New Jersey has some excellent golf courses to play all throughout the state.

Up and down and all around, you can find some tremendous spots to play a round, but did you know the state is also home to the best golf course in the world?

Since 1966, the premier golf magazine, Golf Digest, has published America’s 100 Greatest Golf Courses. They pick the Top 200 golf courses, using 800 panelists submitting more than 85,000 evaluations from every corner of the world.

Through their research and evaluations, they found that the very best golf course in the world is in New Jersey.

Pine Valley.

A genuine original, its unique character is forged from the sandy pine barrens of southwest Jersey. Founder George Crump had help from now-legendary architects H.S. Colt, A.W. Tillinghast, George C. Thomas Jr. and Walter Travis. Hugh Wilson (of Merion fame) and his brother Alan finished the job, and William Flynn and Perry Maxwell made revisions. Throughout the course, Pine Valley blends all three schools of golf design—penal, heroic and strategic—often times on a single hole. Recent tree removal at selected spots have revealed some gorgeous views of the sandy landscape upon which the course is routed, and bunker reconstruction by Tom Fazio has given the barrens a more intricate and ornate look.

Pine Valley has been the highest-ranked course in New Jersey since 1985 and the highest ranked course in the world from 1985-2000, 2003-2008, 2013-2014, and since 2017.

Here is a recent review of the course from a player in 2022.

The ultimate golf experience in the United States. Pine Valley is the best course in the world, but it is also one of it's least forgiving. The course demands precision and harshly punishes any poor shots. Though sometimes people say it's Disneyland for golfers, I don't think most children enjoy Disneyland as much as golfers enjoy Pine Valley.

Located in Pine Valley, Camden County, it's less than an hour drive from Atlantic City.

Other New Jersey golf courses to make the 2023 Top 200 list include Baltusrol's Lower Course in Springfield, coming in at #45.

At #57 was Somerset Hills County Club in Bernardsville.

At #80 on the list, we are back in Springfield at Baltusrol's Upper Course.

Plainfield Country Club in Edison came in at #82 on the list of the Top 100.

In the second 100, Ridgewood Country Club East/West in Paramus was #152.

The highest ranked local course was Galloway National, which came in at #165 in the entire world after being #131 last season.

Galloway National occupies a very fine stretch of South Jersey-pine barrens, a site that before construction had been compared to nearby Pine Valley. But Tom Fazio felt the land more favorably compared with that of Pinehurst, and his dream was to reshape this course the old-fashioned way, using horses and slip-scrapers much as had done a century ago at Pinehurst. But the economics and timetable didn’t allow him such a fanciful luxury. Instead, bulldozers were used to shove the sand around into graceful fairways and low-slung, fall-away greens. Pines and roughs of pine needles frame most holes and the eastern flank of the course runs directly along a tidal marsh that leads to the Atlantic. Galloway National now has enough exposed sand, by the way, that golfers today are reminded of both Pinehurst and Pine Valley.

Galloway National is located 270 S. New York Rd. in Galloway.

Rounding out the Top 200 are (NEW) Hollywood Golf Club in Deal (170), Bayonne Golf Club at (177), and Liberty National Golf Club in Jersey City (194).

South Jersey Golf Courses

Gallery Credit: Mike Gill

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