Because of its proximity to Manhattan, and the incredible views of the city skyline and the Statue of Liberty, Liberty National appears to be a New York venue. The vibe at the Northern Trust reflects this, and it's fair to say the majority of the people in attendance are coming from the city.
But Liberty National is in NEW JERSEY, which makes it a NEW JERSEY event, even though it does not get treated as much as a Jersey event. If you can't tell, I'm from the beautiful Garden State, and I'm proud of it. I'd like to put my N.J. expertise to use by giving the Northern Trust a more authentic New Jersey feel. It certainly has some Jersey characteristics (a few areas of the course smell like ass, and it takes way too long to get there from wherever you're coming), but it could do much more to truly be the armpit of the PGA Tour schedule. Here are my bright ideas.
"Born to Run" by Bruce Springsteen blasting for every group at the first tee
This on repeat would be WAY better than some of the trash choices from this year's Zurich Classic of New Orleans.
Disco Fries stand
I noticed there is a "Pete's Diner" on the grounds this week, and they're serving Taylor Ham (you call it Pork Roll if you're a South Jersey squid), egg and cheese (no word on whether they'll honor your SPK request). Nice touch, but if they really want to make it Jersey they'd serve Disco Fries, too. What are Disco Fries, you ask? Basically poutine but with mozzarella cheese melted over the fries, and not those whack-ass cheese curds. One caveat with this potential Disco Fries stand: You can only be served if you're half in the bag. You just cannot be eating Disco Fries sober unless you hate yourself. Speaking of drinking . . .
There are plenty of great drink options at Liberty National this week, but no Spring Lakers. A Spring Laker, for the uninformed, is the signature drink at the Parker House, an iconic Jersey shore venue in Sea Girt (the drink has its own Urban Dictionary definition). The ingredients: vodka, Red Bull and a splash of pineapple juice. If people are going to give up a shore weekend to watch some golf, you've got to bring the shore to them.
No Left Turns
You're allowed to cut across many of the fairways this week by making hard left turns, which is the most un-New Jersey thing ever. These people should be going completely out of their way to make a U-Turn to get to where they need to go. Toughen up and learn how to navigate your way through a jughandle one time for me—just like the rest of us.
Fresh JERSEY corn and fresh JERSEY tomato stand.
On a health kick? Skip the Disco Fries and grab some of the FRESHEST corn and even FRESHER tomatoes this side of the Atlantic. Our corn is better, our tomatoes are better. So are our bagels and our pizza and our Italian restaurants. These are not opinions, these are facts.
A concerned mother at each food stand asking if you've eaten enough
In case I haven't made it clear, food is a big thing in N.J. An even bigger thing are concerned mothers making sure you've eaten enough food. There should be one at every stand this week asking "Did ya eat enough?" followed by: "No, you didn't. Get more, get more! I'll fix ya a plate!" Please, m'am, I'm going to explode ...
Boardwalk along the water on the 18th hole
The pros don't know real pressure until they've got wind in their face, the smell of fried Oreos in the air and the sound of screaming children on that swinging Dragon ride that seems to be a staple of every low-budget theme park in America. Probably because that thing is freaking sick.
Dead body face down in the marsh off the 10th hole
Going from children having fun on a ride to a dead guy. Doesn't get more N.J. than that. A fellow N.J. native told me that this actually happened at Liberty National. Turns out, that's completely false (can't trust Jersey guys). Maybe he was thinking about an episode of "The Sopranos" (Jersey reference!).
Something, something fist pump/pump gas joke
There, we saved everybody's favorite stupid N.J. stereotype for last.