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The 6 Best Public Golf Courses in New Jersey

Editorial Team
Updated: May 17, 2024
best public golf courses in new jersey

If you’re looking for some of the best public golf courses in New Jersey, then look no further. From challenging links-style layouts to picturesque parkland tracks, there is something for everyone in “the Garden State.” Whether you want a casual round with friends or an all-day test of your skills, these top public golf courses in New Jersey offer great value and playability.

Top 6 Golf Courses in New Jersey

Neshanic Valley Golf Course – Neshanic Station, NJ

Neshanic Valley, located in the heart of New Jersey, is municipal golf at its finest. This 420-acre masterpiece was designed by renowned architects Michael Hurdzan and Dana Fry, who skillfully transformed it from a rural farm into three spectacular 9-hole layouts: Lake, Meadow, and Ridge. The Somerset County Parks Commission is proud to operate this magnificent course, which has hosted some of the most prestigious tournaments, including the Met Golf Association's Men's Public Links Championship and the USGA Women's Public Links event. 

For golfers looking for a different experience, the 27 holes at this course have various tee options and distance combinations to create an 18-hole challenge that measures up to 7100 yards. It even offers a 9-hole academy course as well as an expansive driving range. To have the best time, prepare at home with an indoor putting green before you go. 

Crystal Springs Resort – Hamburg, NJ

Set in the Appalachian Mountains, a 50-mile journey northwest of Newark Liberty International Airport will take you to an authentic experience of Britain and Ireland's golf courses. Ballyowen, designed by Roger Rulewich and opened in 1998, is part of Crystal Springs Resort, which has six distinct courses. Here, players can enjoy a classic round while being surrounded by breathtaking views. With a length of over 7,000 yards, this course is ideal for golfers looking for wide fairways. The meadows, hills, and valleys that make up its links-style layout will mesmerize golfers. 

Caddies are also on hand between May and August, making it one of the few public courses offering this luxurious service.

Deerwood Country Club – Westhampton, NJ

Deerwood Country Club is close to Mount Holly, which makes it easy to get to. It has beautiful views and a challenging course for golfers of all skill levels. Its fairways and greens are in great shape and both challenging and inviting. The staff can give you tips on how to play your best round. Whether you're looking for an everyday spot or taking a trip with friends to visit Mount Holly, Deerwood Country Club is the place for you. 

It offers 18 picturesque holes stretching 6,231 yards from its longest tees and presents players with par-70 shots that will guarantee an enjoyable game no matter what stage of skill you're at.

Berkshire Valley Golf Course – Oak Ridge, NJ

Located in the beautiful Highlands region of northern New Jersey, Berkshire Valley is renowned as one of the most spectacular public golf courses around. With its captivating topography atop Green Pond Mountain and narrow fairways that call for precision, it's no wonder why this course has earned such a stellar reputation. Its first five holes are even more impressive— they offer a fantastic view and pose quite a challenge to even the best players. 

Nestled among the cliffs and subject to gusty winds, the Berkshire Valley golf course offers a few tricky holes. The intimidating par-5 third hole presents an immense challenge, as does its signature final hole. Players may be fooled by its wide fairway, but they should be careful with their second shot because it is a steep uphill climb to a difficult green.

Level-up Your Putting With An Indoor Putting Mat

Galloping Hill Golf Course – Kenilworth, NJ 

Galloping Hill Golf Course, famously known as "The golf course that never sleeps," has a well-deserved reputation for being one of the most demanding courses in the region. From the longest tees, "The Hill" is 6845 yards long and has a par of 71. It is spread out over 271 acres in Kenilworth and Union and has a beautiful natural landscape with rolling hills and valleys. Williard G. Wilkinson designed this magnificent 18-hole wonder set against breathtaking vistas.

Immerse yourself in the beauty and challenge of Galloping Hill Golf Course, home to not only an 18-hole facility but also a 9-hole practice course and Learning Center. Opened in October 2009, the state-of-the-art center features 52 stalls (20 covered & heated) and 45,000 square feet of prime space for perfecting your swing. The Learning Center at Galloping Hill offers state-of-the-art club fitting technology, video instruction, and a Master Club Fitter. To reinforce the lessons that you have just learned, why not head to their 9-hole course with 2348 yards of golf from the longest tees for a par of 33? It's an ideal place to practice your newly acquired knowledge.

Architects Golf Club – Phillipsburg, NJ

The Architects Golf Club stands out from the rest with its legendary course design by Donald Ross, A.W. Tillinghast, and Alistair Mackenzie; each hole is named after a famous golf designer starting with Old Tom Morris. For instance, the first par five celebrates St Andrews' famed designer through existing features like a rock wall or a sloping hillside that embraces the green masterfully carved into them. The 13th hole, a challenging par 5, provides a glimpse of what it would be like to play Augusta. Golfers will be tested as they navigate through this Alistair Mackenzie-inspired hole. With fairway bunkers and a pond on the left, followed by a winding creek surrounding the triple-tiered green, strategically positioning yourself is vital to moving past these obstacles.

New Jersey is home to some of the country's most remarkable public golf courses. From Mount Holly's Deerwood Country Club, Berkshire Valley Golf Course, and Galloping Hill Golf Course to Architects Golf Club, there are plenty of options for you to choose from when looking for a great round of golf. No matter your skill level or budget, these courses will provide an experience you won't soon forget. So grab your clubs and prepare for a memorable game at one of New Jersey’s finest public golf courses!

Final Thoughts

Indeed, sometimes the weather doesn't cooperate, or time constraints keep you away from these fantastic New Jersey courses. Thankfully, the game can still go on. One of the best ways to keep your skills sharp is by using an indoor putting green. This handy golf tool offers you the flexibility to practice anytime, anywhere. Crafted to imitate the actual conditions of a putting green, they provide an exceptional training platform to refine your putting stroke and help you achieve that hole-in-one. So when you can't make it to the course, bring the course to you with a high-quality indoor putting green.

Can’t Make it to the Course Soon Enough? Check Out the Best Indoor Putting Greens

Editorial Team
By Editorial Team
Our Editorial Team, made up of seasoned professionals, prioritizes accuracy and quality in every piece of content. With years of experience in journalism and publishing, we work diligently to deliver reliable and well-researched content to our readers.
Editorial Team
Editorial Team
Our Editorial Team, made up of seasoned professionals, prioritizes accuracy and quality in every piece of content. With years of experience in journalism and publishing, we work diligently to deliver reliable and well-researched content to our readers.
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