If your favorite golf course is too crowded or if you're just looking for another golf challenge to conquer, take a ride in the country to Pittsgrove and visit Centerton Golf Club (1016 Almond Rd.) The parkland-style course, built in 1962, features wide, tree-lined fairways and perfectly manicured greens. Only five holes have water hazards, but the course isn't easy. It's a good course for walking because it's mostly flat and ice water is available every three holes. It's challenging, but very playable.
The par-71 course is 6,600 yards from the blue tees, 6,142 yards from the white tees and 5,716 yards from the red tees. It's well marked and easy to navigate. The course begins with a par-4, 355-yard fairway (from the white tee) that doglegs left. The second hole is a simple par-4, 328-yards. The 188-yard third hole to a small, sloping green is a tough par-3. The par-5, 490-yard fourth hole has two fairway bunkers and a big green with a bunker guarding it.
Six fairway bunkers and a bunker in front of the green make well-placed shots necessary on the par-4, 335-yard fifth hole. A sloping green with two bunkers protecting it make the par-4, 390-yard sixth hole challenging. The par-3, 150-yard seventh hole has a large water hazard on the left side of the narrow up-hill fairway to a long, narrow green. The par-4, 385-yard eighth hole has two good-sized fairway bunkers and two bunkers protecting the green. The par-4, 350-yard ninth hole is a dogleg left with a long bunker across the front of the green.
The back nine, though only 200 yards longer than the front nine, is a little more challenging. The par-4, 343-yard 10th hole has water from the tees halfway to the green, where the fairway makes a dogleg right. It has a large fairway bunker and two bunkers protecting the green. The par-5, 565-yard 11th hole is more challenging. There's water left, which shouldn't come into play, and five bunkers. The par-3, 155-yard 12th hole has a big green but it's guarded by three bunkers. The par-4, 370-yard 13th hole has one fairway bunker and two bunkers left and right of the green. The par-5, 450-yard 14th hole has two fairway bunkers and three traps protecting the green.
Head golf professional Pat Sweetra, a graduate of Bloomsburg University, has been a PGA Class A member since 1996. He was an assistant professional at Linwood Country Club for nine years before coming to Centerton in 2000. Sweetra says that the 15th is the signature hole, but he also thinks the 16th, 17th and 18th could qualify as signature holes.
The par-4, 300-yard 15th hole has two big traps in front of the elevated green. The par-4, 400-yard 16th hole has water to the left; the fairway makes a dogleg left to a green protected by two bunkers. This writer's favorite, the 165-yard 17th hole, is a tough par-3 with a lake from the tees to 25 yards short of a big green. The lake also extends to the left, reducing the fairway to a width of 20 yards. The course ends with a par-4, 423-yard fairway with two bunkers in front of the raised green.
The greens fees are very reasonable. Weekday greens fees, from opening until noon, are $32 riding and $22 walking. From noon until 3pm, the fees are $27 and $17. After 3pm the fees are $22 and $17. Weekend and holiday fees, from opening until 11am, are $48 riding. From 11am-1:30pm the fees are $32 riding and $20 walking. From 1:30 until 4pm they are $32 and $20. After 4pm they are $22 and $17.
Weekday memberships are $725 per person; seven-day memberships are $1,200 per person. For tee-times, golf outings, lessons, leagues and membership information call 856-358-2220. For banquets, business meetings and wedding receptions, call 856-358-3325. The Web site is www.centertoncc.com.
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Phone numbers are 609 area code unless otherwise indicated.
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