For the third year in a row, the best golf course in the U.S. is in New Jersey.
Golf Digest released its updated rankings of “America’s 100 Greatest Golf Courses” on Monday. No. 1 is Pine Valley Golf Club in Camden County.
A genuine original, its unique character forged from the sandy pine barrens of southwest Jersey. Founder George Crump had help from now-legendary architects H.S. Colt, A.W. Tillinghast, George C. Thomas Jr. and Walter Travis. Hugh Wilson (of Merion fame) and his brother Alan finished the job. Throughout the course, Pine Valley blends all three schools of golf design—penal, heroic and strategic—often times on a single hole. New tree removal at selected spots, most recently on the 12th hole, have revealed some gorgeous views of the sandy landscape upon which the course is routed.
Pine Valley is a regular on Golf Digest’s list of the top 100 courses, taking the top prize in the following years: 1985-2000, 2003-2008, 2013-2014, 2017 and 2018-20.
On Sunday, Golf Digest and Golf magazine, both of whom have employees who are members at Pine Valley, reported the private club has decided to allow women to join.
According to an email obtained by the websites, club president Jim Davis wrote to members on Friday that “the future of golf must move toward inclusion.”
“And I am pleased to report that the Trustees and members of the Pine Valley Golf Club have voted unanimously and with enthusiasm to remove all gender-specific language from our bylaws,” the email said. Women previously could play only as guests on Sunday afternoon.
Davis said in the email that Pine Valley would immediately begin identifying potential candidates to be members, with hopes of having its first women join the club by the end of the year.
As for Golf Digest’s top 100, four other N.J. courses join Pine Valley on the list.
The lower course at Baltusrol Golf Club in Springfield, N.J. is No. 45. The upper course is No. 63.
Somerset Hills Country Club in Bernardsville, N.J. comes in at No. 50.
Plainfield Country Club in Edison, N.J. is No. 75.
(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
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