“To me, one has nothing to do with the other,” said Anderson, a native of the Bronx who wore a purple casual suit and a diamond-studded Mickey Mouse watch. “I don’t like his political views, but that’s different from politics – isn’t it?”
“I just thought it would be nice to visit the restaurant,” he added, somewhat apologetically.
Of course, it’s not particularly surprising that the people who visit Trump’s mansion tend to like Trump the politician, just as it is not surprising that the people who like Trump the politician are trying to get the city out of Trump’s name to remove public bodies, generally disapprove. What is surprising, however, is the willingness with which course attendees are willing – even eager – to place a contractual battle between the New York City Parks Department and a powerful real estate developer in a comprehensive narrative of the rise and fall of civilizations.
“They’re changing everything,” said Robert Scherr, a smartly dressed brunch visitor from Westchester County and a two-time Trump elector. “They change names, they bring down statues – everything is going crazy.”
In the larger moral universe of Liberal America, there is no equivalence between renaming a golf course and removing statues of Confederate generals. But there is a recognizable logic behind this at this 192 acre Trump-Topia outpost. Aside from taking a blow to Trump’s credibility, the struggle to de-Trumpify Trump Golf Links seems perfectly aligned to bolster the apocalyptic worldview that drives support for Trumpism. Nostalgic, masculine, exclusive, wealthy, suspicious, hostile and uncompromisingly white at the same time, the Ferry Point golf course is Trump’s vision of America, reduced to 18 holes and a clubhouse.
And soon, if New York City got its way, it couldn’t be anymore.
If the city wins in the end in court, Ferry Points Golf Course will reopen in April 2022, stripped of any visible evidence of Trump’s previous involvement, and under the direction of a city-selected rival, Bobby Jones Links. According to Whitney Crouse, a founding partner of Bobby Jones Links, the new management team hopes to implement several new outreach initiatives, including ways to attract young people, people with physical disabilities and people of color. They are also planning to cut prices across the board by 10 percent.
Among Trump Golf Link’s mostly older, healthy, white clientele, the arrival of a bright management company alone would not be enough to deter them from returning to the course.
“If the place is in good shape and they keep it nice and everything else, we’ll see,” said Pujols. “When the service and condition of the course start to suffer, no one is going to pay $ 200 to play a round of golf.”
New outreach initiatives aside, any future iteration of the Ferry Points golf course will likely look similar to the current one. The New York City skyline will still loom peacefully in the background. The 18th green will still be in the shadow of Whitestone Bridge.