As a patron prepared to pay for a round at Green Tree Golf Course on Mays Landing Road in Egg Harbor Township, she was asked about her favorite hole on the course.
“All of them,” she said, without hesitation, before starting to play in one of the leagues offered there.
The sentiment captures a popular description.
“It’s a shot-maker’s course,” says John Hammer, the club’s director of golf course operations. “Green Tree is tight enough that you will have trouble if you are not straight, but it rewards good shots and it is great value,” he adds of fees that start for as little as $10 to walk and $16 to ride, depending upon time of day and whether the player has a resident ID card. “It’s beginner friendly, it’s senior friendly and it has great value.”
This is the official public golf course of Atlantic County and residents can purchase a card for discounts every time they play. Rates may fluctuate slightly, depending upon when one tees off, but it is, at any time, wallet friendly.
Green Tree offers an interesting array of opportunities. There are some long holes and some very short par 4’s, in which a perfect drive could have one putting for, drum roll please, an eagle.
Tee boxes range from 5,574 yards from the back to 4,459 from the most forward of four sets. The distances create possibilities for faster rounds in the modern time-crunch era. Shorter course lengths in general have been boosted by USGA guidelines encouraging people to hit from appropriate tee boxes. This has sped up play and increased revenue.
It has also led to a more satisfying round for patrons.
“People want to be shooting for birdies and pars,” Hammer says. “It brings more enjoyment to the game for them. That’s why I have to laugh a little whenever people say that a course is short. When you start shooting under par, you can concern yourself about that.”
One would not know this course is “short” based on the first three holes. From the mid tees, Green Tree opens with a dogleg right par 5 at 455 yards, a 323-yard par-4 second hole and the area’s monster, a 662-yard par 6. It is one of the longest golf holes on the entire East Coast. Break this one up into workable pieces, as even a decent drive and three 150-yard follow-up shots will bring players to the green in four shots. This hole is worth it for the novelty alone.
And then … BOOM, the shortest hole on the course, a par-3 at 105 yards from the mid tees. The hole plays much harder than it looks because water in front, woods behind the hole and the idea of not being able to hit a full club at 105 yards has led to many high scores on it.
The fifth and sixth are novel because they are drivable par 4’s at 236 and 250 yards respectively. Seven is a 139-yard par 3, completing a unique package of five holes.
Scoring opportunities abound in the beginning of the back nine, comprising a 145-yard par-3 and then a trio of par 4’s, all under 300 yards. The 18th is a 440-yard par-5, a nice finishing challenge and can be reached in two by long hitters. The green is well-guarded by traps and water.
Green Tree also has foot golf and a 100 percent grass driving area, with no mats. The grass tees allow someone to hit a drive that would simulate a real tee box. Mats often don’t provide the same experience; they are set too high.
Here’s a no-brainer. If you live in Atlantic County, buy the county ID card for $20. It leads to enough price reductions to pay for itself and more.