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May  13

Ballyowen -- The Best $140 a NJ Golfer Can Spend

(The clubhouse and majestic scenery that is...Ballyowen)

The birds are chirping, the sun is shining, and the greens are greening.

For many of us in the area, spring marks the rite of passage known as the golf season.  And unlike golfing in any other part of the country, only in New Jersey will you see hackers hacking at one another over ball placement.

But fear not, there are still some places in the state where civility is upheld -- not to mention breathtaking landscapes. 

Ballyowen is such a place.  Nestled in Sussex County (about a 45 minute drive up Route 23), Ballyowen is the crown jewel of the Crystal Springs 6-course golf network.  Through the years, greens fees have risen to jewel-like highs (Weekend Primetime rounds cost $140).  But I dare you to walk away from the Scottish-styled links course (high fescue, hilly terrain, bagpipers, and a sheep meadow on the 13th) no matter your playing ability unsatisfied by the experience. 

Some tips:

  • Show up an hour prior to tee time and take advantage of the free range balls (they should comp you something for the pricey greens fees) and putting area.  With mutli-tiered and fast greens, you will need all the practice you can get.
  • It pays to be a member - through all 6 courses, you can get a $99 Rewards card that gives you discounts on greens fees, merchandise, and opportunities to play in members-only tournaments, as well as 12-day advance tee-time reservations
  • Make sure as the days get longer, you take advantage of the twilight and super-twilight specials.  Not only do you play for less, you will also hear the bagpiper play "O Danny Boy!" at sunset.

Matt Caruso

May 13, 2006 in Happenings | Permalink


I've played it and it's almost worth the price when you play in the late afternoon.

Posted by: Iceman The Bogey Man | May 13, 2006 9:35:50 AM

Almost..? Where do you think is the best course in NJ?

And did you try the fish and chips at the pub/clubhouse?

Posted by: MattyC | May 13, 2006 10:10:29 AM

i didn't try the fish and chips...no course is worth $140/rd that's why I said almost. I like Baltusrol lower but for public courses, I don't have a fav...i like black bear, flanders etc

Posted by: Iceman The Bogey Man | May 13, 2006 11:25:28 AM

How does Trump National compare with Baltusrol?

Posted by: Jim | May 13, 2006 11:46:51 AM

I'm making this part of the daily chat to mention that some of us are going tonight for a pint or two at Fitzgerald's Harp & Bard. Maybe some baristanet folks would like to come out? We are going to hear Paddy & the Pale Boys play and they go on around 9pm sharpish.

Posted by: Anne Prince | May 13, 2006 11:47:08 AM

So Pebble Beach isn't worth $250 in greens fees? And the Plaintation Course at Kapalua isn't worth $150?

I played Black Bear two weeks ago, shot 79. Course was really chewed up. I fear that they are neglecting the course, there was a lot of clovers on the course, none of them the 4 leaf variety. Hopefully it will green up in June.

Posted by: MattyC | May 14, 2006 12:00:15 PM

What's wrong with getting up at 5AM and waiting on line at Francis Byrne? Lots. That's why I no longer play golf.

I'd pay the fees at Pebble any day, just for the views alone. My low score there is 62, but that's on Tiger Woods Pro Golf.

Posted by: DS | May 14, 2006 10:22:07 PM

Why is it only May in Montclair? Why isn't it May in Verona or West Orange or Bloomfield or Clifton? Those towns want to have May too!

Posted by: Johnny | May 15, 2006 4:40:19 PM

Montclair pays extra.

Posted by: State Street Pete | May 15, 2006 4:44:22 PM


those towns didn't plan for may far enough in advance.

Posted by: pissant | May 15, 2006 4:52:45 PM

An open letter to the surrounding Mayors:

Dear Mayors:

Montclair, by their prescience, has once again disenfranchised all other towns in the celebration of May. We continue, year after year to wallow in this Mayless void. We like May too and would appreciate your respective governments to give us back the good spring feeling that comes with [having] a May where we don't feel we have to travel to Montclair, and thus suffer any possible expense and baggage, to experience it firsthand. Thank you.

-A voter who wishes my town had May

Posted by: Johnny | May 15, 2006 8:41:22 PM

I think this is a nice place to stay when you are on your vacation.

Deirdre G

Posted by: makati condo | Feb 21, 2010 8:44:09 PM

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· Window Painting
· Flatulent Friar
· Ballyowen -- The Best $140 a NJ Golfer Can Spend
· Corzine Budget Gets MSU Calling For Action
· Open Space Call For Action
· Closed For Renovations?
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