Every Wednesday we profile another place to play. Today our destination is Egg Harbor Township, NJ, and Twisted Dune.
What has always impressed me about Twisted Dune is that despite the incredible amount of earth moved to create the links-like layout, it doesn’t feel the least bit contrived to me.
Those dunes also provide some nice privacy during your round. Now matter how busy this popular shore course gets, you don’t see other groups at every turn because you’re playing between the towering mounds — that’s unless a wayward tee shot forces you to go climbing in an effort to find your golf ball.
For the most part, though, the landing areas at Twisted Dune are generous, so it is very player-friendly off the tee, with more demands put on your approach shots. The trouble tends to encroach around the greens, so choose your target wisely. The good news is those putting surfaces are large. The bad news is … those putting surfaces are large! So if you play it a little too safe, you can find yourself in three-putt territory in a hurry.
There’s a lot more to like about Twisted Dune. The understated clubhouse is perfect for a shore course. The views of the golf course from around the clubhouse are pretty cool as you look across the vast expanse. And there’s something about the feel of just being at the shore that can take the sting off a bad round.
Here’s my Twisted Scouting Report:
Fees: For another two days, you can still enjoy shoulder-season rates — ranging from $50 to $69. Starting Friday until June 21, you can add another $10 to $20 to that depending on the daypart… and then peak season rates will kick in, topping off at $99 on weekend mornings. If you’re flexible, keep an eye on GolfNow.com hot deals involving Twisted Dune.
Tees: They added Senior Tees to the course last year, a nice option for those who found the Whites a little too robust at 6,100 yards. Five sets of tees are a good idea for a course that spans from 5,026 yards from the front tees to a big-time 7,339 from the back.
Best Hole: Tough call. The par 5 4th has my number, and shouldn’t be as hard as I make it. I really enjoy the roller coaster ride on the 15th, which goes out to a plateau then drops sharply down to a green which is set in a bowl. 18 is just a brute, a par 4 that stretches from 420 to 486 yards (yikes).
But I think my favorite is the par-5 9th, with a pond that runs down the left side. It is a short enough hole that if you play from the correct set of tees, even average hitters can sometimes reach it in two shots. The hole runs slightly downhill and slopes dramatically from right to left…so you can have a lot of fun playing a low running draw that tumbles down the right side and onto the green. The last 30 yards or so of fairway are not visible from where you hit your second shot, so you have the added thrill of watching your ball disappear…and then waiting to see if it has enough steam to reappear as it rolls onto the green. The slope of the putting surface will also help feed the ball down to a left pin. Just don’t overcook it or your ball will be wet. If you hit a good drive and set yourself up to have a go at it, this hole is a blast!
Local Knowledge: Keep it below the hole on the long par-3 16th (217 yards from the back tee). Easier said than done, I know, especially when you stand on the tee looking at the junk you have to carry with that shot. Keep in mind that a miss ten to 15 yards short of the green isn’t as bad as it looks from the tee. You can play from there.
Ed Abrams anchors mornings on KYW Newsradio, and you can hear his Golf Reports there on Fridays and Saturdays. He has also created a pair of 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