At 843 acres, Central Park is more than enough land for two golf courses. But as an oasis for New York residents to jog, bike, row, picnic and more, the idea of fitting golf alongside these pastimes has never garnered widespread public support. This is the story of two Manhattan-based financiers looking to change that.
In an appeal to Manhattan’s estimated 112,000 golfers, Jason Kirschner and Raj Bhargava launched a proposition to redevelop the land into a multi-use urban space. Ron Whitten, Golf Digest senior editor of architecture and co-designer of Erin Hills, host course of the 2017 U.S. Open, has drawn a 36-hole routing. Among many objectives, foremost was finding a way to maximize the natural shot values of the rolling topography while delivering minimal impact to the existing roads and monuments.
Says Whitten, “The challenge of building any golf course is to give the golfer a sense of where they’re at…What you want to do is try to fit golf holes in, and make it feel like you’re playing in Central Park.” — Max Adler
Ron Whitten's design for 36 holes in Central Park
The DeBlasio (South) Course
The Cuomo (North) Course