Chips & Divots

The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, and golfing season is in full swing. Cape May County is home to breathtaking golden sunset views, but what about the green? A number of Par-3 and full golf courses throughout the area promise beautiful landscape scenery that rivals a beach sunset.

Sand Barrens Golf Club
The unique personality and layout of Sand Barrens Golf Club makes for a challenging game for golfers of all skill levels. With its sandy stretches set against green fairways, Sand Barrens is proclaimed to be the closest thing to a desert course in this part of the country. There are five sets of tee boxes in order to ensure that players of all skill levels can be comfortable on the course. All that golfers can see from these tee boxes at times are the bunkers and waste areas, requiring strategic driving and putting. The South Nine features the course’s most scenic views of the rolling fairways and sandy areas while the West Nine is considered the patrons’ favorite. Advanced golfers are encouraged to try the North Nine, considered the course’s toughest. Whichever combination you choose to play, you’ll want to take advantage of Sand Barrens’ state-of-the-art PARVIEW system to guide your drive from the tee to the green. This Global Positioning Satellite system offers a video display showing the lay of the land at each hole, yardage, pin placement, par and handicap information.

1765 Route 9 North, Swainton, NJ 08210, 609-GOLF-555

Laguna Oaks Par-3 Golf Course
For a challenge on a smaller course, head over to Laguna Oaks Golf Course in Cape May Court House. The greens of this 10-hole Par-3 course are pristine and beautifully laid out. Water and other hazards come into play at almost every hole, presenting challenges to even seasoned veterans. Players state that, at Laguna Oaks, they feel like they are playing on a private course at a low cost. The course uses the “Golden Golf” scoring system in which tee locations vary slightly while the par rating varies greatly depending on a player’s handicap. For instance, the 180 yard Par-3 becomes a Par-5 for the high handicap player. Two other Par-3s, 165 and 170 yards, also become Par-5s. Back-to-back Golden Penants are used to designate the targets between tees and green. Mid range holes range from 124 to 150 yards and become Par-4s in the Golden Golf System. Laguna Oaks, with its unique scoring system and challenging course, and Sand Barrens, with its desert-like terrain, are two of the county’s many beautiful golfing experiences.

600 Bayberry Drive, Cape May Court House, NJ 08210, 609-465-4560

Avalon Golf Club
Avalon Golf is an 18-hole championship course that artistically blends various hole personalities to create an experience that dazzles the senses. With holes measuring from 6325 to 4924 yards, Avalon can be considered a fair yet tough test for golfers of all skill levels. The tees have a color coding system indicating yardage. A blue tee totals 6325 yards, a white tee totals 5896 yards, a gold tee totals 5239 yards, and a red tee totals 4924 yards. While other local course layouts are based on target shots, the layout of Avalon Golf Club is more traditional. According to Avalon Golf and Head PGA professional Ted Wenner, if you hit straight and long, you score well. If you stray, you pay. At Avalon, players must contend with narrow fairways, an abundance of water, and the course’s most prominent feature, the wind. The country-club conditions of the green along with the course’s 8 natural lakes and abundant wildlife make for a scenic game.

1510 N Route 9, Cape May Court House, NJ 08210, 609-465-4653

Wildwood Golf Club
Wildwood Golf boasts one of the most enjoyable, yet challenging courses in the area, where a 4 hour round of golf is often considered to be slow. Wildwood is the type of course you can enjoy playing very often, regardless of your handicap.The original course at Wildwood Golf and Country Club was a homemade nine hole course and opened for play in 1918. In 1922, Wayne E. Stiles in conjunction with John Van Kleek designed and built the current 18 hole course. About Mr. Stiles: Goeffrey Cornish, himself a prominent golf architect, in his book “The Architects of Golf” said: “In my opinion Wayne is one of the greats of our profession as testified by his wonderful layouts. No doubt he was overshadowed by his renowned contemporary Donald Ross. Still Wayne produced innumerable golf courses of integrity that live today and are cherished in their members”. This is true of Wildwood Golf and Country Club Course. There have been several changes over the years; the latest, the addition of two new holes designed by Brian Ault, but the Stiles design influence remains the same. The course has five teeing areas on each hole and measures 6,714 yards from the back tees to 3,765 yards from the yellow beginner/junior tees. Certainly not long by today’s standard however, with narrow fairways, small push-up greens and immaculate conditioning it presents a true test for golfers of all abilities.

1170 Golf Club Road, Cape May Court House, New Jersey 08210, 609-465-7824