The Best Courses to Play in New Jersey
By Brendon Elliott, PGA
The world of women's golf is buzzing this week.
One of the country’s top venues, Baltusrol Golf Club in Springfield, New Jersey, has been on full display this week at the 2023 KPMG Women’s Championship.
New Jersey may be best known for having some of the best private courses in the world – Pine Valley, Somerset Hills, Ridgewood, Plainfield and this week’s Championship host, Baltusrol’s restored Lower Course. But make no mistake; there is indeed some exceptional public access golf to be had as well throughout the state.
Whether it's "down the shore" or closer to "The City," Jerseyians and guests to the Garden State alike have a lot of great golf courses to choose from when they visit.
The following spots are just a few of the tremendous courses "youse guys" need to check out the next time you are in Jersey.
Crystal Springs Resort
Seen by many as one of the Northeast’s premier golf destinations, Crystal Springs Resort in Hamburg offers six unique courses: Ballyowen, Black Bear, Cascades, Crystal Springs, Minerals and Wild Turkey.
Renowned golf course architects Robert von Hagge, Robert Trent Jones, George Fazio, and Roger Rulewich created unique, challenging and picturesque layouts with their creations at Crystal Springs, each offering something for every level of golfer. from beginners to single-digit handicappers.
Twisted Dune Golf Club
Located in Egg Harbor Township, Twisted Dune is one of New Jersey's top public courses. This links-style track always has excellent conditions and incredible views.
Meandering along the Jersey Shore, the course boasts several deep ravines, grassy hills, and rolling fairways lined by massive dunes covered with fescue. Over 2 million cubic yards of earth were moved to create Twisted Dune’s Scottish links look.
Seaview Golf Club
Set on nearly 700 acres of outstanding New Jersey coast and woodlands in Galloway, Troon Golf's Seaview Golf Club is home to two of the best golf courses in the Northeast.
The Bay Course's 6,300-yard layout is less about the length and more about accuracy, shot-making, and having a rock-solid short game. Like many of New Jersey’s best tracks, Seaview’s Bay Course has a links feel, with outstanding ocean views, punishing bunkers, and very tricky undulating greens. The Bay Course hosts the ShopRite LPGA Classic and saw nine of its holes contested in the 1942 PGA Championship.
The Pines Course has a much different look and feel from the Bay Course. The Pines makes its way through the New Jersey woodlands and poses a challenge with its tree-lined fairways. With sharp doglegs, large bunkers, and massive sloping greens, you really get to test your shotmaking skills at Seaview's Pines Course. The 16th hole was the site of Sam Snead's miraculous 60-foot chip-in to win the 1942 PGA Championship, which was his first of seven majors won.
Eagle Ridge Golf Club
A special shot out to my friends at this gem in Lakewood. Eagle Ridge’s 27-hole championship golf course is a fan favorite among Jerseyians. With its natural pine-lined fairways, you will feel like you’re playing in the Carolinas, not Central New Jersey. Eagle Ridge is constantly voted as one of the best public courses in Ocean County and is located just minutes from the Jersey Shore, and a short ride from both New York City and Philadelphia.
Eagle Ridge’s golf operations are in good hands with PGA/LPGA Professional Rylee Plitz. An up-and-coming PGA star, Rylee was named the 2021 New Jersey PGA Player Development Award winner, a 2022 Youth Player Development Section Award winner, and the 2022 Public Merchandiser of the Year award winner.
“It sounds cliche, but Eagle Ridge is the complete facility,” says Plitz. “We have a course layout that challenges players of all ages and levels of ability, an exceptional junior golf development program and a dedicated staff committed to customer service – all less than an hour from both NYC and Philadelphia near the northern Jersey Shore. Plus, there is a not a bad hole at this club!”