Every Wednesday this golf season we’ll focus on another place to play, and we’re going to kick things off at one of the mainstays at the Jersey Shore — Blue Heron Pines.
While I was among the many who mourned the passing of Blue Heron East several years ago, I have really come to appreciate the original 18 at Blue Heron Pines, which used to be known as the West Course. In fact, the more I play there, and I have done that quite a bit in the last few years, the more I enjoy my experience and look forward to my next go-round.
Architect Stephen Kay gave us great variety, and ramps up the challenge on a back nine that includes some bruising tests like the par 4 12th, par 5 14th, and par 4 17th. But the biggest hazards many of us face at Blue Heron Pines are our own decisions on the shorter holes were he gives you so many options.
This game is so much easier (and less interesting) when you don’t have choices. But Kay knows how easy it is to get into our heads and let us wrestle with ourselves. Do I go for it in two on the par 5 3rd? Do I try to bang it down there near the green on the short Par 4 7th or lay it back and let my wedge do the talking from 100 yards? How bold do I want to be off the tee on the 18th?
So many decisions. And then you have to trust them, even though you have rarely given yourself reason to in the past. Great stuff.
Ed’s Scouting Report:
Green Fees: vary with the season, currently $68 weekday mornings, $58 afternoons, $79 weekend mornings.
Nice Bonus: Excellent range and short game area. The way it should be, but isn’t at many courses.
Best Hole: Tough choice, but I’ll go with the 368-yard par 4 10th. You’re coming off the wide 9th and suddenly faced with a fairly tight tee shot — trees right and a pond long and left. That is followed by an approach into a narrow green set at angle with no good place to miss. Pars there are good. Very good.
Local Knowledge: When the pin is in the back on the 407-yard 5th, don’t go flag hunting on your approach. Middle of the green, two putts, move on. There’s a pond behind that green that you won’t be thinking about while standing in the fairway. A little long and left is bad. Very bad.
Best Bet in the View Restaurant and Bar: If you like wings, you’ll enjoy these, and their Chicken Panini is very popular.
Ed Abrams anchors mornings on KYW Newsradio, and you can hear his Golf Reports there on Fridays and Saturdays. He has also created a new websites: www.DealTrackerGolf.com, featuring leads on the best golf equipment deals… and www.TeeItUpPhilly.com, with video course tours, audio swing tips and local golf deals