Liberty National Golf Course: Former Reebok CEO's $300M passion project

Golf’s FedEx Cup playoffs teed off Thursday with the Northern Trust at Liberty National Golf Club in New Jersey, a site owned by former Reebok CEO Paul Fireman which ranks among the most expensive golf courses in history.

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Fireman invested roughly $300 million to develop Liberty National. Located within sight of New York City’s skyline and the Statue of Liberty, the site has undergone various renovations over the years, including the addition of 5,000 trees and six million cubic feet of soil, according to PGATour.com.

With a real estate empire and a successful stint at Reebok, Fireman had the necessary funds to bankroll the project. He personally earned roughly $700 million when Adidas acquired Reebok in a multi-billion-dollar deal in 2005.

Paul Fireman, CEO/chairman of Reebok International Ltd. (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/WireImage)

“I absolutely loved the site,” Fireman said. “The historical connections with the Statue of Liberty, being so close to the city, in full sightline of the Hudson River and New York Harbor. We plunged right into it. There were risks, and many people questioned the decision to take it on, but to me, it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to create something iconic.”

JERSEY CITY, NEW JERSEY - JUNE 08: A scenic view of the clubhouse at Liberty National Golf Club on June 7, 2009 in Jersey City, New Jersey. (Photo by Stan Badz/US PGA TOUR)

Designed by Bob Cupp and Tom Kite, the private course has played host to several PGA Tour events over the years, including the 2017 Presidents Cup. Membership at the club reportedly costs $500,000 and includes celebrities such as Justin Timberlake and Ray Romano.

JERSEY CITY, NJ - AUGUST 21: A course scenic view of the 14th hole during course previews at Liberty National Golf Club, host course of the 2017 Presidents Cup in Jersey City, New Jersey on August 21, 2017. (Photo by Stan Badz/PGA TOUR)

Entrants at this year’s Northern Trust are competing for a total purse of $9.25 million. Competitors include Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Brooks Koepka.