Course Spy: Atlantic City Country Club

The once-private Atlantic City Country Club (No. 14, pictured) opened its doors to the public in 2005.
Larry Lambrecht

Atlantic City Country Club
Northfield, N.J.
6,577 yards, par 70
Green fees: $99-$225
609-236-4401
harrahs.com

\nService
\nFirst-class all the way, starting with a classic clubhouse, a great restaurant and a real locker room staffed by an attendant. The on-course folks were friendly and helpful, and the beverage cart even crossed a fairway with our drinks—there's no continuous cart path.

\nPace of Play
\nSince we were just two at 9:15 a.m. on a Saturday, the starter helpfully suggested we play the back first and kept a space open for our return to the front nine. The round took under four hours. Late morning/early afternoon tee times are the busiest, due to the "casino influence."

\nQuality
\nA classic old course restored by Tom Doak that is alternately challenging and fun. Short and long par-3s, outstanding variety in the par-4s and three legit par-5s keep things interesting. Kudos to the terrific greens—they're subtle and tricky, but not unfair and very true.

\nValue
\nHigh-priced for the Northeast at $225 for prime-season weekends, but that does tend to deter less serious players. For that rate, we got a great driving range/short game practice area, pristine greens, a memorable course, superb facilities and a bit of a golf history lesson. It's definitely worth the splurge.

\nVerdict
\nThis is what an old-style public course should be: You feel like a member of a legendary country club for a day. And you're playing a course that hosted the 1901 U.S. Amateur and the first Senior Tour event, and was the birthplace of the term "birdie." Atlantic City is a real Old School treat.

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