Great for Beginners Green Tree is short, but sweet By Joe Gorman Don't put your clubs away yet. There is still plenty of good golf weather between now and Thanksgiving. The greens at Green Tree Golf Course are as good as you will find on private courses. My daughter and I played the county owned-and-operated course after a night of heavy rain, so some of the fairways had big, mushy spots on them. Careless cart driving put deep tire tracks in some of them, too, so they will need a little tender loving care.
General Manager Ed McGettigan says, "The course is open all winter and there are men's leagues all year 'round and women's leagues in the spring and fall." There is also a snack bar, limited pro shop, club rentals and a full-size driving range.
"There's no ban on metal spikes, but soft spikes are preferred," McGettigan adds.
Atlantic County residents with a paid Golf I.D. card pay $14 weekdays, $17 on weekends. Everyone else pays $21 on weekdays, $26 on weekends. A weekday discounted rate of $18 is offered for juniors and seniors ($12 with Golf ID card). There are reduced greens fees this year for out-of-county residents. (For 9-hole, twilight and mid-day rates visit www.aclink.org/PARKS/mainpages/greentree_fees.asp.)
The par 70 (men), par 73 (women) course is short: 5,440 yards (blue), 5,177 yards (white), 4,780 yards (gold) and 4,613 yards (red). Most of the fairways are level so it's an easy course to walk, the way golf is supposed to be played. But it's not an easy course to play. Most of the fairways are tight and most of the holes have water hazards on them; some of them have two or three.
McGettigan says the par-4 (men) par-5 (women) eighth is the signature hole. It's 381 yards from the blue tees and 324 yards from the red tees. There are two small water holes to the left of the narrow fairway and one of the few hills on the course halfway down the fairway on the right. The fairway opens up from the hill to the lake in front of the sloping green. You have to ring a bell when you get near the lake so the group behind you knows you are out of range.
The narrow par-4, 396-yard ninth hole has a lake in front of the tee, a lake on the left of the fairway about 200 yards out, and one behind the green, which is guarded by four sand traps. The dogleg left par-4, 236 yard 13th hole has water all along the left side of the fairway, a heavily wooded hill in front of the green and a little bit of water between the hill and the green. The par-4 (men), par-5 (women) 14th hole is similar to the 13th but a little longer: 379 yards from the blue tees, 261 yards from the red.
The par-4 17th hole is completely hidden from the tee by woods. There's a 90-degree dogleg left about 200 yards from the tee. The green is 100 yards from the dogleg and it's guarded by a sand trap on the left, a lake on the right and a lake behind the green. The par-5, 459 yard 18th is a tough finishing hole. There's a large lake to the right of the green and a wooded hill to the left. The fairway doglegs left past the hill with water to the left of the green and three sand traps on the right. You have to hit over water on all four of the par-3 holes.
Overall, the course is short, fun, inexpensive and great for beginners.
John F. Gaffney Green Tree Golf Course is located at 1030 Somers Point-Mays Landing Road (Route 559) in Egg Harbor Township. Call 625-9131.
Golf Tournaments and Events
5th Annual Fall Frolic Pro-Am
Linwood Country Club, 500 Shore Rd., Linwood. 383-1761. Includes lunch, golf, dinner and tee gift. 10:45am, registration; noon, shotgusn start. $100 per adult golfer. $30 for juniors. $40 for dinner guests only.
Absecon Lighthouse Golf Tournament (Rescheduled)
McCullough's Emerald Golf Links, 3016 Ocean Heights Ave., EHT. Benefits educational programs. Includes greens fees, cart, lunch, golf shirt, tee package, prizes, awards banquet and coupon for future round of golf. 12:30pm. $100 (dinner only, $25). Call 484-0600 for more info. -->
Good Golf Guide
2012 Good Golf Guide
Golf, Girls, Gaiety
Time for Tee
Good Golf Guide 2011