There are bound to be some awful rounds in my quest to play all the public golf courses in New Jersey. My day at Lakewood Country Club was one such round. My first Ocean County course, I played Lakewood CC on an early spring day. I’d love to be able to blame the wind or course conditions, but neither is a legitimate excuse for the round I had.
I’ll spare you the gory details that I normally give you in a hole-by-hole replay, but here’s a summarized look at my +24 round of 96.
Aces: Didn’t even threaten a par-3 pin.
Albatrosses: Not even close.
Birdies: (*sigh*) Unfortunately not.
Lakewood is an average public course, but it has a few characteristics worth noting.
- The signature 12th hole has an elevated tee box that looks down on “bunkers” that make the letters ‘LCC’.
- You have to avoid the two C bunkers in the ‘LCC’ when you’re coming back on the par-3 15th. (I didn’t.)
- Unless you’re incredibly long off the tee with a lot of shape-at-will, the 16th hole is basically C-shaped and is guaranteed to be a three-shot par 5.
- The course was opened in 1896.
Regarding that last note, one of the players I was paired with told me that he knew Lakewood CC to be the “oldest course in America”.
I wasn’t able to find that out until later, which turned out to be interesting research (thank you, internet). Here is a list of older American courses – both public and private – that I pulled from Wikipedia’s Timeline of golf history (1851-1945) and elsewhere. Enjoy!
1884 – Edgewood Club (Tivoli, NY).
1887 – The Quogue Field Club (Quogue, NY). The Foxburg Country Club (Foxburg, PA). Essex County Country Club (West Orange, NJ).
1888 – Kebo Valley Golf Club (Bar Harbor, ME). The Town & Country Club (St. Paul, MN). St. Andrew’s Golf Club (Yonkers, NY).
1891 – Shinnecock Hills Golf Club (Southampton, NY).
1892 – Oakhurst Golf Club (White Sulphur Springs, WV). Palmetto Golf Club (Aiken, SC). Glen Arven Country Club (Thomasville, GA).
1893 – Chicago Golf Club (Downers Grove, IL, site of the present-day Downers Grove Golf Course, now in Wheaton, IL as of 1895). Segregansett Country Club (Taunton, MA). Newport Country Club (Newport, RI). The Country Club (Brookline, MA).
1894 – Richmond County Country Club (Staten Island, NY). Otsego Golf Club (Springfield Center, NY). Tacoma Golf Club (Lakewood, WA – not NJ).
1895 – Brooklawn Country Club (Bridgeport, CT, then Fairfield, CT after borders changed). Van Cortlandt Park Golf Course (Bronx, NY). Cherokee Golf Course (Louisville, KY).