From August 7 to 11, 125 players from around the world, including Tiger Woods and Brooks Koepka, will gather at the Liberty National Golf Club in Jersey City, New Jersey, for The Northern Trust, the first event of the PGA TOUR’s season-ending FedExCup Playoffs. With higher stakes, more stringent criteria, and an exceptional location, the tournament is upping the ante in every way for golf enthusiasts.
In addition to rotating locations (the tournament will now alternate between New Jersey and Boston), the biggest change from previous years is the PGA Tour doubling the FedExCup bonus pool from $35M to $70M, with the FedExCup champion receiving $15M at the season’s end, versus $10M from previous years. In addition, the PGA Tour raised the total prize money up for grabs at each of the three Playoffs events. The prize money now totals more than $100M for combined winnings available to the players.
The competition is greater this summer too, as only 70 of the 125 players will proceed to the second round (previously, 100 players were allowed to advance). The playoffs will also be reduced from four events to three, with the reduced time frame forcing players to work harder and faster.
The changes to the competition make a more compelling viewing experience, but outside the ropes, the PGA Tour has created a compelling luxury experience as well. Situated on Caven Point Road, just 11 miles from Manhattan (or a 15-minute ferry ride) and 2,000 yards from the Statue of Liberty, with 18 holes stretching over 7,400 yards, the private Liberty National course allows guests to arrive from land or sea, and those who purchase the VIP Experience package—called The Liberty Club—are granted access directly to the clubhouse.
“We’re taking over the clubhouse and creating something totally unique for The Northern Trust,” says Julie Tyson, Executive Director of The Northern Trust. “It will be something that even the club’s members haven’t seen before.”
The VIP Experience includes transportation to the club via ferry or chauffeured car; a dedicated valet at the clubhouse; white-glove service inside the club; a special menu of unlimited food and cocktails overseen by chef Shaun Lewis; a $500 gift card for merchandise; shared spaces inside the club with PGA Tour players; access to the private suite on the 18th green as well as the club’s signature 14th hole with unobstructed views of the Manhattan skyline; and a collaboration from neo-pop artist Peter Tunney, who designed the VIP badges and was the creative force behind The Liberty Club’s aesthetic and torch logo. The package starts at $7,500 and grants access to the entire tournament. While only 250 of the passes are offered, they are transferable, meaning friends or colleagues can share in the experience.
Other offerings this year available to all attendees—regular admission for the tournament starts at $40—include customized fan journey maps, which allow spectators to walk the golf course and highlights the best viewpoints and can’t-miss venues along the way, including the clubhouse on the fourth green, which was inspired by the Sydney Opera House. thenortherntrust.com