DG29 - September 2015 * - Page 49

Atlantic City Country Club Across the marsh grasses from the strand, sits a grand course from another era. Private for so many years, the ACCC has hosted six USGA championships, crowning victors of the rank of Walter Travis and Babe Zaharias. The course was built in 1901 by John Reid and Willie Park, jr., then saw a renovation in 1925 at the hands of William Flynn and Howard Toomey. In the late 1990s, Bruce Hepner and Tom Doak of Renaissance Golf restored the majority of holes to their initial edge, but chose to reroute two of the closing holes and build a brand-new 17th, to offer a greater, more balance finishing challenge. If you’ve never teed off from a putting green, you’ll have your chance on the first at AC. A feature unique to courses from another era, this unification of green and tee suggested a oneness of the golfing grounds. Since you’ll have driver in your hands, don’t worry about taking a divot. Just head directly over from the practice green to the tee blocks and swing away. AC greets you with a classic half-par opener, so pretend it’s a par five and ease into the round. The next few holes are briefer in length, including what will become your favorite, short-pitch par three, the fourth. There you have your first glimpse of the marshes and the Atlantic City skyline, before turning back inland. At Atlantic City, with the exception of the risk-reward 16th and the unforgettable home hole, the memorable plays are the par-three holes. From the deceptively-understated 8th to the volcanic number 12, from the reversed-by-Doak 15th to the brand-new 17th, you’re guaranteed to hit five different clubs and have a quintet of diverse experiences. Twisted Dune In 2003, the Borgata Casino opened its rooms to guests. Much of the fill needed to support the foundation came from a horse farm in Egg Harbor Township. Golf course development was a sure thing in the late 90s and early 00s in the mid-Atlantic region, so Archie Struthers hopped on the opportunity to develop a large-scale ode to the region’s most famous club, Pine Valley. After considering other designers, Struthers the developer became Struthers the golf course architect and laid down plans for an unforgettable, roller-coaster ride. “At the end of the day , we built a big , sprawling golf course that is all manufactured, with the intent of making the contours look natural. I’m pretty happy with how the golf course looks and plays…there’s lots of good shots there, and it flows nicely.” When considering the amount of fill to be removed, and how far down the property would be lowered, Struthers began to think of Volume 3 • Issue 29 49