nob Hill Golf Club in Manalapan, N.J. has clearly
defined itself as a semi-private golf club that welcomes golfers with open arms.
The 10-year-old Mark McCumber-designed course has always been raved about for its playability and interesting routing. But after a decade of marketing Knob Hill as a rather private destination, new management was determined to make the club stand out as one of the area’s premier semi-private facilities. Consider the change made.
“We’ve been really aggressive with our marketing, and our membership total is up by 40 this season,” says Dave Wasenda, the club’s affable general manager and COO. He works for the Appliedgolf management group, which was hired by the owners to change Knob Hill’s image and standing.
“We are now a semi-private club where the public is always welcome,” says Wasenda, who resigned a position as general manager and COO at one of the region’s premier clubs to come to Knob Hill. “We have relaxed our restrictions on tee times, so non-members can have access to the golf course more readily.”
New management has eliminated the initiation fee for new members, adjusted annual dues, and waived the monthly food minimums. Several attractive packages have been put into place, including one that allows individuals 55 years of age and older to play unlimited golf Monday through Friday for a very reasonable fee.
“We have much improved golf course conditions, thanks to our new superintendent John Hutchinson,” says Wasenda. “We have a new restaurant and bar open for lunch and dinner and that’s going great with manager Jay DelliSanti and new chef Bob Mehnert. And we have improved banquet facilities for parties and outings.”
A new fleet of 72 golf carts arrived in July to further enhance the visitor’s experience at Knob Hill.
The club’s golf course has never been an issue. While on the relatively short side, McCumber incorporated a number of man-made hazards, in the form of ponds and bunkers, to create one heck of a good test of playing ability.
The par-fives are almost all reachable in two. But McCumber placed a great deal of risk/reward in his design. Take the 495-yard seventh for instance. Big hitters can reach in two. But there is danger all around the putting surface with water lurking just in front and in back of the green. Even a lay up requires great care.
Number eight is a solid par four. The 386-yard bends to the right and the tee shot is over three small lateral water hazards. The approach is to a small green fronted by more water.
The 15th is a nice, 194-yard downhill par-three with water on the right, and 16 is another short, 489-yard, par-five that begs heavy hitters to reach in two. But again there is a large pond waiting on the right side of the green.
Number 18 is a superb finishing hole. It’s a beefy 472 yards uphill to a green that has bunkers left and right.
Wasenda says new management is focusing on making Knob Hill “the place to be” by making members and guests feel like part of a family. They also are appealing to the business communities in the Freehold region and a number of new housing developments that have sprung up in the area in recent years.
“The golf options in this area are many with some very good municipal courses. Our advantage is that we have a great new golf course, and just as important the resources to give our members and guests a unique and memorable golf experience before, during and after their visit.”Knob Hill Golf ClubManalapan, N.J.732-792-7722 www.knobhillgc.com