I told you that you’d be joining me in the middle of my story, and it has progressed without my updating you. So, I figured I’d at least catch you up to the present. Since my last post, I’ve played six new NJ public courses (new to me, that is). Those courses are:
- River Vale Country Club (Rivervale, Bergen County)
- Black Bear Golf Course (Franklin, Sussex County)
- East Orange Golf Course (Short Hills, Essex County)
- The Architects Golf Club (Phillipsburg, Warren County)
- Rancocas Golf Club (Willingboro, Burlington County)
- Skyway Golf Course at Lincoln Park West (Jersey City, Hudson County)
The 38th course mentioned in my last post was Pinch Brook Golf Club (Florham Park, Morris County). The signature hole at Pinch Brook is the 16th, which is a medium-length par 3 from a slightly elevated tee. The hole plays over water and is a tough shot if you don’t hit your wedge or iron squarely. I hit six greens in regulation that day, and luckily this was one of them.
While the 16th may be the signature hole, I’d say the signature feature is actually the body of water between the 5th and 6th holes. The starter was kind enough to give us a quick overview of the course at the start of our round, and he mentioned that the water is actually in the shape of the state of New Jersey! Personally, it reminded me of my mission and I almost treated it as kismet for the day.
Unfortunately, kismet only took me so far, and I wasn’t able to really get anything going. I was grateful to be grouped with a couple who play the course often, but I failed to take advantage of their local knowledge. I fared poorly throughout the round, and finished up at +19. I’m finding that to be just about average for when I play a course for the first time, but with nine par 3s and par being 65, I left a bit disappointed in myself. Averaging 1.1 holes at triple bogey (or worse) per round for the year, I carded three this round.
Pinch Brook was the fifth course I’ve played in Morris County. Overall, the course is beautiful. It’s incredibly well maintained for an executive course, but the greens fees reflect that, costing as much as most regulation public courses in New Jersey. Price aside, it’s absolutely worth a look if you haven’t played it.