FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Bedminster, N.J., Trump National Golf Club Bedminster

Oct 31, 2014
2014 / October 2014

JP Morgan Chase credit card holders often receive invitations to one of the Chase Inside Access events, which range from dinners prepared by celebrity chefs to special events across the country. I was fortunate to experience an event at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J. Chase took over the country club and former estate of John DeLorean, famed automobile manufacturer and creator of the DeLorean car, idolized in the cult classic Back to the Future.

Cardmembers paid a reduced fee to attend this special event. Invitations were emailed to members and included a Chase telephone number for reserving a spot. The event filled quickly on a first-come, first-served basis.

David Gold, general manager, JP Morgan Chase Credit Cards © Francis X. Gallagher

David Gold, general manager, JP Morgan Chase Credit Cards © Francis X. Gallagher

The Fazio family designed both the Old Course and the New Course at Trump Bedminster. The Old Course, designed by Tom Fazio, opened in 2004 and measures 7,560 yards from the tips. It was recognized as one of the top 100 courses in America by Golf Magazine and Golfweek and selected New Jersey Golf Course of the Year in 2011. The course is perfectly maintained — would you expect anything less than immaculate on “the Donald’s” home course?

Trump poured a great deal of money into the course and the clubhouse/facilities, fully restoring the old mansion. I have never seen more beautiful locker facilities than those in the renovated former stables. Full of natural light, they look more like a formal living room than a typical men’s locker room.

The New Course is an 18-hole heathland style designed by Fazio’s nephew, Tom Fazio II. Opened in 2008, it frames and complements the Old Course and was voted Best Modern Course by Golfweek in 2011 and Best New Private Course by Golf Magazine in 2008.

I teed off on the Old Course on a beautiful summer day for a four-man scramble with David Gold, general manager, JP Morgan Chase Credit Cards; Drew Luthern, account manager, Source Marketing; and Chris Musumeci, senior vice president, Parcel Management.

Hole 6 | 351 yards, par 4
I have been accused of only remembering the best part of my game as I write this column. “If you read Fran’s golf column and never played with him before, you would think he was a 1-handicap golfer,” said a colleague. This might be true, and a reason I selected Hole 6 for this article, as I played it like a champ.

Drew took a cellphone call, distracting him from his regular powerful play. Deciding not to let down the team, David and I took full swings, nailing two drives. Mine landed in the center of the fairway, David to the right but well within play. Left center is the desired location for your drive, as the hole doglegs slightly to the right and is guarded by a fronting pond. The rest of the team tossed in the towel; David and I continued to the hole with a great approach by yours truly and an excellent birdie putt by David.

Hole 12 | 350 yards, par 4
This is where the boys on my team started to show their power with massive drives off the tee to the center of the fairway. I, on the other hand, hit a monster, but it took a trajectory left into the high fescue that Mr. Trump planted like Johnny Appleseed, sowing sorrows for wayward players. Thanks to the scramble format, we could leave that ball for some caddie to sell. The right fairway bunker took out Chris, leaving us with two drives to choose. David’s second shot put us on the lower portion of this two-tiered green, but teamwork allowed us to walk off with a par.

Hole 16 © Francis X. Gallagher

Hole 16 © Francis X. Gallagher

Hole 16 | 150 yards, par 3
I have to cover Hole 16, as this is a set-up to “beat the pro.” One of the benefits of the Chase Inside Access was use of the warm-up facilities and program at the course. Several of the pros were at the range and if you so desired, one would analyze your swing and offer suggestions for improvement. I took my pro’s advice and met up with him again on the 16th hole. My PGA pro was hitting a ball for each player, and you could play your own ball or choose the pro’s. In addition, if your ball landed on the green inside of the pro’s, you were rewarded with a sleeve of Trump National Bedminster golf balls. The pro went first, hitting a nice, clean ball that landed far left but on the green. I was up to beat my teacher and, remembering my brief instructions, nailed a perfect ball to the center of the green within six feet of the cup. Better yet, I made the putt for birdie and shared my winnings with my partner.

