New Jersey isn’t one of the biggest states in the country—in fact it’s one of the smallest. Yet this tiny mid Atlantic state packs some pretty serious punch, at least when it comes to golf. New Jersey is the home to close to 300 golf courses, at least one of which is considered by many to be one of the premier courses not only in the country but in the world.
Because golf goes way back in the Garden State, a robust, thriving golf scene exists in this part of the country. As you begin to plan your New Jersey golf trip, here are five New Jersey Golf courses you need to play.
Best Private Course: Pine Valley
Perhaps no course in the world is as well known and as difficult a golf course as Pine Valley. Considered by many to be the ultimate test of golfing prowess, Pine Valley has a rich tradition of excellent golf. Just about every hole on the course is iconic and would be thought of as the best hole on any other course.
The course opened just over 100 years ago and has been an enigma for golfers ever since. Everything is just right at this majestic track with tight, winding fairways leading to absolutely superb greens. Words can hardly do Pine Valley justice.
From the tips, this unrivaled course measures just over 7000 yards and is a par 70.
While it is a premier course in the world, it is only open to members and their guests. Better luck next time.
Best Public Course: Atlantic City Country Club in Northfield
Don’t let the name fool you, Atlantic City Country Club is a public golf course and the best public track in the state. With wide, sprawling fairways and relatively few trees, ACCC has a links-ish feel to it and caters to those who can hit it straight and far. The meandering creek around the course’s edge comes into play on a few holes on both the front and back nine, but otherwise very little water is a factor.
The first three holes are mid range par 4s that shouldn’t present too much trouble, although strategically placed bunkers can causes some issues, especially if you miss to the left on any of these holes.
On the back nine, things start back up with a long dogleg right par 5 and ends with a green protected by a pond in the front.
ACCC measures just over 6500 yards from the blacks and is a par 70.
Prices vary to play this spectacular course depending on the season and can range anywhere from $70 during the winter and spring, and get as high as $225 during the peak season on weekends.
Most Scenic Course: Ballyowen Golf Club in Hamburg
Located in Sussex County, Ballyowen Golf Club is a links style course that transplants Irish or Scottish golf to the Garden State. With fescue linking rolling fairways, Ballowen is a golf experience unlike any other in the state. The gentle meadows that surround the course lend to the links atmosphere and are simply stunning.
The front nine starts with a mid range par 4 partially over the meadow and with a bunker in play if you miss to the left. The fairway is narrower on the 2nd hole and moves to the left as you approach a green surrounded by bunkers on both sides.
On the back nine, things take off again with a dogleg left par 5 with trees straight ahead. The 18th is a great finishing hole, downhill to a tiered green.
Ballyowen plays at just under 7100 yards from the tips and is a regulation par 72.
Though prices vary depending on the time of the year and day of the week, it can cost upwards of $150 for 18 walking at Ballyowen.
Most Challenging Course: The Architects Club in Phillipsburg
While Pine Valley is obviously the most challenging course in the state, The Architects Club is another demanding course in New Jersey worth mentioning here. The course features significant elevation changes, tight, tree-lined fairways, and strategically placed bunkers throughout. The Architects club also plays into and around breathtaking, tree-covered hills to add beauty to difficulty.
The 1st hole opens with a straightforward par 5, but bunkers alternating between the left and right hand side of the fairway make this hole anything but easy. A mid range par 3 is next, but again don’t be fooled, as the green slopes to the left more than it appears. Water runs the length of the rolling fairway on the 9th hole and this par finishes with a tiered, undulating green that, depending on pin placement, can cause nightmares.
The Architects club plays just over 6800 yards from the tips and is a par 71.
The course uses dynamic pricing so the cost can change depending on demand, availability, and when you book. Make sure to take a look at prices in advance of heading to the course.
Best Deal: Twisted Dunes in Egg Harbor Township
Another links style course, Twisted Dunes incorporates the beautiful New Jersey landscape into a truly gorgeous golf course. And one you can play without breaking the bank. The bright green fairways snake their way around a variety of thicker, browner grasses and bunkers surround many of the course’s immaculate greens.
Water comes into play on a number of holes and adds to the beauty of this top tier golf course. From the blacks, Twisted Dunes plays around 7250 yards and is a par 72.
While prices can vary, this stunning golf course has a generous twilight rate. In the afternoon and evening hours, a round of 18 walking can get as low as $45.
Golf New Jersey
With amazing scenery and one of the best golf courses in the world, New Jersey golf is a force to be reckoned with. Pack your baks, put your clubs in the trunk, and head on over to the Garden state for some unforgettable golf. Happy golfing.
Did we miss a course? Share your New Jersey golf experiences in the comments section below.