Chips & Divots: Summer 2016

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, the golf course at Sand Barrens is the dream of one of the nation’s top golf course architects. Sand Barrens was imagined and designed by the renowned golf course architect 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, 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 Sand Barrens’ website.

1765 Rt. 9 N., Swainton
(609) GOLF-555, www.sandbarrensgolf.com

Cape May Par 3 & Driving Range

Located conveniently on Fulling Mille Road just off of Route 47, Cape May Par 3 & 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 don’t worry about a dress code – Cape May Par 3 welcomes those in beach attire to hit a round of golf before hitting the beach! Clubs, bags and carts are available to rent.

If your swing needs some work, Cape May 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 or 105 balls. If you need further instruction, Cape May Par 3 offers lessons. All lessons are 45 minutes long and will help you improve your game in no time. Call to reserve your private lesson today.

29 Fulling Mill Rd., Rio Grande
(609) 889-2600, www.capemaypar3.com

Avalon Golf Club

Avalon Golf Club is an 18-hole championship course that artistically blends various hole personalities to create an experience that dazzles the senses. With holes measuring from 6,325 to 4,924 yards, the golf course at Avalon Golf Club 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 6,325 yards, a white tee totals 5,896 yards, a gold tee totals 5,239 yards and a red tee totals 4,924 yards. While other local course layouts are based on target shots, the layout of Avalon Golf Club is more traditional. According to Avalon Golf Club’s Head PGA Professional Ted Wenner, if you hit straight and long, you score well. If you stray, you pay. At Avalon Golf, 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 Rt. 9 N., Cape May Court House
(609) 465-GOLF, www.avalongolfclub.net

Laguna Oaks 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 the 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 Pennants 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 by water on all sides, accessing the island green is an experience in itself, accomplished only by crossing the scenic bridge through the gazebo.

600 Bayberry Dr., Cape May Court House
(609) 465-4560, www.lagunaoaksgolf.com

Heritage Links Golf Club

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 15th 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 10-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 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. Visit Heritage Links’ website to read about each hole on the course, and then go play them for yourself!

1375 Route 9, Ocean View
(609) 390-4500, www.golfheritagelinks.com

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