A Winning Combination of Golf and Entertainment
Story by: Bill Nestor
The odds are in your favor that staying and playing in Atlantic City and surrounds will be a winning combination. Discovering a rich variety of golf courses, lodging, dining and doings is a sure thing at this destination.
(Top & Bottom Right) Tuscany House at Renault Winery Resort with Joseph's Restaurant provides a peaceful, quiet retreat a short distance from Atlantic City. (Bottom Left) Sand sculpture artist creations on the beach at Caesars Hotel and Casino.
An invitation from GACGA (The Greater Atlantic City Golf Course Association) to visit in conjunction with the US Men’s Open Championship at Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, PA took me down memory lane, and over a historic highway filled with many golden oldies. I rekindled connections to area golf, and visited once familiar haunts at the beach, boardwalk, bays, creeks, fields, forests and farmlands.
Lodging at Caesars Hotel and Casino located on the boardwalk overlooking the beach and ocean, on a barrier beach island in Atlantic City and at the Tuscany House at Renault Winery, an inland destination resort set serenely among a vineyard, fields and Pine Barren terrain, offered very comfortable accommodations, delightful surroundings and tasty dining.
I also savored a couple of favorite area golfing venues while in town--Atlantic City Country Club, a venerable historic track dating back to 1897, that is now a public facility owned and operated by Caesars Entertainment and Vineyard Golf at Renault Winery, a relative newcomer built in 2007. Both are members of the GACGA portfolio.
(Center Photo) Vineyard Golf, designed by architect Ed Shearon plays amongst the vines. (Top & Bottom Photos) The historic Atlantic City Country Club in Northfield plays adjacent to salt marsh and bay overlooking the city skyline.
The association, a collective of public golf courses in and around Atlantic City, supports and promotes golf and resort tourism in the region. GACGA member course settings represent an assortment of South Jersey’s natural land and water resources. Their locations showcase diverse indigenous landscapes of sandy soil, pine forest, farmlands, bay, salt marsh, beaches, wetlands, and vineyards amid the Atlantic coastal plain.
GACGA includes nineteen golf courses in Atlantic, Cape May, Gloucester, Ocean and Salem counties, and works with local packagers to arrange outings and visits to the area for individuals and groups. Visit http://www.playacgolf.com to book a tee time or stay.
GACGA member courses offer some outstanding options. They include: Atlantic City Country Club, Ballamor Golf Club, Blue Heron Pines Golf Club, The Links at Brigantine Beach, Cape May National Golf Club, Hamilton Trails Golf Club, Harbor Pines Golf Club, Mays Landing Golf & Country Club, McCullough’s Emerald Golf Links, Running Deer Golf Club, Sand Barrens Golf Club, Scotland Run Golf Club, Sea Oaks Golf Club, Seaview Golf Resort- Bay and Pines, Shore Gate Golf Club, Twisted Dune Golf Club, Vineyard Golf at Renault Winery Resort, and Wildwood Golf & Country Club.
An oceanfront room at Caesers Hotel provided views up and down the coast where the boardwalk, beach, and ocean edge appear to be back to pre-storm Sandy conditions. A sand sculpture contest; the expansive and pristine, white, sandy, surf-washed shoreline; boardwalk shops and dining added to a great variety of course and off-the course activities that made for an entertaining trip.
The area is alive with sensory stimulation: smells of the salt marsh and freshening sea air; sounds of the beach- crashing waves, laughing gulls, and cooling onshore breezes; feel of the sand between the toes; tastes of fresh caught seafood, salt water taffy and South Jersey subs; and sights of a sweeping blue sea, expansive white sand beach, and the deep greens of salt marsh grasses glistening following an afternoon rain.
For me, it doesn’t get much better.
Freelancer Bill Nestor explores globally to write about travel, golf, food, nature and lifestyles.
For More Information:
Atlantic City Country Club
History of Atlantic City CC www.kellysgolfhistory.blogspot.com/2011/07/atlantic-city-country-club-historical.html
Renault Winery (Vineyard Golf, Tuscany House Hotel, Joseph’s Restaurant)
Vineyard Golf Course