This provides one of the more challenging courses in the region only because you need a well-rounded game. Six holes contain water, some holes are hilly, others are narrow. Then there are some flat, open holes. "You really have to have the whole bag," head pro Ted Torkildsen said. "When you take in the view from the clubhouse, it looks hilly. But it flattens out when you get out there." Facilities include a pro shop, putting green, picnic area and lessons.
The oldest public course in the county, Green Knoll is known for its small tees and greens, tight fairways and rolling contours. The erratic hitter off the tee will not fare well, as the course offers a challenge to both novices and experienced golfers. There's some water on the course, but not enough to ruin your day. Void of trees when first built, Green Knoll has had some 60 to 70 trees planted since it’s opening per year to make things a bit tougher. Facilities include a golf shop, putting green, 9 hole pitch and putt course and a snack bar.
A championship design which is fairly open, Mattawang's claim to fame is that Jack Nicklaus holds the course record of 66, which he set while making a promotional appearance when the course was still private in 1963. Make sure to bring a short game, since target golf is the key to survival on this relatively flat surface. The greens are all slightly elevated and well protected by bunkers. "It's not easy to get up and down," warns assistant pro John Loughlin. "You've really got to play the short side of the greens, because you don't want to go over them. You have to hit the ball in the fairway and on the par 5's you have to lay up because the risk-reward factor isn't worth it." Facilities include a driving range, putting green, pro shop, lessons, locker rooms and restaurants. Soft spikes are required.
A cart is recommended on this course, which is spread out with ample distance from green-to-tee. The fairways are heavily wooded and known for a rolling front nine and tight, hilly back nine. Accuracy off the tee is important, lest you plan to spend one of those lovely days hacking out of trees. Facilities include a driving range, golf shop, putting greens and snack bar.
Golfers can choose their poison here as two 18-hole courses offer a nice contrast. The East Course is designed in the more traditional North American way. Course management is involved off the tee, and you have the option of playing it safe or challenging it. "You have to think your way through it," General Manager Bill Troyanoski said. "There's risk-reward on both courses, but the East Course contains some trees and bunkers that are fairly large. You could probably play a lot more different shots from the tee." The West Course is more tailored for the big hitters, built in a prairie links style with a windswept Scottish feel. "You're forced to hit it," Troyanoski said. "And there is some real dynamic bunkering on the West Course. Some of them flash up 12 to 15 feet." Approximately 70 percent of the two courses are tree lined, and neither course makes water a major nemesis. Facilities include a 24-acre double-sided practice facility with practice greens, practice bunkers and target greens; a clubhouse, pro shop, and teaching academy. A Fore Caddie program is offered from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day. It is available in the mornings on the West Course. Soft spikes are required.
The classic big hitters course. Bring your woods and let it rip, as the fairways are wide open and relatively flat and the greens and tees are spacious. An easy course to walk, this one is a favorite of senior golfers and long hitters who are less than accurate. Facilities include a golf shop, driving range, putting green and snack bar.
Heavily wooded and extremely tight, this challenging course provides numerous uphill, downhill and side-hill lies since it plays up and down a mountain. The greens are on the smaller side and it's recommended you take a cart, especially on the back nine. Facilities include a golf shop, putting green and snack bar.
Neshanic Valley Golf Course is the flagship facility of the five-course Somerset County Park Commission system. The 27-hole Championship Course, the 9-hole Academy Course, the Learning Center, and the Callaway Golf Performance Center were designed to accommodate the needs of golfers of all abilities.
Each of the championship (par 36) nine-hole courses, The Lake, The Ridge, and The Meadow, features five tees with the 18-hole layouts ranging from 5,050 yards to 7,108 yards. Rolling fairways, tees, and greens are creeping bentgrass, and the putting surfaces are well-guarded by large bunkers. An ample amount of fescue is found off the fairways and greens, environmentally sensitive wetland areas come into play throughout the course. The greens have been designed with subtle undulation to increase the challenge of play. Electric carts will travel the 8.9 miles of paved cart paths. Facilities include Pro Shop, Grille Room
Golf Week Magazine selected Neshanic Valley Golf Course as sixth in New Jersey on their 2006 list of “America’s Best Public-access Golf Courses.”