Mays Landing Golf and Country Club has its own version of going green - keeping money in your pocket.
This McKee City-based public course has two recession busters. One is its $45 greens fee every day after 1 p.m. The other is its Wacky Wednesdays promotion, $39 greens fees all day.
Mays Landing also is a good test of golf, designed in 1962 by the late Leo Fraser, former head of the Professional Golf Association. Back tees run a solid 6,633 yards, and the middle tees are 6,251. There are doglegs, four long par 5s, two long par 4s and three difficult finishing holes
On the "forgiving" side, players can hit pitch-and-run shots to many greens, alleviating the need to make the perfect landing for a lofted shot. Sand traps are more of a nuisance than punishment, with some exceptions. Water does not affect many holes.
"It's an accommodating course for the average golfer," says Don Siok, Mays Landing's director of golf. "You can see where you are going on all the holes, there are not many areas to lose balls and not many ponds. You get around in four or four-and-a-half hours, which is important today. It's a great everyday test of golf."
Some favorite holes? The 17th is a long, sharp dog-legged par 5 measuring 541 yards from the back and 527 from the middle tees.
The tee shot often dictates one's fate here. Deep trees on the right will inhale a slice. What's deceiving, however, is the presence of woods on the left. They are less dense but grab some shots by default. The hole naturally slopes from right to left, and players may already hook the ball slightly to avoid the right-side trees. Given the slope and the "hardpan" fairway, a fast surface that exists after a few days without rain, many fairly good shots can run right through the fairway and into the left-side woods.
A player can punch out from there, but will sacrifice yardage. The best strategy is to nail a tee shot either dead center or one that flirts with the right edge. It will roll left after hitting the fairway and provide both extra distance and perfect position.
After a set-up second shot, players face a two-tiered green rising from a small valley and well-guarded by traps. The green is tricky, especially for downhill putts that can pick up enough speed to roll off the surface.
Bogey is a fine score on this hole. Par is excellent.
Other challenging assignments include the signature sixth hole, a straight 424-yard layout to a narrowing approach area and small, sloping green. The 15th is a lengthy, fun par 3, (172 to 220) with tee shots having to clear water, evade side traps and woods, and reach an elevated surface, but not go past it into no-man's land.
A Ladies Clinic runs 5:15 p.m. Thursdays. The $33 package includes golf instruction, as many holes as someone can play before dark and then a buffet. A 9 and Dine special on Friday is nine holes of golf after 3 p.m. and buffet dinner for $31.
Mays Landing Golf and Country Club
1855 Cates Road, McKee City
Greens fees: To Sept. 10 - Monday to Friday: $58, $45 after 1 p.m. Saturday and Sunday $74, $45 after 1 p.m.
Amenities: Practice green, chipping area, driving range after 4 p.m., clubhouse, patio grille.
Tee times: Accepted as far out as you want.