AmericaThis week’s Northern Trust venue on the PGA Tour used to be a scrap yard before becoming a prime New York golf course.

Liberty National is located next to the Hudson River, near the Statue of Liberty, so much so that veteran AP journalist Doug Ferguson likened the Goddess to holding up a “Please keep quiet” sign for golfers to show off their skills often seen at top tournaments. high. Up to 15 viewing holes can see the symbol of the United States. From the yard, you can see the rows of skyscrapers in New York starting with Lower Manhattan on the opposite bank.

Liberty National Stadium overlooks downtown New York.  Photo: PGA Tour

Liberty National Stadium overlooks downtown New York. Photo: PGA Tour

But Liberty National’s predecessor was not clean. Before becoming a golf course, this land was poisoned, containing abandoned warehouses, damaged equipment from World War I, countless rotten oil barrels. This place even became the base of the notorious crime syndicate Gambino.

But Paul Fireman, the former CEO of Reebok, likes that desolate and dangerous place, not only for its unique vision but also for its spiritual value. That’s where Fireman’s grandparents landed after emigrating from Russia and Australia.

“The site has many unique features. The Statue of Liberty, New York Harbor, close to the city, views of the Hudson River and historical connections. Of course, when embarking on work, there are many dangers to face. opportunity and a feeling of doubt from many people, but I personally accept it because it is the only opportunity in my life to create an icon later, “Fireman shared on pgatour.com.

From his vision, Liberty National opened on July 4, 2006, the day of the American Independence Day. During more than 14 years of construction according to the design of famous player Tom Kite and architect Bob Cupp, the construction team had to move nearly 170,000 m3 of land, then replace it with sand from 70,000 heavy truck trips, and plant 5,000 more trees.

Before this stage, they have to decontaminate the soil, lining the base with plastic and then millions of tons of clay and additives. As a result, the ground floor is 15 meters higher than the old ground. The total cost of building the stadium is up to 300 million USD.

The golfer on the 13th hole has a very clear view of the Statue of Liberty.  Photo: Northern Trust

The golfer on the 13th hole has a very clear view of the direction of the Statue of Liberty. Photo: Northern Trust

Liberty National has hosted the Northern Trust four times, including the 2021 period starting today, August 19. The first time the PGA Tour event was held, back in 2009, many golfers complained about the quality – narrow fairway, excessively steep green. After the tournament, player and member Phil Mickelson also suggested cutting the rough grass shorter to improve professional opportunities after stray balls. Fireman took the criticism and used his own money to renovate 15 holes.

In 2017, the US team as the host chose Liberty National for the Presidents Cup match with the International team. At that time, they won overwhelmingly at the score of 19-11.

From 2019 to now, the Northern Trust at Liberty National has become the opening event of the playoff series to determine the FedEx Cup with a championship prize of USD 15 million. However, the tournament and the course are not present in the PGA Tour calendar next season – 2021-2022.

Quoc Huy


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