Although one of the smallest US states, New Jersey is home to many wealthy families touting a “Liberty and Prosperity” motto. Dating back to the late 19th century, golf courses have been a fundamental part of the Garden State’s livelihood. In fact, the New Jersey State Golf Association was founded in 1900, only 9 years after the world’s oldest golf union was established. Today, the New Jersey State Golf Association now serves more than 275 clubs across the state.
Based on the highest reviews and Golf Digest rankings, here are some of the top golf courses in New Jersey, and even in the US (looking at you Pine Valley).
Pine Valley Golf Club
Regardless of who you may ask about the best golf course in New Jersey (except maybe people who don’t know anything about golf), Pine Valley is likely to make it in the top five, let alone the top ten. With help from multiple now-legendary architects, Founder George Crump created what is globally boasted as the perfect example of penal golf course architecture; however, the course blends all three schools of design, and often in a single hole. This golf course has ranked in the America’s 100 Greatest Golf Courses History since 1966 (the first year Golf Courses were ever ranked), ranking in the first spot 4 different times for a variety of years.
Somerset Hills Country Club
This beautiful design has remained virtually unchanged since being opened in 1918– a feat not many golf courses, let alone places in general, can say. Routed around flat, open terrain one way and hilly, dense woodland the other way, Somerset Hills was designed to be charming, yet laid-back with outrageous green contours and startling knobby mounds around distinctive water hazards. Somerset has ranked in the 100 Greatest History since 1985 with the highest ranking spot of 41.
Plainfield Country Club
As if to be ironic, this golf course is anything but a plain field. In fact, many lofty architectural names are often attached to this course. Established in 1890, Plainfield Country Club has worked to maintain a warm and inviting atmosphere with a spectacular, traditional layout with a modern challenge. This golf course also holds an impressive history: the Revolutionary War took place on some of the land at Plainfield over a year prior to its creation. Ranking in the 100 Greatest History since 1967, Plainfield has landed the highest ranking of spot 34.
Originally published on LarryStone.org