A Dream Opportunity for Golf-Loving Dads

Northern Trust brings top golfers to Jersey City—and offers spectators a rare chance to play (after the pros have finished).

Liberty National Golf Club in Jersey City Courtesy of PGA Tour

Do you have a dad who loves golf? The Northern Trust at Liberty National Golf Club, taking place August 6–11 in Jersey City, offers a Father’s Day gift that will lock in your status as dad’s favorite. Each competition-round ticket (Thursday–Sunday) purchased through June 21 comes with a chance to win a “Dream Foursome” experience at Liberty National. The winner will get to play on August 13—just two days after some of the world’s best players have walked the same fairways.

But even just a trip to watch the Northern Trust would be a win for dad (or any golf aficionado). In 2019, the PGA Tour contracted its playoff format from four tournaments to three, raised the purse for the FedEx Cup champion from $10 million to $15 million and doubled the bonus pool to $70 million, placing even more importance on the Northern Trust, the first of the three playoff events. A field of 125 golfers will compete; only 70 will move on to the second playoff, the BMW Championship. From there, 30 golfers will advance to the Tour Championship.

“This tournament will rival a Major,” says PGA tour senior vice president Julie Tyson, executive director of the Northern Trust. “We’ll have the top players playing at the peak of their season. Because it’s the first playoff, no one can sit it out. And the money has created a lot more pressure. We wanted this to be almost vomit-inducing when they tee it up.”

Along with defending champ Bryson DeChambeau, who won this tournament last summer at Ridgewood Country Club, fans can expect to see all of golf’s heavy hitters, including Tiger Woods, Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson and Justin Rose. And they’ll watch these stars play on a course like no other: Situated along the Hudson River, the course is just 2,000 yards from the Statue of Liberty, and offers views of the Manhattan skyline and the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge.

Courtesy of PGA Tour

Liberty National’s compact parameters and brick-paved cart paths make for an easily walkable course and a tournament experience that is ideal for families. Children under 18 receive free entry all week when accompanied by a ticketed adult—grounds tickets are just $35 for practice rounds on Wednesday—and spectators can bring in their own food (in clear plastic bags). Concessions will include Jersey City institutions Pizza Vita and Torico Ice Cream, along with Shake Shack, Sticky’s Finger Joint and Luke’s Lobster. Visitors can also shop in stores like Nordstrom and Bonobos, or try out an on-site Top Golf simulator.

A highlight of the 7,370-yard course—designed by 1992 U.S. Open champion Tom Kite and prominent course architect Bob Cupp—is the 150-yard, par-3 No. 14, which boasts prime views of Lady Liberty. “As you think about the competition, 14 will be a deciding hole on the golf course,” Tyson says. “And it’s also beautiful. All along the right side is the Hudson River, and on the left is all sand.”

Other interesting holes include No. 6, a 538-yard par 5 that produced 22 eagles during the 2013 Barclays (which had the same course layout as the 2019 Northern Trust); and No. 9, which was the toughest hole of the 2013 tournament. Spectators who want to get off their feet can visit the 325-yard, par 4 No. 16, which features a shaded grandstand above the drivable green. A second shaded grandstand overlooks No. 17’s green and No. 18’s tee box. Fans can also watch golfers warm up on the driving range, then keep track of their favorite players’ scores and positions on the course with the PGA Tour app.

For the duration of the tournament, Uber will be allowed to drop off riders on-site. Free shuttles will also be provided from garages at Newport Center in Jersey City.

Grounds tickets for Thursday and Friday are $60; for Saturday and Sunday, $70.A weekly grounds pass is $195; higher-level hospitality experiences begin at $160. Active-military members and military veterans also are admitted free; veterans can receive two free tickets. For tickets, visit pgatour.com or call 844-868-7465.

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