Sweet Land of Liberty: Liberty National Golf Course

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Liberty National Golf Course in Jersey City is a true realization of the American Dream

By Elisa Brinkworth

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Spanning over 160 acres of sumptuous greens, Liberty National golf course was created upon a vision to become America’s dream. For Dan Fireman, principal of Willowbend Development, a family-owned company that has been developing and managing golf courses for more than 18 years, being asked to assist his father in creating another course was nothing out of the ordinary. But when the opportunity arose to create the first-ever golf course overlooking Hudson Bay, there was no putting around.

Located in Jersey City, this spectacular, 18-hole course meanders around six-finger like ponds and through hills higher than 40 feet. With a breathtaking view of Manhattan’s skyline and the Statue of Liberty within less than a thousand yards of the eighteenth green, Liberty National offers much more to members than meets the eye. “My father and I built this course,” states Fireman. “Not as a business venture, but more as a legacy and appreciation to the game of golf.”

 Comparable to many of the most expensive courses throughout the world, Liberty National offers more to members than a round of golf.

This exclusive course offers five-star services within a clubhouse modeled after the Sydney Opera house complete with unobstructed views of Lady Liberty and Manhattan’s ever-changing skyline. Members have the opportunity to relax in any one of the clubhouse’s small vignettes while dining on classical, pre-World War II French dishes recreated by renowned chef Tom Cilcio. “Our passion is to create an atmosphere where members come to relax,” Fireman says. “We really are trying for people to take their time and enjoy their surroundings. It is not about a quick round of golf; it is about a lifestyle we are trying to create – a way of being.”

Comparable to many of the most expensive courses throughout the world, Liberty National offers more to members than a round of golf. With a private helicopter that enables members to commute from Manhattan to New Jersey in a matter of minutes, a concierge awaits their arrival with their drink of choice in hand. Although initiation fees may be set high, Liberty National prides itself as being “America’s Golf Course,” welcoming guests to experience the history and passion intertwined into the sport and in the history of creating this course.

Prior to the Firemans’ involvement in 1998, this New Jersey shore was home to various oil refineries and warehouses, leaving Liberty’s land embedded with toxic waste and little hope. After a series of extensive cleanings, the father-son duo purchased the contaminated land, knocked down the remaining warehouses and struggled to gain various permits to begin the development of their lifelong dream. Hauling in over 300 cubic yards of dirt, a team of experts guided by a GPS system mapped out precise locations for sufficient building. “Because we did not know what type of toxins were beneath the dirt, we had to completely cover the grounds enough to keep these materials from damaging the grounds,” Fireman explains. “Our plan maps were very precise; it was very strategic. But very well worth it.”

Scheduled for completion by July 4th of this year, Liberty National will not be making a patriotic debut. Instead, the course will perform its ribbon-cutting in mid-June, welcoming members and local politicians to join in the celebration of the completion of the American Dream.

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