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

Service
First-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.

Pace of Play
Since 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."

Quality
A 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.

Value
High-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.

Verdict
This 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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