Neshanic Valley Golf Club, Ridge/Lake Course, Neshanic Station, New Jersey - a Championship Golf Course Set Amid New Jersey's Branchburg Farmland

The Neshanic Valley Golf Club features 27 holes of championship-caliber golf between its Meadow, Lake and Ridge nines. The courses are the design work of Michael Hurdzan & Dana Fry, and the club, which opened for play in 2004, is the flagship of the five-course Somerset County Park Commission System.

The Neshanic Valley Golf Club is located on 420 acres of rolling Branchburg, New Jersey farmland. The courses account for 350 of those acres, and make use of the existing land features, while taking full advantage of the topography.

The Lake-to-Ridge combination is a par-72 layout that plays to 7,065 yards from the back (Black) tees, with a USGA rating of 73.7 and a slope rating of 128 on creeping Bent grass. The course features rolling fairways, an ample amount of Fescue beyond the short grass, wetlands throughout the course, and greens typically guarded by large sand bunkers. The putting surfaces feature subtle undulations to increase the challenge of play.

Some of the most noteworthy holes on the Lakes nine include Hole No. 3, which is said to be the favorite of the course superintendent. The hole is a relatively short par-3 that plays to 197 yards from the back tees, but only 148 yards from the Blues. The green is said to be deceptive, appearing smaller from the tee than its 32-yard depth. It features a bit of undulation, however, and is guarded by a long bunker on the left.

Hole No. 5 has been called a "monster.'' This par-5 plays to 588 yards from the back tees, but also plays uphill and into the typically prevailing winds. The lake sits beside the tee boxes and does not really come into play, but numerous fairway bunkers along the way do and should be avoided at all costs.

Hole No. 7 is said to be "the golf professional's favorite hole'' at the course. This par-4 hole plays to a modest 388 yards from the back tees, and is a dogleg left with bunkers on the inside of the leg and a lake along the outside right. Approach shots must be accurate, as the green is guarded by a bunker left and water right and long.

On the Ridge nine, one of the most interesting and challenging holes is No. 5. This par-5 plays to 536 yards from the longest tees, and is rated the #2-handicap hole. The hole features two fairway landing areas, separated by a long swath of wetlands and trees that runs down the middle of the hole. Approach shots take aim at a slightly elevated green guarded by a bunker right and sloping sides.

Practice facilities at the club include a driving range with both grass and mat hitting areas, as well as a putting green and chipping/sand area. Lessons are also available.

The club also features a 12,000-square-foot clubhouse with a fully-stocked pro shop. The Grille Room offers sandwiches and snacks to go, as well as cocktails. The clubhouse also features a second floor with a banquet room and outdoor deck for a 270-degree view of the course, Neshanic Valley and the nearby Sourland Mountains.

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