you love a course that has enough bite to challenge you yet is approachable, fun and aesthetically pleasing all at the same time, then Harbor Pines Golf Club in Egg Harbor Township, N.J. is for you.
The world-class, four-star daily fee course is located just minutes from Atlantic City’s casinos and boardwalk and features course conditions that are among the best in the Garden State. And, after 10 years of operation Harbor Pines is taking itself to new heights, says Ron Ralston, the club’s director of golf operations.
“We have added years of golf industry experience with two new additions to our team; general manager Chris Arabio and course superintendent George Pierpoint. We aim towards one goal, the total success of the property. We feel the experience a golfer has here is what sets us up a cut above the rest.”
Ralston says from the moment you are greeted at the bag drop every employee at Harbor Pines will “have the answer before you ask the question.” So dedicated to the overall quality of the property is the management staff that they often go out onto the course to help aerify greens and do the little things necessary to make their club special.
Harbor Pines has introduced unique member events, such as a Jimmy Buffet theme night, a Glow Ball tournament, a first class club championship with a “surf and turf” awards dinner, and the Hawaiian Tropic Girl Tan Tavern golf outing in August. The club’s women’s golf association adds to the fun each year by conducting a trick and treat golf outing around Halloween.
The layout offers a magnificent blend of holes, ranging from parkland style to those with more of a links feel. Water is a huge element at Harbor Pines, which stretches to over 6,800 yards from the tips. And there are plenty of bunkers to make accuracy on tee shots and to the rather large and somewhat undulating greens a must.
“The golf course is maturing in such a way that the naturalized areas flow gently into the course, along with defined sharp cut areas and, of course, our pristine playing surfaces,” says Ralston.
Harbor Pines has any number of great holes. It starts with a 505-yard par-five that big hitters can think about going for in two. But the fairway is rather narrow and there are trees right and water to the left that runs almost all the way to the deep green.
Number five is considered the course’s toughest par-four. It plays 452 yards from the tips and bends slightly to the right. Water runs along the right side of the hole all the way to the putting surface and is situated to catch errant tee shots and miss-hit approaches to the green.
Number eight is the best par-three on the front side. The hole plays 215 yards from the championship markers and calls for a long iron or fairway wood over a pond to a green surrounded by five bunkers. A three here is a very good score indeed.
Number nine is another great par-four, playing 460 yards with water left and woods right. You may need to approach the green with a long iron or fairway wood.
Number 12 is perhaps the course’s signature hole. It is certainly one of the most photographed holes in New Jersey and visually stunning. The tee shot on this 339-yarder must clear a large pond and land in a small fairway that sits before the green. The putting surface is protected by bunkers all around and water to the rear. You can make birdie or double bogey here, depending upon your accuracy and length off the tee.
Number 18 is a great finishing hole, playing 481 yards from the tips. A lusty drive that steers clear of a pond on the left and sand and trees on the right of the fairway will leave a perfect chance to go for the green on this par-five in two and finish your round with a birdie, or maybe even eagle.
The prices at Harbor Pines are very reasonable, especially given the quality of the layout and the magnificent conditions. The club has a fully stocked pro shop as well as an attractive and comfortable dining area for pre- and post-round enjoyment. This is a great place to hold an outing or other large-scale event.Harbor Pines Golf ClubEgg Harbor Township, N.J.609-927-0006www.harborpines.com