New Jersey golf course earns backlash for trying to expand on public land

New Jersey golf course earns backlash for trying to expand on public land

A New Jersey golf course whose founding members include Rudy GiulianiRudy GiulianiNunes declines to answer if he received information from Ukraine lawmaker meant to damage Biden Democratic attorneys criticize House Judiciary Democrats' questioning of Barr Swalwell: Barr has taken Michael Cohen's job as Trump's fixer MORE and New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft is facing criticism over an attempt to expand to public land.

The New York Times reported Thursday that the Liberty National club in Jersey City, N.J., is attempting to expand onto almost 22 acres of land currently in use by the Liberty State Park, a publicly-owned piece of land along the New Jersey coast.

Club owners say the goal is to move the course's 18 holes closer to the coastline in the hopes of attracting larger golf tournaments such as the PGA Tour, which they argue would provide economic benefits to the state.

ADVERTISEMENT

“If we are not able to accommodate what these tournaments need, then they will simply go somewhere else that can,” Liberty National spokesman Chris Donnelly told the Times.

Any use of the public land for Liberty National would have to be approved by New Jersey's state legislature, which was set to vote on a related piece of legislation on Thursday, according to the Times.

Golfers like Tiger Woods and Bruce Koepka have played in the golf course, the Times reported.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpOklahoma City Thunder players kneel during anthem despite threat from GOP state lawmaker Microsoft moving forward with talks to buy TikTok after conversation with Trump Controversial Trump nominee placed in senior role after nomination hearing canceled MORE also visited the club as recently as 2017, when he attended the finale of the Presidents Cup tournament.

A spokesman for New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) indicated that Liberty National's owners would face resistance from those in state government.

“We generally don’t comment on pending bills,” Mahen Gunaratna said. “But the governor believes that Liberty State Park is a New Jersey treasure that belongs to every family. He is a strong supporter of protecting our public lands for the benefit of everyone.”

“To me, it’s really just an obscenity,” added Rick Cordner, treasurer of Friends of Liberty State Park, an advocacy group devoted to stopping the expansion, in an interview with the Times. “It breaks my heart to think there could be a bulldozer out there plowing it under for a golf course.”