Public Golf in New Jersey

Public Golf in the Skylands

By Rich Fisher


Beautiful settings make golf in Northwest New Jersey a nice idea,
no matter what your handicap.

Whether you are a hacker or a hero on the golf course,
the Skylands offers something for everyone when it comes to pulling out
the clubs this spring and summer. The region features 17 public 18-hole
courses, ranging from breathtaking mountain scenery to level courses
that lend themselves to a peaceful day’s walk. Each course features its
own unique challenges, some more daunting than others. While one might
favor the big hitter, another demands a strong short game. Then there
are those that require the complete package. It’s all at your disposal
without even paying membership dues. Here is a brief look at what each
course has to offer. The distances given are from the intermediate tees,
and it is suggested you call ahead to inquire about dress codes and possible
tee-time reservations.

Warren County

Mountain Golf

624 Hazen Oxford Road, Belvidere
Par 70/6,200 yards

Offering a panoramic view of the Delaware Water Gap,
the name is derived from the back nine, which is carved out of an apple orchard
on the side of a hill. Golfers can help themselves to a fresh apple from one
of the many trees along the back nine and may also find themselves in the company
of wildlife such as deer or turkey . The course is geared toward target players
and is loaded with water. While the front nine is somewhat flat, the back nine
will offer various side- hill, uphill and downhill lies. “I wouldn’t say it’s
a big hitter’s course,” General Manager Drew Kiszonak says. “You need to have
a little bit of course management.” Other features include two putting greens,
locker rooms, a pro shop, lessons. The Top of the Green restaurant and bar
is also open to the public

Blair Academy Golf Course

Blair Academy, Route 94, Blairstown, NJ

Play golf the way it was meant to be played… at a peaceful,
natural, walking course designed in 1929 on the beautiful campus of Blair Academy
in Blairstown. This semi-private, nine-hole course offers memberships and low
ratew with special discounts for seniors and juniors on weekdays.

Hunterdon County

Beaver Brook Country

Country Club Drive, Clinton
Par 72/6184 yards

Known for its hilly vistas overlooking the Hunterdon Hills and scenic gardens
throughout the course, Beaver Brook presents a combination of par 3s, some
challenging but fairly open par 4s and good, narrow par 5s. There are 74 bunkers
on the par 72/6184 yard course and a moderate amount of water with four ponds
and the Beaver Brook running through the course. Facilities include a pro shop,
putting and chipping greens, a convenience cart, six water fountains on the
course, an on-course snack shop, grill room and banquet facilities. Memberships
are available. Since Beaver Brook is part of the American Golf Corporation,
a membership provides access to over 300 other courses throughout the country..


146 Wertsville Road, Flemington
Par 70/5,840 yards

Based at the foot of the Sourland Mountains and overlooking the Amwell Valley,
Hillsborough provides one of the more scenic courses in the state. According
to general manager Drew Munro, the front nine is tight and the back nine is
built on the side of a mountain, which provides a lot of hilly terrain and
side-hill lies. The course is well bunkered and does not contain many water
hazards. “It’s a lot of placement golf,” Munro said. “Your short game is very
important.” Facilities include a driving range, putting green, carts, rental
clubs, pro shop, teaching pro, restaurant and bar. Soft spikes are required
and the course accepts cash and checks only. Credit cards are not accepted.

High Bridge Hills
Golf Club

203 Cregar Rd., High Bridge

The par 71, 6,700 yard course provides golfers an authentic true-links
layout in the British-Irish tradition on spectacular terrain overlooking
the Spruce Run Reservoir. The Club offers a fully stocked shop, rental clubs
and a USGA handicapping service. There is a grille for lunch and snacks.

Heron Glen

110 Highway 202/31
Flemington 08822 908/369-3322

Glen is a
facility of Hunterdon Parks and Recreation. There are five sets of tees to
players of all abilities from amateurs to professionals, and stretches over
7,000 yards. Though it is just off the highway, there is a pervading sense
of rural openness. There is a full size practice center with synthetic and
natural hitting surfaces, putting green, clubhouse, pro shop, bar and grill
with an outside patio. The course promises to raise the par for New Jersey
municipal golf courses.

Sussex County Courses

Somerset County Courses

This story was first published: Spring, 1999