A round at Harbor Pines in EHT
Last week I reviewed Heritage Links Golf Club, my favorite nine-hole course. This week I played my favorite 18-hole course, Harbor Pines in Egg Harbor Township. Though it had been aerated just four days earlier, it was in good condition. I spoke with the assistant golf professional there, Zak Landgraf. He was introduced to golf when he started working at Harbor Pines a little over five years ago at the bag drop. He has been working inside for 15 months and is studying to become a Class-A Professional. It's a three-level process that requires on-hands experience, knowledge of the game and course management.
In a few months, Landgraf will be heading to the PGA Learning Center in Port St. Lucie, Fla., to take a series of tests. It's good to know that Harbor Pines is promoting from within. "I'll be managing people that I've been working with," said Landgraf.
When I asked if there had been any changes at the course recently, Landgraf told me they'd cut down some trees that were damaged during the winter. "And we're trying to firm up the course, especially in front of the tee boxes," he added.
The Member for a Day offer that Harbor Pines introduced last year has been so successful that they're offering it again this year. Fees for this promotion are $750 (Monday-Thursday); $850 (Friday or Sunday); $1,200 (Saturday). The only extra charge is the cart fee. Sundays are sold out and Fridays are selling fast.
I played with Harmon and Irv, two gentlemen from Cherry Hill who are "members for a day." They both are very pleased with their membership, and no wonder. You pick one day and receive full membership privileges that day every week, year-round, including unlimited golf and use of the driving range, advanced tee time reservations, reduced member guest fees, bag storage, USGA handicap service, merchandise discounts and more.
The course ranges from 5,099 yards from the red tees to 6,827 yards from the black tees. There are five tee boxes that make the course playable for golfers of all skill levels. Because of Harmon's two cracked ribs, we chose the green tees (5,438 yards). The par five signature seventh hole is 435 yards from the green tees. There's a large lake to the right of the tees and a smaller one to the right of the landing area.
Landgraf had said, "Keep [the ball] down the right side because the fairway slopes to the left."
So what did I do? I hit my ball into the woods on the left.
I chipped out and had a great third shot to the dogleg that leads to the large green with four large bunkers behind it. My fourth shot cleared the long sand ditch across the fairway in front of the green and stopped four feet short of the hole. Then I missed the easy putt!
Nine of the holes have water hazards and six have doglegs, but the fairways are wide, the greens are large and the layout and signage makes the course easy to navigate and very forgiving. Despite being a chilly and very windy day, we finished playing in well under four hours.
The dining room at Harbor Pines is open to the public daily and Mike Mendick is an excellent chef. The 20,000-square-foot club house is the ideal venue for wedding receptions, special occasion parties and business meetings. For tee times, reservations, golf lessons, membership applications and dining reservations, call 927-0006 or visit on line at www.harborpines.com.
Good Golf Guide
Atlantic City Country Club
1 Leo Frasier Dr., Northfield. 641-7575. One of America's oldest and most prestigious golf clubs. Open daily, 8am-3pm. Rates range between $100-$200 based on availability and day of week.
Avalon Golf Club
1510 Rt. 9 N., Cape May Court House. 465-4653. 18 holes, well-kept with good variety of holes. Greens fees through June 16: Mon.-Fri. $49, $39 after noon, $29 after 3pm; Sat & Sun. $69, $54 after noon, $35 after 3pm. www.avalongolfclub.net.
B.L. England Recreation Center & Golf Course
900 N. Shore Rd., Beesleys Point. 390-0472. Water hazards come into play at least four times. Easy to walk. Well-maintained course with fast, small greens. Weekday peak season, 18 holes $25, 9 holes $15; weekends peak season, 18 holes $30, 9 holes $18.
Blue Heron Pines Golf Course
(East & West courses, both 4-star 18 holes) 550 W. Country Club Dr., Cologne, off Tilton Rd. 965-1800. Greens fees through Oct. 31: $100/80 (twilight) for East Course. www.blueheronpines.com.
2012 Good Golf Guide
Golf, Girls, Gaiety
Time for Tee
Good Golf Guide 2011