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Parks expects Ferry Point Golf Course to be ready fall 2013

Bronx Times

Get ready to tee off in two years.

In its most recent round of updates on the status of the Ferry Point Park Golf Course, the city’s Parks Department said the course is on schedule to be fully operational by fall, 2013. The actual open date will be up to the private concession company which will operate the course. That company is still yet to be determined.

Hope Kaufman has been overseeing the project for the Parks Department’s Capital Projects division. She addressed Community Board 10 and the Throggs Neck Home Owners Association on Monday, October 17 and Tuesday, October 25, respectively.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg allocated funds from the capital budget for the project in 2008.

Aside from the projected ready date and still-uncertain status of the concession company, Kaufman shared several other details about the par 72 golf course.

It will be a links-style course, which means it will not have as many tall trees lining each fairway as most North American courses. Links-style courses are more common in Europe, and planners felt that keeping trees to a minimum would emphasize the impressive views of the water, bridges and city skyline.

The installation of the course’s irrigation system has already begun and the first six holes are on target to be completed by spring, 2012.

Kaufman also said that given the lack of public transportation around Ferry Point and a desire to minimize car traffic, the city is looking at adding ferry boat service to the site.

There will also be a clubhouse at the golf course, and it will be operated by the private concession company, for which an RFP is still out standing.

The course is being designed by legendary professional golfer Jack Nicklaus and renowned designer John Sanford.

As with all public golf courses in New York City, city residents will pay reduced greens fees compared to visitors from out of town. There will also be free golf classes for local youth.

Kaufman said she appreciated the chance to talk to area residents about the golf course progress and get as much input as possible.

“These are the places people call home,” she wrote in an e-mail. “And if they weren’t passionate about their communities, our jobs would actually be harder because we wouldn’t know what is important and valuable to the people most impacted by the work we do.”

Lynn Gerbino, president of the TNHOA, said that she is intrigued by the supposedly imminent golf course opening, but still has some concerns about cost and traffic. “I am cautiously optimistic about the time line presented, and I am concerned that the golf course will be out of the price range of us little folk,” she said. “We are also concerned about many cars parking along the eastern perimeter of the course and people walking in from the Balcom/Emerson pedestrian entrance to get to the waterside recreational area, instead of driving around to Ring Road to get in.”

The Ferry Point Park waterside recreation area is still “in the design stages” according to a parks spokesperson.

The course has not been named yet but the idea of christening it after it’s initial supporter, the late Councilman Michael DeMarco, has been suggested.

This article reflects a correction. The original stated that the golf course would be complete by fall, 2012.

Bill Weisbrod can be reached via e-mail at bweisbrod@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 742-3394. Follow him on Twitter @bweisbrod

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