PINE VALLEY GOLF CLUB
In Pine Valley, Camden County, in southern New Jersey, is located Pine Valley Golf Club, the number one course in Golf Magazines 100 Top Courses in the U.S and the world in 2012, 2015 and 2019. A private -highly exclusive club but non-members can play when invited and accompanied by a member. Women are permitted to play the course on Sunday afternoons.
It was Founded in 913 by a group of amateur golfers from Philadelphia who purchased 184 acres of rolling, sandy ground deep in the pine lands of southern New Yersey. They gave George Arthur Crump, who knew the area from hunting expeditions, the opportunity to design the course.
The project became something of an obsession for Crump, who sold his hotel in Philadelphia and plowed his money into the course. Marshlands had to be drained and 22,000 tree stumps had to be pulled with special steam-winches and horse-drawn cables. This was all done at a time when many golf courses were still built with minimal earth moving, and the course was called «Crump’s Folly» by some. This was Crump’s first and only golf course design, but he brought together celebrated architects such as A.W. Tillinghast, Hugh Wilson, George C. Thomas Jr., Walter Travis, and H.S. Colt to help him create the course.
Crump set himself some idiosyncratic principles: no hole should be laid out parallel to the next; no more than two consecutive holes should play in the same direction; and players shouldn’t be able to see any hole other than the one they were playing. He also felt that a round of golf on his course should require a player to use every club in the bag. Since Crump’s death, alterations have been made by several other leading golf course designers. The club also has a ten-hole short course designed by Tom Fazio and Ernest Ransome III.
In «The Complete Golfer,» course architect Robert Trent Jones wrote that Pine Valley «is frequently alluded to as the most difficult course in the world, and this reputation is justified. Johnny Miller wrote that «There are no weak holes. Every single one is a masterpiece. There is a surprise around every corner, 18 unique and beautiful challenges.” There are no rakes at Pine Valley; the sandy areas and bunkers found throughout the course are true hazards. There is no out of bounds at all, and structures including the clubhouse are considered «through the green”.
Pine Valley has one of the best collections of par fives and par threes in the world. The course prides itself in being one of the toughest challenges in all of golf, with a slope of 155 from the championship tees.
Pine Valley’s trademarks are the par three 5th hole, which requires a well-placed 220 yard slightly uphill drive over a lake into a small and sloped green, «Hell’s half acre» (a barren wasteland on the par five 7th hole which is probably the largest non sea-side bunker in the world), «The devil’s asshole» (an extremely deep bunker on the par three 10th hole), and the par four 18th, which incorporates many different elements of the golf course into a spectacular finishing hole.
Notable members of the club have included George H. W. Bush, Sean Connery, Ben Crenshaw, Tom Fazio, Bob Hope, Robert Trent Jones Jr., Connie Mack, Bob McNair, Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Gary Player, Roger Goodell, Dan Quayle, Brian L. Roberts, Jay Sigel, Jeffrey Lurie, George C. Thomas, Jr., and A. W. Tillinghast.
Although it is regarded as one of the greatest courses in the world, Pine Valley has not played host to any major professional golf tournaments, mostly because there is not enough room on the course to accommodate tens of thousands of spectators. The club has stated that they have no intentions to remove trees or change the layout of the course in order to host a major tournament.
Following the most amazing review we found about this course:
I’ve had the fortune of playing Pebble Beach, Shinnecock, Merion, Winged Foot, Sand Hills, Augusta and many other world class golf courses. Pine Valley is absolutely the most unbelievable collection of golf holes ever created anywhere. I’m still in awe having played it yesterday. I cannot say enough good things about this heavenly place and those who truly appreciate the game should have a chance to play sometime in their lifetime. The entire experience exceeded my expectations in every way and I hope to have an opportunity to return someda