Photo Laurenz Heymann


Whether you’re looking to tee it up at some of the most exclusive private golf clubs in the world or walk the fairways of some of America’s most highly rated public courses and resorts, the Garden State of NEW JERSEY has it all, plus world-class entertainment and generous hospitality

It is somewhat apposite the state that is home to the United States Golf Association – which sets the Rules of Golf and runs many of America’s leading amateur and professional tournaments, including the US Open – should have chosen to base its headquarters in New Jersey.

The Garden State, as it is known, has a long tradition and strong association with golf. And while the world-renowned courses to be found at Pine Valley and Baltusrol no doubt proved good reasons for US golf’s governing body to set up shop at Liberty Hills in Somerset County, the accessibility to over 275 of the US’s finest public courses and resorts must have also entered calculations when deciding to base their headquarters in the heart of New Jersey in 1972.

Click the image to read the New Jersey Golf Guide

With so much choice, and so much quality in quantity, it’s hard to know where to start when it comes to highlighting NJ’s attraction as a golf holiday destination, or as, might be the case, a holiday destination with some golf thrown in.

Bounded by New York to the north and northeast, Delaware and Pennsylvania to the west, and 130 miles of stunning coastline on the famous Jersey Shore to the east, New Jersey maybe one of the USA’s smallest states, but it’s also one of the wealthiest and most populous, and is packed with things to do and places to see, and as such is the ideal place to kickstart any itinerary to this beautiful part of north east America.


New Jersey is laden with golfing history, with some of its most best known layouts well over 100 years old, but is also home to some the USA’s newest designs, whose finely sculpted fairways bely their young age.

Any discussion of golf in New Jersey will and should begin with what many consider to be the best golf course in the world – Pine Valley Golf

Club. Located in the southern part of NJ in Camden County, Pine Valley has ranked No.1 in every edition of Golf Digest’s esteemed ‘America’s 100 Greatest Course’ except four times – when it was second to Cypress Point. George Crump’s tree-lined masterpiece is regarded as golfing nirvana for many, although getting a tee time will require playing as a member’s guest, so be prepared to get checking the family tree if you want to experience what is widely considered to be the ultimate test of golf.

Pine Valley

First opened in 1919, such was its difficulty it took fully three years before anyone shot 70, while some of the early members are understood to have won quite a bit of money betting first-time visitors that they couldn’t break 80.

Although Arnold Palmer famously took all the bets going when he played it in 1954 and cleaned up when shooting an impressive 68. Described by Robert Trent Jones as a‘beautiful monster’, it’s worth selling your grandmother to play alongside a member for the day at a course which places high demands on every shot.

But if you’re connections don’t cut it, New Jersey is thankfully blessed with plenty of alternative world-class venues, with ten of the Garden State’s 275-plus courses featuring in Golf Digest’s top 200, including some of the best designs by the game’s classic architects. AW Tillinghast lived for much of his life in New Jersey and built both courses at seven-time US Open venue Baltusrol, whose magnificent Lower Course also hosted the PGA Championship in 2005 and the Women’s PGA Championship just last year.

Crystal Springs Golf Club

Tillingshurst’s handiwork can also be enjoyed at the unique masterpiece that is Somerset Hills, although that too, Like Pine Valley, requires a member’s introduction, although there are no such concerns at the fabulous 27-hole facility
at Ridgewood Country Club, which hosted the 1935 Ryder Cup, when the home side ran out 9-3 winners under the captaincy of Walter Hagen.

More recently host of the PGA Tour’s Northern Trust Open, Ridgewood boasts three 9-hole loops, with the East and West combination forming the premier day-to-day 18-hole course, where accurate driving is required to navigate your way through tight, tree- lined corridors to firm and fast greens.

The club’s Central Course is also not to be missed, especially if you want to try and recreate Rory McIlroy’s feat of reaching the green on the par-4 fourth, which he did in all four rounds of the Northern Trust, making two eagles and two birdies!

Ridgewood Country Club, New Jersey

Fans of Donald Ross’s design skills should not miss the gems to be played at Plainfield Country Club and Mountain Ridge Country Club.

The former, a host venue for the US Women’s Open, the US Amateur and The Barclays, is one of the oldest clubs in the US, with the 130-year-old venue having been restored some 20 years ago by Gil Hanse to make it the work of art that it is today.

While New Jersey is home to dozens of timeless classic courses, it also the venue for some very 21st century designs, including the modern marvels that can be equal parts awe-inspiring and polarising, such as the Donald Trump-owned Liberty National and Bayonne, both of whom enjoy dramatic and rather surreal locations directly across the Hudson River from Wall Street where panoramic views of the Statue of Liberty and the Manhattan skyline create a quixotic backcloth.

NYC skyline is seen from Liberty National Golf Club

Bayonne is an authentic links layout reminiscent of many a British seaside course, with fairways tumbling through giant man-made sand dunes and greens perched on raised plateaus. It’s dockside location is incongruous to say the least, but it’s well worth playing for the views alone.

