Say the words ‘Atlantic City,’ and depending on one’s age and experiences, different images will come to mind. Some will think of the world-famous, miles long Boardwalk, with its myriad shops, attractions, taverns, eateries, ice cream, fudge and taffy emporiums. Others of 24-hour gaming, or luxurious beachside resort hotels. Still others of an evocative Springsteen song or the eponymous film, a May-December love story starring Susan Sarandon and Burt Lancaster.

However it’s safe to say that ‘golf’ wouldn’t be first and foremost in the minds of many, despite the fact that there are nearly two dozen worthwhile courses in the area, most of which are located within thirty minutes of the Boardwalk.

accc_01Atlantic City Country Club is perhaps the best-known, certainly the oldest club in the area. Visit for the locker room alone, with its high ceilings and dark wood, this antiquated cavern bears nameplates for an esoteric cadre of celebs. It’s likely the only place in the world where you’ll spy lockers for both Al Capone and Michael Phelps, among dozens of other recognizable names.


“Birdie” Hole

ACCC is where the terms ‘birdie’ and ‘eagle’ were first coined, back at the turn of the previous century. Despite its petite footprint, (a par-70 less than 6,600 yards from the tips) these aforementioned ornithological references aren’t likely to appear in bunches during any given round. Greens are small, speedy and canted, the rough is cabbage, and the wind can whip across the playing fields. There are superb long range views back across the bay to the A.C. skyline, and a welcoming clubhouse with attentive service and numerous historical artifacts pertaining to golf. All in all, and on varied levels, this is one of the most satisfying golf visits in the mid-Atlantic region.


Seaview Resort

The Seaview Resort offers both the Bay and Pines courses, both of which are steeped in history and a joy to play. The Bay Course is a collaboration between architect Hugh Wilson (who designed famed Merion, just a short distance away in Philadelphia) and ‘the granddaddy of them all,’ Donald Ross. Now more than a century old, the Bay has anachronistic-but-still challenging touches like ‘chocolate drop’ mounding. These are bizarre clumps of grasses that appear intermittently along the fairways (shaped like a Hershey’s Kiss) that can confound one’s lie or stance. Beautiful views of Reed’s Bay and the city skyline help complete the experience. The Pines course has more of a woodsy feel, and topping out at 6,700 yards, is some 300 yards longer that the Bay. It was designed by William Flynn, who worked extensively in and around Philadelphia, and was instrumental in the design at famed Shinnecock Hills in eastern Long Island. The Pines was also the site of the 1942 PGA Championship, the first of Sam Snead’s seven major titles.

Twisted Dunes
Twisted Dunes

Finally, Twisted Dune Golf Club, one of the most acclaimed public courses in the state, is unlike most anything else in the area. As its name implies, it features corkscrew fairways, along with plenty of elevation changes, deep ravines, towering grass-covered hills, and more than a hundred bunkers. Innovative course designer Archie Struthers didn’t build the 7,200 yard course up from the ground, but instead bulldozed down and deep into the existing landscape, and by moving two million cubic yards of earth he managed to create a reasonable facsimile of the Scottish Coast right on the Jersey Shore.

The glitzy casino hotels (Tropicana, Caesar’s, Bally’s, the Borgata, etc.) have dozens of ‘name’ eateries between them. These are the swanky steakhouses and ‘signature’ places where celebrity chefs lend their moniker, if not necessarily their ongoing culinary expertise. But many an intrepid traveler might want to venture beyond the confines of their lodging property, and experience some of the area’s classic restaurants. Dock’s Oyster House is a must-visit; wonderful seafood and steaks, old-school service, nightly piano bar, delightful cocktails. The Irish Pub drips with atmosphere, it features a treasure trove of obscure and historic boxing memorabilia, and their hearty, comfort food menu offers plentiful portions at extremely modest prices. Lastly, be sure to try and procure a reservation at Chef Vola’s for excellent Italian food served in a homey family atmosphere.

National Car Rental has partnered with the PGA of America to create the National PGA ProAm Series; a collection of premiere PGA ProAm events across the country.



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Pinehurst No.3

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