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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Add Ballamor to Your Atlantic City Golf Itinerary

Ballamor Golf Club
While no one wants to see clubs go under, one of the silver linings in the cloud over the game has been the conversion of some excellent private clubs to public daily fee operations.  Leading that movement has been the Ottinger family in New Jersey, who took the bankrupt Ballamor Golf Club public in 2010.  The course had opened just nine years earlier.

Today Ballamor offers a wonderful golf experience within a few miles of Atlantic City.  The 7,098-yard course has a strong Pinelands feel, with routing through and around environmentally-sensitive wetlands on a huge 350-acre piece of property without a home in sight.  The architect, Dan Schlegel, then of Ault, Clark & Associates, moved a great deal of earth to create rolling terrain out of what was originally a fairly flat, featureless pine forest.  The result is a manicured and highly playable golf course.

Ballamor opens with a fairly benign 522-yard par five (from the 6,681-yard blue tees) that, like much of the course, features wide fairways and a green to match.  One of the most interesting holes on the course is number 15, a 347-yard par four with a mentally challenging tee shot.  Water is your first test, but then comes the real choice: carry the massive bunker on the left corner of the dog leg with a 220-yard drive or play it safer to the right, leaving a long, bunkers-everywhere-in-site second shot?

The Ottinger family group includes nearby Scotland Run and the tradition-laden Atlantic City Country Club.

Among many other books, Dave Donelson is the author of Weird Golf: 18 tales of fantastic, horrific, scientifically impossible, and morally reprehensible golf

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