City skylines are normally slated as backdrops to professional football and baseball games but this week the Presidents Cup will be played in the shadow of Manhattan. Liberty National Golf Club sets itself apart from traditional courses with its metropolitan look and feel. It’s the perfect backdrop to an event where team USA is represented considering New York was one of the main targets of the 9/11 attacks.
Bearing the ‘USA’ logo on one’s chest with the reminder of 9/11 looming over the course is enough to send chills down the back of a players spine. Luckily for the U.S., their players seem to have ice running through their veins.
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) September 27, 2017
Liberty National is far from a stroll through Central Park, this course has just as many deadly holes as it does scenic ones.
The Presidents Cup matches will actually begin on the par-5 fifth hole where a massive grandstand has been built for fans to surround the tee box. For newcomers to the event, this could be added pressure they are not used to – as opposed to those quiet galleries normally seen on tour or in major championships.
Unlike tournaments like The Masters at Augusta National, people will come to this event looking to be rowdy and represent their country. Could you imagine trying to be rowdy at The Masters? You’d get tossed like Lou Piniella during a Cubs day game.
— Presidents Cup (@PresidentsCup) September 24, 2017
Not only do the players get to show a little more emotion but the fans do as well. Besides the Ryder and Presidents Cups, the Phoenix Waste Management Open is the only other tournament where fans get to let loose and be vocal.
A truly picturesque hole the fans and players will enjoy is the par-three 14th which is overlooked by the Statue of Liberty in the Hudson River. That hole could make for some late-round magic as it will play a short 150 yards this week. And the only real hazard on this hole will be the slew of bunkers playing on the right-hand side (there is a bunker to the left as well but it is relatively smaller than the ones on the right).
Speaking of hazards, holes 16 and 18 are both driveable par-fours. Here’s the catch: you will be flirting with large bodies of water from the Hudson on both holes. Even though the 16th doesn’t have nearly as much water as the 18th it would be safe for players to play their tee shot about 150 yards, which will leave them with another 180 left for the hole. It’s too risky with the body of water separating the fairway along with the trees that surround the hole.
The 18th will be challenging for those who hit a fade like Rickie Fowler as the Hudson River plays into the entire right side of this hole. Once again players shouldn’t think too aggressively if the tee boxes are up on this hole this weekend.
Glittering crowds and shimmering clouds amongst canyons of steel.
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) September 25, 2017
Players who smoke the ball like Dustin Johnson won’t have to worry about the challenge holes eight and nine possess. Hole No.8 is a 565-yard par-five. There are no significant hazards on this hole but the fact that it plays so long will make it challenging for conservative golfers like Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas.
Hole No. 9 is a 360-yard par-four which doesn’t sound challenging…except for the 100 yards of water between the tee box and the first fairway (the middle of the first fairway is 275 yards, including both land and water). Players should look to aim more right on this hole…but not too far right as there are woods awaiting to swallow up your ball.
Liberty National will play as one of the more breathtaking venues for the Presidents Cup, but it will also present one of the more taxing courses for those who like to take risks.
Wonder what the official team cabins look like? Check the inside tour 👇 pic.twitter.com/SK2PPrsABT
— Presidents Cup (@PresidentsCup) September 26, 2017