The Bayonne Golf Club:
A Links Style Golf Course in an Urban Setting
The Bayonne Golf Club was designed and developed by Eric Bergstol and sits on a 145 acre Hudson River site located just four miles from Manhattan. Bergstol, a New York developer, has a resume of eleven golf course constructed, six projects he personally designed.
A significant part of creating a links type golf course is how to use the most appropriate grasses, bushes, and shrubs on and around the course. Dr. Hurley was involved in selecting the grasses and over 55,000 plants established on the Bayonne Golf Course.
The Bayonne golf course was built on waterfront garbage dump where prior to the mid 1990's the site was best known for abandoned cars and a place for teenager late-night parties. New York Harbor requires continuous dredging. In past years, the Armpy Corp of Engineers would deposit the river dredge three miles out to sea, which was deemed harmful to ocean fishing.
With on going channel dredging the authorities needed to indentify land sites to deposit the river silt. It was late 1990's and the Bayonne site was selected as a convenient location to accept dredge.
During this period, the site of the current Bayonne Golf Club became the home for millions of cubic yards of Hudson silt and river dredge. This soupy material would arrive at the site's pier on a barge where it was mixed at a temporary pug-mill (cement) station with a ten percent mixture of cement, which gave it a firm consistency.
The amount of soil delivered to the site was staggering, averaging over two hundred truck loads of soil each day, six days a week, twelve months a year, for almost three years. Including both dredge and soil the total amounted to seven and one half million cubic yards of material - a sum almost too large to imagine.
The Bayonne Golf Club is now a testament to Eric's imagination for inventing golf holes - rare talent to be sure. I assisted Eric as a consultant for the grasses, plant life and assistance with golf course design. Prior to and during the planning and construction of the golf course Eric and I made numerous golfing trips to Scotland to play and observe some of the finest natural golfing links. As a result of the golfing trips a wealth of creative ideas were developed, many of which were used during the design and construction process.
In May of 2005, seeding the golf course was initiated with the first sign's of a golf course emerging and green turf maturing through out the summer and into the fall months. I worked closely with course superintendent Bob Wolverton, as we selected traditional links grasses with fescues for seeding the rough, hills and mounds, and Colonial bentgrass and Chewing fescues for establishment on the fairways. Velvet and creeping bentgrasses were seeded on the putting greens. Seed was supplied by Seed Research of Oregon.
Additionally, with the asistance of Steven Kristoph Nursery, plant groupings were established around the golf course using over fifty eight thousand plants from twenty individual species - including junipers, beach rose and Scotch broom. All plant species selected for use were identified to produce a natural links look to the site.
With construction of the golf course completed in the fall of 2005 the golf course opened for play in early June of 2006. The picturesque castle style clubhouse - with attached lighthouse - was completed in eighteen months and opened to the members in the spring of 2008.
The most dramatic aspect to the property is the enormous scale of the site as observed from the clubhouse which is positioned high on a hill, in the center of the golf course. The clubhouse's panoramic view offers the opportunity to admire three dimensional landscapes, appreciate the natural look to the site, and Hudson River's water and city views.
Anyone who has visited the links courses of Ireland and Scotland will attest that Bayonne is on the same high ground with the finest natural links courses of the World. Seeing the Bayonne Golf Club is truly a one of a kind experience.