Padraig Harrington is raving about the New Jersey venue for this week’s Barclays. In other words, expect a tough test in the short game department.
The Dubliner loves the challenge at Liberty National, which was built on a former landfill for a staggering $129m (€90m). Tony Soprano will, no doubt, be happy.
While the views of the Manhattan skyline and the Statue of Liberty are stunning, it would appear that some of PGA Tour superstars are not happy that it’s so tight and punishing with severely sloping greens exposed to the winds blasting across New York harbour.
Determined to rack up his first tour win since last year's US PGA, Harrington said: "It's tougher than if we knew it. But everybody's in the same boat. That's why we get here on a Monday.”
Harrington played four holes of his first practice round with course co-designer Tom Kite and he's hoping to close the gap on Tiger Woods in the first of four FedEx Cup play-off events.
He raved about the run-off areas around the greens and how navigating them will be a tough challenge throughout the week.
But player reaction has been lukewarm so far with one pro groaning in the New York Post: “This is the biggest cluster f*** I've ever seen for a golf course.”
Former Ryder Cup JJ Henry said: “It's tight. It's got a nice mix of long holes and short holes, but it's really tight. The greens have a lot of tiers and slopes. You're going to see a lot of balls hit off the green.”
Harrington loves the New York area and is massively popular there after holing a 65 foot eagle putt on the 18th to snatch the 2005 Barclays Classic from under Jim Furyk’s nose at Westchester Country Club.
Ireland's world No 11 missed the cut when the event moved to Ridgewood Country Club last year and is looking forward to the event returning to Westchester at least once before 2012.
The move to exclusive Liberty National this year has been done to make the event look more attractive on TV and generate bigger corporate sponsorship opportunities from nearby New York City.
Harrington is certainly a massive fan of the Barclays, gushing: "If you don't like this event, you don't like any event. And you're in a great city as well, which adds to it, I think."
Last year he said: "An event of this stature needs to be on a good course."
Time will tell if the PGA Tour got it right.