Here’s our list of the top 10 courses in New Jersey, also known as the Garden State
1. PINE VALLEY, Pine Valley
The consensus number one in the state, the U.S., and the world. Set on a magnificent stretch of sandy, pine-clad terrain, it remains the unrelenting test of both shotmaking and courage that it was at birth more than a century ago.
The 368yd par-4 2nd at Pine Valley is an awe-inspiring golf hole, and the blind approach to a rolling green atop a wall of menacing bunkers is an unforgettable shot. pic.twitter.com/NiKuNyWcfh
— LinksGems Golf Photos (@LinksGems) May 27, 2022
2. BALTUSROL (LOWER), Springfield
A recent renovation by Gil Hanse has brought a dramatic new look to the state’s most storied championship course, the site of numerous major events including two U.S. Open wins by Jack Nicklaus.
3. SOMERSET HILLS, Bernardsville
Tucked cozily into New Jersey horse country, the A. W. Tillinghast routing takes full advantage of the varied, constantly changing terrain, and the green complexes are both beguiling and bedeviling.
4. PLAINFIELD, Edison
Neither plain nor a field, this Donald Ross design, updated by Hanse, rises, dips, and winds through generally hilly terrain, its holes culminating in expansive, fiercely contoured, and always slippery greens.
5. BALTUSROL (UPPER), Springfield
Set on steeply sloped terrain just above its big sister, it invariably steals the hearts of those who play both, whether in one day or as members. Coping with the slopes is the key, whether in planning the tee shots and approaches or putting the steeply canted greens.
The connecting 18ths of the Upper and Lower Courses at Baltusrol Golf Club, the Upper, fittingly, on the high side left and the Lower, with its bridges, to the right. Cameos include the famed clubhouse, the par-3 4th and the revamped 3rd green complex on the Lower course. pic.twitter.com/Z2oASVuR55
— LinksGems Golf Photos (@LinksGems) September 2, 2021
6. RIDGEWOOD (EAST/WEST), Paramus
Three A.W. Tillinghast nines grace this club, which hosted the 1935 Ryder Cup and has continued to test the pros and its members for nearly a century. Towering trees line the fairways, calling for care in the execution of shots.
7. GALLOWAY NATIONAL, Galloway
Set on sandy/marshy land near the Jersey Shore (with the Atlantic City skyline in full view), this is one of Tom Fazio’s finest, a succession of visually striking holes that are both challenging and fun to play.
8. MOUNTAIN RIDGE, West Caldwell
A Ross treasure restored and enhanced expertly by Ron Prichard. The nines unfurl in a pair of loops, no two consecutive holes playing in the same direction, and Ross’s undulating greens are the stars.
9. HOLLYWOOD, Deal
In 2014, Tom Doak restored this 1917 design just blocks from the Atlantic Ocean, removing 1,200 trees and highlighting the dramatic “volcano” bunkers.
10. ESSEX COUNTY, West Orange
A Tillinghast course redone by Seth Raynor and Charles Banks that saw a major renovation and lengthening by Hanse, it’s distinguished by its four strong par threes and an inward nine that many believe is the best in the state.
By request, a set from the underrated Essex County Country Club. Originally designed by A.W. Tillinghast, redesigned by Seth Raynor and Charles Banks, and restored by Gil Hanse, ECCC boasts a fascinating architectural lineage and one of the finest golf courses in New Jersey. pic.twitter.com/6WHyJGn3LM
— LinksGems Golf Photos (@LinksGems) February 24, 2022