Chips & Divots: Fall 2015

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
Proclaimed to be the closest thing to a desert course in this part of the country, Sand Barrens Golf Course is the dream of one of the nation’s top Golf Course Architects. Sand Barrens was imagined and designed by renowned firm Hurdzan/Fry of Columbus, Ohio. Using nature as a back drop, this picturesque par 72 layout plays over 6,900 yards from the back tees, and demonstrates the diversity and beauty of the natural terrain. Combining majestic tree lined fairways, vast natural area, dramatic scrub bunkers and massive undulating greens, this course requires strategy from tee to green.

The unique personality and layout of Sand Barrens Golf Club makes for a challenging game for golfers of all skill levels. There are five sets of tee boxes in order to ensure that players of all skill levels can be comfortable on the course. 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. For a thorough breakdown of the course’s layout, yardage, and individual hole images, visit the course’s website.

1765 Route 9 North, Swainton, NJ 08210

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.

Designed and constructed by local Architect Fred Langford, Laguna Oaks also has its own little Island Green. “Although it’s not as famous as the 17th Island at Sawgrass, our 16th Island happens to be 130 yards from the Blue Tees, which is the length that the PGA plays on Sunday at the Players Tournament,” states Langford. Ladies and beginners can play this hole from the Gold Tees (60 yards). Surrounded on all sides by water, accessing it is an experience in itself, accomplished only by crossing the scenic Bridge through the Gazebo.

600 Bayberry Drive, Cape May Court House, NJ 08210

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 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 eight natural lakes and abundant wildlife make for a scenic game.

1510 N Route 9, Cape May Court House, NJ 08210

Heritage Links
Heritage Links is Cape May County’s unique nine-hole challenge! Open to the public and featuring excellent course conditions, Heritage Links specializes in family-friendly, affordable golf. Now celebrating its 14th year, Heritage Links invites you to “play nine before beach time!” Enjoy a quick rewarding and challenging round of golf by yourself or with friends with time to spare to experience the joys of the shore. Seasonal visitors can save with the course’s ten round passes, while yearly memberships start at just $500. Heritage Links is also home to a fully stocked pro shop featuring all the gear you’ll need to help your game. This summer season, the newly constructed BBQ pavilion will play host to daily leagues and group outings. Best of all, Heritage Links is conveniently located just minutes away from Ocean City, Sea Isle City, Avalon, and Stone Harbor beaches! Call in advance to make your tee time.

1375 Route 9, Palermo, NJ
(609) 390-4500

Cape May Par-3 Golf and Driving Range
Located conveniently, just off of Route 47 on Fulling Mill Road, Cape May Par-3 and Driving Range offers an 18-hole par 3 golf course that is perfect for the budget golfer on a time limit. This easy course allows those of all skill levels to have a successful game on an excellent green. And do not worry about a dress code, Par-3 welcomes those in beach attire to hit a round of golf and then hit the beach after! Clubs, Bags and Carts are available to rent.

If you’re swing needs some work, Par-3 is home to a great driving range. Rent a club, choose your basket of balls and go to town. Basket amounts are 42 balls, 72 balls and 105 balls. If you need further instruction, lessons are offered at the golf course. All lessons are 45 minutes long and will have you improving your game in no time. Call to reserve your private lesson today. New for this Fall is Foot Golf, the game of golf using only your foot and soccer balls! This budget friendly, family activity is perfect for any time of the year. With holes ranging from 90 to 170 yards, any member of the family can join in. Call for more details.

29 Fulling Mill Road, Rio Grande, NJ 08260