For other modern tests, be sure to tackle the ultra-difficult and expertly crafted Galloway National, while bold and beautiful courses like the Ridge at Back Brook and Tom Fazio’s Trump Bedminster should also be high on your list of must- plays. And a newcomer, a bold and mesmerising redesign of the old, flat Sand Barrens – the new Union League National in Cape May Court House has the potential to give New Jersey yet another top nationally ranked course within its borders.

For golf with incredible panoramic views, check into the Crystal Springs Golf & Spa Resort in Hamburg – the closest golf resort to New York – which boasts no fewer than six championship courses, including designs by Robert von
Hagge (Crystal Springs) and Robert Trent Jones (Ballyowen), all played in the shadows of the breathtaking Appalachian Mountains.

Students of golfing history, and anyone who loves the game, should be sure plan in a visit to the USGA Museum and Arnold Palmer Center for Golf History in Clementon, which houses one of the world’s leading collections of golf artifacts and memorabilia. Its exhibits tell the fascinating 100-plus-year story of golf in America and is well worth factoring into your holiday itinerary.



New Jersey’s 130 miles of sandy beaches are beckoning visitors this summer. With direct flights from the UK to Newark and enviable weather during the summer months, the state is a great choice for those looking for an ultimate beach holiday with beautiful barrier islands and bays dotted with majestic lighthouses, fishing villages and scenic views.

The sandy beaches are the state’s most treasured prize and attract families, couples and friends, visiting to enjoy the sun, sand, water sports and beach side attractions.

Atlantic City is New Jersey’s most famous coastal city. Visitors flock to enjoy the wide sandy beaches, the world-famous boardwalk, world class casino resorts and fantastic dining and entertainment offerings.



Other cities with beach-front locations include the lively Wildwoods, Seaside Heights with its two amusement piers, family favourite Ocean City and trendy Asbury Park, all of which feature fun-filled boardwalks with entertainment, rides, shopping and dining.

Adrenaline junkies are well catered for on the beaches of New Jersey. The state is home to some of the best surfing on the East Coast, the ocean typically remains warm through October and the excellent surfing is the result of the Atlantic Ocean’s hurricane season which increases the swell. Great beach towns for surfing include Manasquan, Belmar and Seaside Heights.


Family beach holiday options are also in abundance along the coast of New Jersey. Long Beach Island is an 18-mile-long island strewn with small shore towns and long stretches of white sand which has been attracting families for generations. At Beach Haven, the island’s main action centre, you’ll find the water parks Fantasy Island Amusement Park and Thundering Surf Water Park & Adventure Golf.

At Wildwoods in southern New Jersey, in addition to an expansive beach, there are 38 blocks of exciting boardwalk attractions, including three incredible amusement piers, water parks and crazy golf, plus there is a weekly firework display during the summer. Point Pleasant Beach offers a boardwalk filled with arcades and rides, an aquarium and beach front amusement park and Ocean City has eight full blocks of family amusements.

Cape May New Jersey

For a quieter beach experience Spring Lake, Ocean Grove and Stone Harbor offer a more sedate stay. Here you can find historic lighthouses, preserved natural areas, inlets and bays.

Cape May is a charming town located at the southernmost point of the Jersey Shore, with a world renown architectural legacy, many of its colourful Victorian homes have been turned into boutique bed & breakfasts. The town is also home to the grand Congress Hall, which is America’s oldest seaside resort, dating back to 1816. The small towns of Barnegat Light and Harvey Cedars, both located on the
north end of Long Beach Island, also offer a laid-back, idyllic island getaway.


Atlantic City is often considered the entertainment capital of New Jersey and big acts have been performing there in casinos, clubs and bars since the 1930’s, Tony Bennett and Frank Sinatra were regularly belting out their hits in the early days of Atlantic City’s music venues. These days, Alicia Keys, ZZ Top, Mary J Blige, Diona, Alice Cooper and Billy Ocean are just some of the artists to have played gigs here in recent years.

Cesars Palace, Atlantic City

Venues here include Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall, Ovation Hall at Ocean Casino Resort, the Event Centre at Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa, Sound Waves at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino and Hard Rock Live Etess Arena.

Live music events and festivals take place throughout the state. Coming up this summer and beyond include The TidalWave Music Festivalin Atlantic City, which features country stars from around the US and will take place 11-13 August, while Sea.Hear.Now in Asbury Park features two full days of music with more than 25 bands on three stages. This years’ festival takes place September 14-15 with Bruce Springsteen headlining on Sunday.

And if American Football is your thing, then NJ has that catered for
too, with the Met Life Stadium in East Rutherford being home to the New York Giants and New York Jets. Due to host the FIFA World Cup final in 2026, the venue also hosts big scale music concerts such as the Rolling Stones, who will be playing there on May 23 and 26 (2024) – so book now to avoid disappointment!

To start planning your New Jersey holiday, visit