Atlantic City Country Club–Dripping with tradition at every turn, this historic club was founded in 1897. Playable and picturesque, I see why this has been ranked the #1 Public Golf Course in New Jersey by several publications and websites. The beautiful views of the Atlantic City skyline, superb course conditions and classic clubhouse grill and locker room are at the heart of this course’s appeal. It received a makeover and modernization treatment by designer Tom Doak in 1999.
McCullough’s Emerald Golf Links–This course plays much longer than its 6,535 yards from the back tees. It’s an Irish-Scottish golf experience with lots of grass mounds, bump and run opportunities and tricky winds. It’s a true replica course as the hole designs are inspired by famed courses like St. Andrews Old Course, Carnoustie, Prestwick, Gleaneagles and Turnberry. It has water on five holes, a three-acre waste bunker, an island fairway and 100-foot elevation changes. My favorite hole is number 7, a 464-yard par four, which is dedicated to architect Alister Mackenzie. It’s the hole with the humongous waste bunker facing you off the tee.
Stockton Seaview Hotel & Golf Club–A fixture on the Atlantic City golf scene since 1915, this 36-hole complex offers two different golf experiences. The Bay Course, home to the LPGA’s ShopRite Classic, is a Donald Ross/Hugh Wilson design that runs along Reeds Bay and has a Scottish feel. The Pines is a traditional parkland-style layout.
Twisted Dune--You could air drop this course into Scotland and it would easily blend in. If you love Scottish links golf, this American version is the closest thing to being there. The wind, bump and run shots and undulating fairways make it fun and challenging.
In conversation with local, well connected golf tourism officials, other play suggestions include Ron Jaworski’s Blue Heron Pines, Shoregate GC and Galloway GC.
7 Little Things I Liked
5. The amazing vintage photographs of Yankee greats like Dimaggio and Berra hanging on the walls at The Original Irish Pub.
6. The traditional clubhouse at Atlantic City Country Club that has lockers for swimmer Michael Phelps, PGA Tour star Hale Irwin and other notables
7. The amazing bowl of homemade white bean soup I had at Twisted Dune.