A new view of Scotland Run Golf Club in Williamstown has emerged. And it’s all about height.
General Manager Nick Borro encourages patrons to embrace its scenic panorama from the highest course elevation, the back tees, or “tips” on hole number eight. Back tees are usually reserved for the longest hitters, but this one warrants a sneak-peak venue, even if players then walk down and hit from other tee boxes.
“You get the best view of the entire course from there,” Borro says of Scotland Run, which opened in 1999. “Not a lot of people get to see it because they are playing more forward tees, but at the tips on hole eight, you are 15 to 20 feet up above the mid tees and the view changes dramatically. I would suggest, if it’s possible, to take a walk up to the tips, take some pictures and enjoy the best view of the course.”
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The facility has long been known for unique features. It is tree-lined on the front, open on the back and wraps around an abandoned quarry. The design was noteworthy in an age for which it’s difficult to present players something they’ll see nowhere else. This course displays five tee boxes ranging from 6,810 to 5010 yards, with the tees most people use set at 6,138 yards.
Scotland Run was always worth a one-hour drive from the shore area to play. It strengthened that philosophy by partnering with Atlantic City Country Club in Northfield and Ballamor in Egg Harbor Township Members at one can play all three.
At Scotland Run, Borro offers a basic strategy once players have enjoyed the view. Play eight dead straight. The hole runs only 353 yards from the mid tees, and water on the left probably won’t affect players, but a quarry cuts in from the left fairway on the second shot. The area is considered out-of-bounds and thus a 200-yard drive and a mid to high-iron into the green becomes a sound strategy. The two-tiered green becomes tricky.
There is a six-to-eight foot height separation between the levels, which will hamper downhill putts. If the pin is on the front tier, try to land the shot just in front, allowing the ball to roll onto the putting surface. When it’s in the back, a delicate touch will be needed for the approach shot. The average player will be satisfied to reach the green. A low-handicap golfer may try to have the ball run through the lower tier and reach the higher putting surface. It is always preferable to putt either uphill or on a level surface.
Twelve is a long par 4 at 434 yards from an elevated tee. Two ponds take over the right side of the fairway to the green after about 150 yards. A large waste bunker runs down the left side. Either situation produces trouble, but the wide, generous fairway provides an ample landing area. The approach shot will likely breed uneven lies, mostly uphill. In that situation, Borro advises to take one extra club for power because the uphill terrain already propels the ball airborne and probably left, taking away some distance.
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Sixteen remains the signature hole. It is more fun than formidable, with the quarry in play. A tee shot can safely clear the quarry left at about 160 yards or straight at approximately 180 yards. The hole doglegs 90 degrees right and the quarry expands in that direction, allowing aggressive players to try shaving yardage down the right side at the risk of sinking into the quarry.
This hole has an “abyss,” a waste area that goes down about 20 feet if the tee shot fails to reach the dogleg. If a member of the group is in the sunken area, another should stand at the top of it so that players behind them know not to hit through.
Borro has another tip, about when to play.
“Now that the Eagles are underway, many courses are ghost towns for at least three hours on Sunday afternoon,” he indicates. “The phones don’t even ring. That is a great time to come out and play here.”
Scotland Run has expanded its bar and added a cocktail room for weddings. The course was aerated in August and the greens will be in their best shape of the season in September and October, Borro says.