of the city.
500 Hutchinson River Pkwy
Bronx, NY 10465
Located conveniently in the Bronx, the Trump Golf Links at Ferry Point is one of the best courses in the greater New York City area. Built on top of an old landfill, this $269 million course was designed by the legendary Jack Nicklaus. It is a traditional links style course that is known for its excellent conditioning. Golfers will find plenty of challenge from the undulating terrain and strategic bunkering. Enjoy the excellent view of New York City’s skyline as the course finishes up near the banks of the East River. However, be prepared to pay the price of championship golf located inside of New York City when booking your tee time.
137 Wheatsworth Rd.
Hamburg, NJ 07419
NEarby Hamburg, New Jersey serves up a beautiful and challenging links course at Crystal Springs Resort’s Ballyowen course. The entire course seeks to evoke the feel of Scottish golf, down to the bagpipers that can be heard at various times throughout the day. The course is punitive so golfers may want to err on the side of caution when playing Ballyowen, as deep bunkers and tall fescue seek to add strokes to your score. The course is also more affordable than many area courses and remains a must play for golfers in the know.
4119, 2301 S Branch Rd.
Neshanic Station, NJ 08853
This beautiful course is nestled into picturesque New Jersey farmland and offers multiple playing options. It is a collection of 3 different 9-hole courses that can be mixed into one 18-hole experience (or a marathon 27-hole session). This municipal course was designed by Dr. Michael Hurdzan and Dana Fry and features open holes with water and wetland hazards throughout. The course features generally wide fairways, though there are more than enough hazards and bunkers to keep the game interesting.
99 Quaker Meeting House Rd.
Farmingdale, NY 11735
Bethpage State Park is the undisputed king of NYC-area golf. Located on Long Island, the state park boasts the Red and Black courses. The more famous (and challenging) Black Course first opened in 1936 as a solid public course, but its current pedigree comes from the work Rees Jones provided in updating the course in 1998, 2008, and 2015. The challenge, as well as the beauty of the course, has seen it host two U.S. Opens and it has been awarded both the 2019 PGA Championship and the 2024 Ryder Cup. The Red Course is another wonderful course, and is much more playable than the Black Course. If time permits, try and play both of these beautiful courses during your stay.