Best Public Golf Courses in NJ

Finding the ideal spot for a hole-in-one adventure in New Jersey doesn’t have to be as challenging as a par 5 dogleg left. Whether you’re swinging for location, the number of holes, or tackling a few elevation changes, your quest for the perfect place to tee off just got a whole lot easier. Here is our carefully curated list of the best public golf courses in NJ, guaranteed to make your golfing journey as smooth as possible. So, instead of feeling like you’re stuck in a never-ending sand trap of choices, let us turn your golf hunt into a breeze.

Crystal Springs Resort

Hamburg, NJ

Just one-hour northwest of New York City sits the Crystal Spring Resort, situated along the edge of the Appalachian Mountains. Besides featuring a grand resort, it is home to the best public golf course in New Jersey. 

All of Crystal Springs’s six top-rated golf courses are memorable. However, the Ballyowen course takes the prize for the best one in the Garden State. Designed by Roger Rulewhich, the course offers a spectacular layout that channels the heathland-style landscapes of Ireland and Scotland.

With 360-degree views of the Appalachian Mountains, the Ballyowen course is a modern-day classic. It features link-style features that are spread out over 250 acres on top of a plateau. 

Moreover, from an elevated tee, the opening hole at Ballyowen is a sweeping right-to-left par four. It then continues into an intense game through the open meadows, creating a feeling of a heathland-style course of Ireland. 

When you need to take a break, the Celtic atmosphere transitions over to the clubhouse. In the club, the staff is dressed in costume and often serenade by bagpipe in the evening. Everything about the course is made to be unforgettable. 

Even though Ballyowen is the main star, there is another course at Crystal Springs that needs to be emphasized. The Wild Turkey course features two different types of terrain for a dynamic game, making it unique in NJ.

Any course you choose from Crystal Springs will provide you with a great game and a personal challenge. Ranging from beginners to professional courses, this is a must-visit.


Galloway, NJ

Located 15 minutes from Atlantic City the Seaview is one of Jersey Shore’s most iconic hotels. Tucked away along Reed’s Bay, this hotel features two outstanding public access golf courses, the Bay and the Pines.

The Bay course opened in 1914 presenting a Scottish feel, seaside views, deep pot bunkers, and small undulating greens. The 6,300-yard makes it more for a shorter but more accurate and imaginative game. 

The Pines course makes its way through New Jersey woodlands, presenting elevation changes and doglegs. It opened in 1929 and it features large bunkers and expansive, sloping greens. 

Besides that, both courses are filled with golfing history. For instance, Ben Hogan played on the Bay course during the 1942 PGA Championship. Besides that, the Pine’s 16th hole was the site of Sam Snead’s miraculous 60-foot chip-in to win the 1942 PGA Championship

Moreover, the Seaview Hotel teamed up with the Bird Golf Academy, which offers a customized golf school. There are options of 3, 4, or 5 days, and you get to learn from winning professionals. It is perfect for beginners and for sharpening your golfing skills. 

Neshanic Valley Golf Course

Neshanic Station, NJ

The Neshanic Valley Golf Course opened to the public in 2004, on Labor Day weekend, and it now ranks as one of the Top 50 Municipal Courses in the United States. With three nine-hole courses – Meadow, Lake, and Ridge – the Neshanic Valley has an open feel to it, while featuring five sets of tees with the 18-hole combinations. 

Additionally, the golf course offers the opportunity for both novice and professional golfers to improve their skills with the 9-hole Academy Course. It showcases five par fours and four par threes, 19 sand traps, and a water hazard, very similar to a regulation course, and great for beginners. 

Undoubtedly, we cannot forget to mention the state-of-the-art Learning Center, which features a double-ended driving range, a short-game practice area, a large putting green, and two practice holes. Above all, Golfers can also utilize the Callaway Golf Performance Center, where a highly sophisticated computer system provides the perfect club specifications for an individual’s golf swing. 

In the end, golfers can use all the skills they develop at the Learning Center and at Golf Performance Center, and use it in the par-32 Academy Course.

Neshanic Valley’s complex courses, technology, and learning tools, make it excellent for all types of players. Yet, it is especially good for those looking to get their skills above and beyond. This club definitely belongs to the best public golf courses in NJ.

Twisted Dune Golf Club

Egg Harbor Township, NJ 

Living up to its name, Twisted Dune is a links-style course with twisting landscapes, great elevations, and contoured fairways. This recognizable course offers a testing, yet very playable, eighteen-hole design. Designed by Archie Struthers Twisted Dune creates a feel of the Scottish Coast. 

Featuring 7200 yards, deep ravines, and grass-covered hills, the majestic golf course has four par 5’s at over 500 yards, ten par 4’s, and four par 3’s. 

Even though Twisted Dune has many formidable holes, such as the difficult par-4 fifth, a dogleg right that plays to a green almost surrounded by huge bunkers, it is also one of the friendliest to golfers of every skill level.

In the world of golf, New Jersey boasts a diverse range of courses, each with its unique charm and character. From the challenging Ballyowen to the historic Seaview, the innovative Neshanic Valley, and the visually striking Twisted Dune, we’ve covered a spectrum of golfing experiences in the Garden State. These courses are not just patches of grass; they’re gateways to exciting challenges and stories of victory or defeat. So, tee up and relish every moment on these exceptional courses in New Jersey