Twisted Dune lives up to its name and architectural intention. Local course designer Archie Struthers moved 2 million cubic yards of earth to form this panorama of twisting landscapes, sand dunes, cavernous waste area and dramatic elevations. He made it a links course, resembling Scotland's coastal sand-dune themed golf.
Struthers created a visual delight, a course playing 7,384 yards from the back tees and 6,786 from the middle set. It has an ample set of large greens, a few two-tiered putting surfaces and a tradeoff. One won't find many trees, but will instead contend with dunes.
"People comment on the fact that they like a links-style course and it's not something really common in South Jersey," says Scott Dunn, the course's general manager and head professional. It's a true Scottish course. It's devoid of trees, has a lot of rolling fairways, very few water hazards and the turf plays hard and fast. A lot of people like that. You might get 30 or 40 yards of roll on a particular shot."
Like most courses, Twisted Dune will reward accuracy. Straight is great, but spray and you pay.
"The way the dunes have grown in over the years, they are full of fescue; you really want to stay out of that." Dunn says. "You get caught in the fescue, it could be as much as a two-stroke penalty to you. The last thing you want to be doing is chipping it out of the dunes. You might even take a 3-wood off the tee instead of the driver just to get it out there and be safe."
The fourth hole is a long par 5, playing 584 yards from the back tees and 556 from the middle. It's a slight dogleg to the right, slightly elevated. The second and third shots are hit uphill to an elevated green. While the landing area for the tee shot is generous enough, the decision-making shot is the second. Players can either lay up short of the fairway bunkers or go over them and be looking at a short third shot to the green. But if your second shot fails to carry the bunker, a problem ensues. The bunker is deep, and reaching the green in three is practically impossible. One's score can balloon on this hole.
The green slopes from back to front. If you are above the pin, it will be difficult to get that first downhill putt close to the hole. Play below the pin, which will be placed in different areas each day. The placement of the pin will actually affect club selection.
Another excellent challenge is the 14th, which plays 377 yards from the middle tees. Water runs along the entire right side. Play the tee shot left-center if possible and hit the second shot into a green sloping right to left.
$49 greens fees after 2 p.m. on Sundays through August is one of the best deals anywhere.
2101 Ocean Heights Ave., Egg Harbor Township
Rates: Monday to Thursday - $85 before noon, $75 noon to 3 p.m., $60 after 3 p.m. Friday to Sunday - $99 before noon, $85 noon to 3 p.m., $65 after 3 p.m.
Tee Times: Available up to 90 days in advance
Amenities: Putting green, driving range, MC's Golf Academy, Clubhouse, Grill Room