Best Public Golf Courses in South New Jersey

I haven’t spent any time in South Jersey.  From the little I knew about this part of the country, I wouldn’t have pegged it as a top golf destination.

Boy, was I ever mistaken?  Our readers were all too quick to brag about the great golf to be found here. 

So, before I waste any more of our precious time, let’s have a closer look.

1

Twisted Dune Golf Club

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Twisted Dune is one of the most revered modern links courses on the Eastern Seaboard.  It was even ranked the “Fourth Best Public Course in New Jersey” by Golfweek

When you hit it crooked out here, you probably won’t be stuck behind a tree.  Instead, native fescue and sand dunes make playing the next shot difficult. 

The wind can blow out here and the ground can be used in your favor.  What more reason do you need to play low, running shots?

Local knowledge is a huge advantage.  Regulars suggest playing here a couple of times.

2

Scotland Run Golf Club

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Built on an old sand quarry, Scotland Run is another true test of links golf.  Just 45 minutes from Atlantic City, Scotland Run is easy to get to if you’re from out of town.

Wide fairways and large features allow you to be creative and play a variety of shots.  Just like Twisted Dune, your best bet is to use the ground to your advantage.

If you’re looking for an opportunity to stay and play, Scotland Run has partnered with a number of top-notch lodging destinations in the area.

3

Blue Heron Pines Golf Club

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When it opened in 1993, Blue Heron Pines quickly developed a reputation as the premier place to play on the Jersey Shore. 

Designed by Stephen Kay, this layout blends seamlessly with the natural pine forest that surrounds it. 

A true shot maker’s test, narrow fairways, penalty areas, and strategically placed bunkers come into play on nearly every hole. 

Once you get to the greens, you can have some fun.  The surfaces are pure.  If you dial in the speed, a good day with the flatstick is in store.

One of the best kept secrets in South Jersey, don’t turn down a chance to play Blue Heron Pines.

4

Pinelands Golf Club

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Pinelands Golf Club is a classic layout in the heart of Hammonton.  It opened in 1963. 

Every hole is framed by mature trees that are trouble if you stray offline.  Short and straight is better than long and crooked. 

While the golf course is challenging and fun, there’s plenty of action to be found in the Twisted Tavern too.  Head Chef Ray Copsey is a New Jersey legend and is always concocting delicious recipes you can’t find anywhere else.  Throw in live entertainment most every night of the week, and a fun time is guaranteed.

5

Ballamor Golf Club

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Also located in Egg Harbor Township is Ballamor Golf Club.

A golfer’s sanctuary, the course is carved out of dense woods and rolling terrain.  It occupies some 350 acres. 

Even though the course has lots of trees, the fairways are generous and the greens welcoming.  If you’re looking for a feel-good round, Ballamor is a great choice. 

When you play here in the summer, be sure to spend some time on the practice green before your round.  The greens on the course can get exceptionally fast.

A great course for golfers of all skill levels, everyone enjoys playing Ballamor.

6

White Oaks Country Club

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Even though this track has the words “country” and “club” in its name, it’s 100% open to the public.

This is a traditional layout with tree lined fairways and a mix of long and short holes.  Generally, keeping it in the short stuff is the rule of thumb out here.  However, there are a couple of holes where you can let it eat and have a shorter club in on your approach.

The golf course is only part of the story though.  The clubhouse is some 10,000 square feet and has every amenity imaginable. 

When you’re done with your round, set aside some time to hang out in the Oaks Bar and Grill.  The extensive menu has plenty of delectable options to suit any pallet.  Coupled with an extensive beer and cocktail list, and several big screen televisions, you might just end up closing down the joint.

7

Harbor Pines Golf Club

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Harbor Pines is one of the more affordable rounds of golf in Egg Harbor Township.

For the last 25 years, locals have remained loyal to this facility because of its impeccable condition and unparalleled customer service. 

The layout is parkland style with strategically placed bunkers and large, undulating greens.  You’ll want to pay close attention to hole locations.  If you don’t, you’ll be left with some tape measure putts over humps and bumps. 

Three top-tier practice areas round out the experience at Harbor Pines.

A great value, excellent service, and above par playing conditions make this place a must play.

8

Avalon Golf Club

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Avalon Golf Club is located on the Jersey Shore between Ocean City and Wildwood.

Even though this track is right on the coast, most of the layout exists inland where holes are framed by whispering pines.

Target golf is the story here.  Even though the course is on the shorter side, it asks that you place each shot in the right spot.  The fairways are narrow, there’s plenty of water, and the greens are small.

If you have a good day striking the ball however, you’ll have plenty of chances for birdie. 

Avalon is a hidden gem that shouldn’t be overlooked.

9
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McCullough’s Emerald Golf Links is hands down the best value on the Jersey Shore.

Just minutes from downtown Atlantic City, this course feels distinctly Scottish.  Wide-open fairways, plenty of sand and water, and undulating greens make it a total experience.  Throw in tricky afternoon crosswinds and you’ve got all you want here.

Stephen Kay was the course’s designer, and he left his mark on the seventh hole.  Even though it only measures 160 yards, it plays across a three-acre waste area to a challenging green.

At just over 6,500 yards, this course isn’t going to kill you with length, but will test every aspect of your game.

10

Hanover Golf Club

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Wide fairways, rolling terrain, and gently sloping greens characterize the layout at Hanover Golf Club.

Even though this course is in the middle of a metropolitan area, it feels far removed from the noise and traffic.  Meandering creeks, native grasses, and stately trees line the property.  Don’t be surprised if you encounter some wildlife too.

Take your time when you’re at Hanover.  The vibe is unrushed and invites you to enjoy yourself. 

On the whole, Hanover is an experience that exceeds expectations.

Conclusion

There’s a lot going on in South Jersey.  Certainly a lot more than I originally thought. 

That’s especially true of the area’s public golf.  Our readers were all too enthusiastic to share thoughts about the subject.  In fact, I didn’t have enough room to fit everyone’s recommendations on our list.  If your favorite track didn’t make it, my apologies.  Please let us know your thoughts in the comments.

 

Paul Liberatore
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Paul Liberatore

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