The pace of new golf course construction has slowed dramatically in recent years. But this summer, New Jersey golfers get a present when the new nine holes at Eagle Ridge Golf Club in Lakewood opens
The addition makes Eagle Ridge the only 27-hole public facility in the area.
Club owners Jan and Jerry Kokes of Kokes Fairways, L.L.C. hired Brian Ault of Ault Clark and Associates, architects of the original 18 holes at Eagle Ridge, to design the new nine. The new holes were built on 80 acres adjacent to the existing layout.
Some of the design features on the new nine holes include three water hazards, bunkering and elevation changes. The overriding charge of Ault in the creation of the new holes was to make them fit harmoniously with the original 18 at Eagle Ridge. The new nine will be integrated into the existing back nine to allow for three returning nines to the clubhouse. Some areas of the facility were expanded to accommodate additional players, including the course’s halfway house and driving range.
Said Mike Attara, director of operations for the facility. “The new nine will free up the tee times and allow more golfers to enjoy the layout.”
The nines at Eagle Ridge will be called The Ridge Nine, The Links Nine and The Pines Nine. The existing front side, The Ridge, will remain intact with the new holes weaved into two other nines.
“Brian did a really neat job with the new holes and the course has a nice feel to it,” said Attara. “We have a highland piece where the holes play up and down and along `Eagle’s Ridge,’ a part of the course that plays through a wooded area with many pine and flowering trees that line the fairways, which will be known as the Pines, and the third area will have a links feel where the holes are more open. There are some spectacular views on the upper holes and the new links nine, which have some of the highest elevations on the Jersey Shore.
“The additional nine will enable Eagle Ridge to offer more availability and more variety of holes for public players and members. Regularly we will run a double start from 8 a.m. until 10 a.m. and again from noon until 2 p.m. This will allow us to accommodate members on one nine and public players on the other nine during the peak morning and afternoon hours. In the past it was difficult for public players to make morning or early afternoon times because these times were reserved for members. Now, members will have a private tee all their own and we will be able to accommodate public players on the other tee when they want to play the most. It is really the best of both worlds, having 27-holes. It’s like having two golf courses four hours a day when tee time demand is at it’s highest.”
Each nine will be a par-36, so that any combination of nines will be par of 72. The new nine has similar features, as well as the design and playability of the original course, with a bit of elevation, some undulation on the greens and considerable bunkering. There are three new ponds and several natural areas that are part of the new layout.
Brian Ault has worked on courses throughout the world and his Wyncote Golf Club in Oxford, Pennsylvania was chosen as the third best new public golf course in America in 1993 by Golf Digest magazine.
The addition of the new nine lengthens the course to over 6,900. Eagle’s Ridge is a shot maker’s delight, with some forced carries and enough bunkering in the fairways and around the ample greens to make players concentrate on club selection and shot placement.
“We are easily accessible from several major highways and we offer a high end experience for the public golfer,” said Attara. “We have a wonderful clubhouse, dining, locker rooms amenities and a patio for relaxing after a round.”
Eagle Ridge has also expanded its golf academy to include a separate tee area away from the regular range. The semi-private club offers GPS on its fleet of new Club Cars.
Eagle Ridge Golf Club