Two historic, excellent courses mark one Galloway Township location.
The famed unit is the Seaview Resort Bay Course, built in 1914 and host of the ShopRite LPGA Classic. Wicked breezes, mounding, high-faced bunkers and tricky greens make the course play longer and more difficult than its 6,011-yard, middle-tee length implies.
Lesser-known - but equally appealing - the tree-lined Pines layout plays 6,731 yards from the back tees and 6,211 from the middle set. While longer than the Bay course, it is much tighter, offers bigger greens and only one water hole. The Pines, built in 1929, perfectly contrasts the Bay course.
"Our play is 50-50 split on both courses," says Kevin DeDonato, the director of golf for the facilities. "A lot of people will play the Bay in the morning and the Pines in the afternoon. Visually, the two courses are so different that you do not feel like you are in the same place when you go from one to the other.
"With the Pines, you are going to have to have a variety of shots and have to be more accurate off the tees. With the Bay course, you can have shorter greens with more subtle breaks and some tricky pin placements. This course is very challenging when the wind blows."
Which is … usually.
Both courses benefit from an off-season renovation that highlighted sand traps and the rough. Bunkers have been both expanded and filled with softer sand to enhance the shot out. They are visually striking as well.
Fescue mounds also were altered. Sod was stripped off and a new breed of grass was added, allowing players to find their ball more easily while still facing a difficult shot out.
The second on the Bay course remains one of the most difficult holes anywhere. It is a long par 4, 434 yards, often dead into the wind. The fairway is relatively small. Mounds on the left and out of bounds on the right frame the green. Players often hit a long iron or a wood into the green. Over the years, many LPGA pros needed to hit a fairway wood for their approach shot to this green in the tournament. A par on this hole is a superb achievement, and bogey still is a fine score.
The Pines offers more traditional challenges, such as the dogleg. Hole No. 13 is a par 4 dogleg left. The tee shot travels downhill and the approach shot must be lofted uphill. The left side is protected by bunkers, and the fairway narrows closer to the hole. Huge bunkers adorn the left and right side, producing what DeDonato terms "an intimidating shot."
The 17th plays 430 yards from the middle and is a dogleg left. Players need about 240 yards off the tee to have a look at the green. Bunkers on the left and right provide visual intimidation, and the second shot requires a long iron to a large, but difficult green.
"The green slopes back to front significantly," DeDonato says. "You don't have a straight putt."
Both courses have been honored in prestigious publications - the Bay Course by Golf Week magazine and the Pines by Golf Digest.
Seaview Golf Resort
Where: 401 S. New York Road, Galloway Township
Rates: Mondays to Thursdays - $99; $59 after 3 p.m. Fridays to Sundays - $109; $69 after 3 p.m.
Tee times: Recommended and available 14 days in advance. Hotel guests 60 days in advance.
Amenities: 36 holes, 300-room hotel, practice facility, private instruction, golf school, two restaurants, indoor and outdoor pool, health club, locker rooms, golf shop, driving range