Atlantic, Cape May and Cumberland Counties
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Over a century ago, in 1903 actually, the term birdie was coined at the Atlantic City Country Club— 609-641-7575. The story goes like this: Abner Smith landed his tee shot in the fairway on the 12th hole, hit a great second shot onto the green and then sank an easy putt for a one under par. Someone in the group yelled “that was a bird of a shot” – a common phrase in those days to describe something outstanding. That compliment was transformed to “birdie” to acknowledge a score of one under par –and the term is still used today. A rock with a plaque sits on the spot on the golf course where the term was first used so many years ago. How about that!

Wildwood Golf and Country Club, a private course in Cape May County that just celebrated its centennial, has a bit of history as well. During the summer of 1851, a young Coast Guardsman stationed in Cape May played and practiced at the club – none other than Arnold Palmer.

Want to see how the pros do it? The best women golfers in the world will tee up at the Shoprite LPGA Classic, June 4 to June 10, 2018, on the Bay Course at Stockton Seaview Hotel and Golf Club in Galloway Township—609-748-7680—another course with a storied history. The tournament features a two day pro-am at courses around Atlantic County so there’s plenty of opportunity to see the biggest names in women’s golf from around the world, up close and personal. And, a bit more history - two presidents, Warren Harding in the 1920s and Dwight Eisenhower in the 1950s - played the Seaview course. www.shopritelpgaclassic.com

Not quite LPGA or PGA caliber? No problem. Golf clubs around Atlantic, Cape May and Cumberland counties offer nine and 18-hole courses for players of all abilities, usually with a restaurant or grill room for a pre-golf snack or a cold beverage at the 19th hole.

Avalon Golf Club: on Route 9 just north of Cape May Court House is a test for all golfers — duffers to single-digit handicaps — with narrow fairways and plenty of water. The course, 4924 yards from the reds and 6325 from the blues, rewards accuracy and penalizes bad shots, so be ready with your A game for bragging rights over a drink at the friendly bar or dinner at The Links. Greens fees are reasonable; check online for mid-week specials. 609-465-GOLF - 1510 Route 9 North, Swainton. www.avalongolfclub.net

Cape May National Golf Club:(with Driving Range) - 609-884-1563 – Route 9, Erma (Lower Township). www.cmngc.com

Cape May Par 3 and Driving Range: 18 Holes. 609-889-2600 Fulling Mill Road, Rio Grande. www.capemaypar3.com

Heritage Links: 9 holes. 609-390-4500 Route 9, Palermo. www.heritagelinks.com

Laguna Oaks:
Laguna Oaks is 200 serene acres of meadow land, willow oak trees, ponds and waterfalls designed by Architect, Fred Langford. It offers one and two-acre home sites and a ten hole masterpiece that may be the most challenging and beauitiful Par-3 Course you will ever play. (Featured in GolfStyles magazine as “a Par-3 track that Packs Some Punch”). 609-465-4560 – 600 Bayberry Road, Cape May Court House. www.lagunaoaksgolf.com

Ocean City Golf Course: 12 Holes. 609-399-1315 Bay Avenue and 26th Street

The Pines at Clermont Golf Club: 9 Holes. 609-624-0100- 358 Kings Highway, Clermont. www.pinesatclermont.net

Sand Barrens:
the only 27-hole course in Southern New Jersey, has plenty of bunkers and even more sand, just as its name implies. Each 9-hole course — North, South and West — is a par 36. Here’s a hint: the South Nine is the prettiest, the North is the toughest — but ends up at the on a par 3 over the lake to a plantation-style clubhouse and the West is everyone’s favorite. Take advantage of the course’s ParView system to find your way from tee to green which also offers a video display showing the lay of the land at each hole, yardage, pin placement, par and handicap information. 609-465-3555 – 1765 Route 9, Swainton. www.sandbarrensgolf.com

Shore Gate: Laurel, oak, holly and towering pines frame each hole at Shore Gate Golf Club on Route 9 in Ocean View, a course that combines parkland and links elements for an enjoyable – and very challenging – round with 88 bunkers and seven ponds and lakes. The 9th hole from the black tees is an amazing 648 yards around a lake. The 13th, another par 5, features elevation changes and bunkers. Consider renting a GPS for accurate yardage readings if you don’t carry one in your bag. The par 72 course was designed by Ronald Fream and David Dale, golf course architects whose courses are located around the world. 609-624-TEES – 35 School House Lane, off Route 9, Ocean View. www.shoregategolf.com

Atlantic City County Club: 100 Shore Road, Northfield. www.accountryclub.com

Blue Heron Pines Golf Club (Driving Range): 609-965-4653. 550 West County Club Drive, Cologne. www.blueheronpines.com

Brigantine Golf Links: Built in 1927, “The Links” is unique to the Northeast with it’s authentic Scottish links design by Wayne Stiles and John Van Kleek. Brigantine Links is also New Jersey’s only authentic Scottish Links golf course and lies just across the bay from Atlantic City’s world famous Boardwalk and Casinos. True to it’s historic Scottish roots, this seaside layout includes breathtaking bay views, native marshes, and gently rolling nearly treeless terrain. The berms, moundings and tidal water hazards found on 14 of the 18 holes offer a challenge to all skill levels. 1075 N. Shore Dr., Brigantine. 609-266-1388. www.brigantinegolf.com

Buena Vista Country Club (Driving Range): 856-697-3733 Country Club Lane, Buena. www.buenavistacc.com

John F. Gaffney Green Tree Golf Course: a regulation 18 hole, par 72, 5600 yard course that is a challenge to the experienced as well as the novice golfer. The course is known for its tight, tree lined airways and its excellent greens. A driving range is available as well a Golf Shop, Snack Bar, Lessons, junior clinics and practice putting/chipping green. 1030 Somers Point Rd., Egg Harbor Township. 609-625-9131. www.greentree.aclink.org

Hamilton Trails Country Club: 609-641-6824. 4395 Harbor Ave. McKee City, NJ 08232. www.hamiltontrails.com

Harbor Pines Golf Club (Driving Range):
609-927-0006. 500 St. Andrews Drive, Egg Harbor. www.harborpines.com

Latona Golf & Country Club: 856-692-8149. Oak and Cumberland Roads, Buena Vista. www.latonacountryclub.com

Mays Landing Golf & Country Club (Driving Range):
609-641-4411. 1855 Cates Road, Mays Landing. www.mayslandinggolf.com

McCullough’s Emerald Golf Links: 609-926-3900. 3016 Ocean Heights Ave., Egg Harbor Township. www.mcculloughsgolf.com

Pomona Golf & Country Club (Driving Range): 609-965-3232. Moss Mill Rd. & Odessa Ave., Pomona. www.pomonagolfcourse.com

Eastlyn Golf Course: 856-691-5558. 4049 Italia Avenue, Vineland. www.eastlyngolf.com
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