Brigantine offers great Scottish style course
The Links at Brigantine Beach has almost as much history as the Atlantic City Country Club. The authentic Scottish links course was designed by Wayne Stiles and John Van Klek and built in 1927. Local legends suggest the "Old Pros" like Walter Hagen and Harry Vardon played in Brigantine before sailing to the British Open because it is so similar to Scottish Links courses. Hence, the front nine is named Hagen and the back nine, Vardon.
Publinks Golfer Magazine says the Links is the No. 2 Best Value Course in New Jersey and Golf for Women Magazine says it is one of the Top 100 Best Courses for Women.
The Links has breathtaking bay views, marshes and gently rolling, nearly treeless greens, just like Scottish courses. The berms, mounds and tidal waters on 14 of the 18 holes offer a challenge to golfers of all skill levels. Most of the water hazards seem to be to the right of the fairway, so staying to the left is the safest way to play. The course is 6,524 yards from the Championship tees, 6,214 yards from the Regulation tees and 5,203 yards from the Forward tees. It meanders through a good portion of the north end of the island with quite a few street crossings. It is the only course in Atlantic County to offer the GPS Yardage System on all carts.
The course's general manager Steve Brady was an assistant professional here in 2004 and just returned this year from Innsbruck Golf Course in Palm Harbor, Fla., near Tampa. When I asked him which hole was the course's signature hole, he replied: "It's pretty hard to say. It's probably the 11th. It's a short par-4, 330 yards [from the back tee]. There's a large bunker on the left and a landing area in front of the green. The green is on the left edge of the peninsula [near the water] so try to hit the left side of the landing area." There's also a big bush behind the bunker that hides the water and the green. This is a very tough hole.
The course is in excellent condition, as are, despite the heat spell we experienced, all the courses I've played so far this year. The sky was overcast when we started and a cool breeze kept the course bug-free all day; it was a perfect day for golf. Meadowbrook Golf Management Group has done a wonderful job of maintaining the condition of the course and upgrading the club house. You can get oversized sandwiches, soups and salads in the Links Grille, and host wedding receptions there for up to 100 guests.
For tee time reservations, directions, golf outings, membership details, dinner parties and wedding reception arrangements, call 266-1388.
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 Sept. 4: $79, $64 after noon, $44 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.
Links at Brigantine Beach
1075 North Shore Dr., Brigantine Beach. 266-1388. Authentic Scottish Links course, free GPS on all carts. Greens fees until Sept. 17: open-1pm, Mon.-Thurs. $69; Fri. - Sun.$84; twilight (1pm-closing), weekday $44; weekend $59. After 4pm weekday and weekend $35. www.brigantinegolf.com.
Buena Vista Country Club
Rt. 40 & Country Club Lane, Buena. 1-856-697-3733. Long 18-hole course but easy walking. Well maintained. Greens fees: Mon.-Fri. $28; Sat. & Sun. $35. Ride & play specials offered. www.allforeclub.com.
Green Tree Golf Course
1030 Somers Point-Mays Landing Rd. (Rt. 559), EHT. 625-9131. Challenging, county-owned course. Greens fees through Sept. 30: with/without resident ID golf card: Weekdays 18 holes, $14/28; weekends/holidays 18 holes, $17/34. Cart fee $14 per rider. www.aclink.org/PARKS/mainpages/greentree.asp.
Hamilton Trails Golf Club
620 Harbor Ave., (at Ocean Heights Ave.), Mays Landing. 641-6824. The Shore's only regulation-length, 9-hole course. No tee times req. Greens fees (for 9 holes) until Sept. 5: Mon.-Fri. $15; Sat., Sun. & holidays $18. Replay rates: $8 to walk; $10 to ride (cart fee optional). www.hamiltontrails.com.
Harbor Pines Golf Club
550 St. Andrews Dr., (off Ocean Heights Ave.), EHT. 927-0006. 18 holes. Golf Digest rated 4 stars. Call for greens fees. No pull carts allowed. www.harborpines.com.
2012 Good Golf Guide
Golf, Girls, Gaiety
Time for Tee
Good Golf Guide 2011