Golf Digest dropped their annual list of America’s greatest golf courses and two courses in New Jersey made the list. One was named the best golf course in the country. Since 1966, Golf Digest has published their ranking of America’s 100 Greatest Golf Courses. 1,800 panelists submitted more than 85,000 evaluations over their 10-year scoring criteria. Their experts evaluate candidate courses on six criteria on a scale of 1 to 10. These include shot options, challenge, layout variety, aesthetics, conditioning, and character.
New Jersey Golf Course Ranked Number 1
The golf course that ranked the highest in the state and the nation is Pine Valley Golf Club in Pine Valley. In Southwest Jersey, the private golf course founder George Crump had help with revisions. In fact, now-legendary architects H.S. Colt, A.W. Tillinghast, George C. Thomas Jr., and Walter Travis. Hugh Wilson and his brother Alan finished the job, and William Flynn and Perry Maxwell made revisions. “Pine Valley blends all three schools of golf design—penal, heroic, and strategic—oftentimes on a single hole.” wrote Golf Digest.
Next On The List
At number 45 is Baltusrol Golf Club: Lower in Springfield. Jack Nicklaus won two U.S. Opens on Baltusrol’s Lower Course, setting a tournament record each time. Phil Mickelson and Jimmy Walker won PGAs on it. But the Lower’s most historic event was the ace by architect Robert Trent Jones in 1954 on the par-3 fourth. NY Times reported that “Some members thought the par 3 over a pond was unfair. He offered to play the hole along with Johnny Farrell, the club pro, and two members while other members watched.”
In 2021, Golf.com released its list of the top 100 public courses in America, with six NJ courses making the list. The Pine Valley Golf Club, Somerset Hills in Bernardsville, Baltusrol Golf Club: Lower in Springfield, Plainfield Golf Course, Ridgewood (E/W) in Paramus, and Hollywood Golf Course in Deal.
See the full list of the best golf courses in America according to Golf Digest here.