Hole 18 | 662 yards, par 5
It seems Trump and Fazio wanted to bring you back to the clubhouse thirsting for a cold one, as the finishing hole at the Old Course will bring you to your knees. Long and with challenges, the dogleg right wraps around a pond. When we were ready to tee up, the wind began to howl. We lost Chris, who had a conflicting appointment, so it was David, Drew and myself. We let our caddie,Tom, take a drive just for the fun of it. Drew had the best shot, following the Trump and Fazio playbook with a drive toward the far left fairway bunker. From here, David and I tried to clip the water’s edge, taking the Fazio risk/reward option — with no reward, just wet and lost. Drew slammed a ball, favoring the left side and rolling up very close to the green. A chip and a putt and we were slapping each other on the back on the way to the reception.

I met some nice people from all walks of life at the cocktail reception and dinner. The event offered them an opportunity to play a private course for very little investment and to bring a foursome of their own. High marks go to the staff at Trump Bedminster and to Chase Inside Access for stepping up its game and setting itself apart. I will be taking more of these opportunities when they come across my email.

Trump National Golf Club Bedminster

900 Lamington Road
Bedminster, NJ 07921
tel 908 470 4400
trumpnationalbedminster.com

Introducing

FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

#globility

Insta Feed
Daily
Nov 30, 2022

Mondrian to Open First Singapore Hotel in 2023

Accor Hotels Group announced Singapore's first Mondrian hotel will be built in the heart of the city's prominent Duxton Hill neighborhood, set to open in early 2023. The news comes on the heels of Accor's recent announcement regarding its planned venture with Ennismore, which brings together Ennismore’s know-how in building brands with creative storytelling, design and authentic experiences, with Accor’s wealth of knowledge in delivering scale, network growth and distribution.

8 Reasons to Visit Ireland this Fall

Considering an autumnal adventure or Thanksgiving trip this year? Well, with walkable cities, cozy pubs and lots of seasonal festivals, the island of Ireland is calling. And if you need more reasons to Press the Green Button and go, take a look and see what awaits you on the Emerald Isle …

Daily
Nov 29, 2022

Hide Away in the Scottish Highlands with 57 Nord

Situated deep within the Scottish Highlands, just steps from many lakes and mountains, lies 57 Nord. This collection of two design-led boutique hideaways blends the region’s Norse-Gael heritage by incorporating Scottish craftsmanship, modern Scandinavian design and panoramic views into both structures.

Daily
Nov 29, 2022

Luxury Art Deco Lodging Sommerro Opens in Oslo

Oslo’s Art Deco connections just grew stronger with the opening of Sommerro, housed within a historic building in the city’s West End neighborhood of Frogner. The structure itself was once the location of the city’s original electrical company, Oslo Lysverker. The conversion to urban, luxury lodging features 231 guestrooms, 56 residences, seven restaurant and bar options, and meeting and event spaces for up to 150 people. There’s also a 100-seat gilded theater and expansive wellness space, including a full-service gym and Oslo’s first, year-round rooftop pool, sauna and terrace.

United Debuts New United Club, Its Largest in the Country, at EWR

At nearly 30,000 square feet, United Airlines’ newest United ClubSM now welcomes Newark Liberty International Airport travelers with its modern design, enhanced amenities, culinary offerings, locally sourced art and furniture and Manhattan skyline views. Seek airport solace at the new location in Terminal C3, near Gate C123.

Daily
Nov 29, 2022

Key West Airport Breaks Ground on $100 Million Expansion

Key West International Airport recently held a groundbreaking ceremony to mark the start of its $100 million expansion. Roman Gastesi, administrator, Monroe County; Richard Strickland, director of airports; and others attended the ceremony and outlined details of the Concourse A terminal expansion project.

Daily
Nov 25, 2022

Give a Gift from Around the World this Holiday Season

This holiday season, give your loved ones a gift from around the world to create memories that last a lifetime.

Why the Future of Business Travel Might Look Different

Global business travel is making its way back, even as the pandemic and other world events continue to challenge its return. In a recent poll from the Global Business Travel Association, more than four in five respondents (86 percent) from across the industry said they feel more optimistic than they did at the beginning of the year. Business travel bookings, the need to travel to do business and employee willingness to travel are all on the rise.

Daily
Nov 24, 2022

Angama To Open Deluxe Lodge Near Kilimanjaro

Lodging and hospitality company Angama announced the November 2023 opening of Angama Amboseli, an intimate, 10-suite lodge set in Kenya’s private, 5,700-acre Kimana Sanctuary, against the iconic backdrop of Mount Kilimanjaro, located just across the border in Tanzania.