2013 Golf Getaway in New Jersey

Every golfer should put away the cigars, poker chips, and bottomless beer cooler at least once a year so he can take a buddy trip with some folks who would really appreciate it — the wife and kids


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As you make the turn, stop on the 10th tee to enjoy the view of three states—New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and New York—on the horizon at Port Jervis. You’ll get another view worth pausing for at the 14th tee, where you overlook the entire basin from the 12th to the 17th hole.

Other 18-hole golf venues at the resort include Black Bear, Crystal Springs, and Great Gorge (which has 27). There’s also a full 18-hole, par-2 putting course featuring real turf and a 650-foot water feature.

For families, Crystal Springs has turned its two nine-hole courses, the regulation-length Cascades and par-3 Minerals, over to junior golfers and their kin. During the week, rounds on the 2,305-yard Minerals Golf Course, which was designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr., are only $15 per person all day long (slightly higher on weekends and holidays). On the 3,627-yard Cascades, afternoon rounds are as little as $79 for a twosome as long as there’s a junior in the group (rates are valid for nine or 18 holes). Other family golf features include special tees and larger cups for young players, four-seater carts, clubs available for rent (TaylorMade for adults, Calloway for juniors, and Ben Hogan for young juniors; $1 per child, $15 per adult), a roving golf staff to dispense advice and instruction to kids while they play; and kid-friendly menu items, including peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on the service cart.

In another Golf 2.0–influenced initiative, the resort’s new Fast Track Golf program promises golfers will be able to play 18 holes in under four hours, with no waiting on the group ahead and getting off the course before noon. On summer weekends, designated Fast Track Golf tee times are in effect on the 18-hole Wild Turkey and Black Bear courses before 7:30 a.m., and on the 9-hole Cascades course before 10 a.m. Fast Track Golf is available both to daily-fee players and resort guests. To keep things moving, golfers with Fast Track tee times agree to take a maximum seven strokes per hole, take no more than three putts per hole, and abandon the search for lost balls after 60 seconds.

The David Leadbetter Golf Academy is located at Crystal Springs as well, so consider signing up the kids for a starter clinic and maybe fit in a lesson or two for Mom and Dad during the weekend.

Purists may shudder at the thought of hearing childish giggles on the green or giving up on a lost ball with less than a full five-minute search while the rest of the course backs up behind you, but many of us are delighted to see a facility take these creative steps to keep golf alive. 

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