Not many new public courses can claim a champions’ roster that includes Walter Travis, Babe Zaharias and Don January or claim the first American to win the U.S. Open as its former head pro (John J. McDermott). Then again, the Atlantic City Country Club is no ordinary track. The layout dates to 1897 and, for most of its 109 years, it was strictly private. Following a Tom Doak renovation in 1999, the course served as a playground for high-rollers staying at one of the Caesars-owned casinos, but earlier this year new owner Harrah’s unlocked the club’s gates to the public.
John Reid, Willie Park Jr. and the team of William Flynn and Howard Toomey also contributed to the Atlantic City Counry Club’s design. Today’s version is a par-70, 6,577-yard routing that unfolds gracefully over flat, coastal terrain. The par-4 14th exhibits all of the course’s charms. At 339 yards, it’s reachable when downwind, but a sprawling bunker and acres of salt marsh will make you think twice about driver. Whatever club you choose from the peninsula teeing area in Lakes Bay, you’ll take in a handsome view of Atlantic City’s casino skyline.
Greens fees $176-$201. Call 609-236-4400 or visit harrahs.com.