Everything at Running Deer Golf Club is over-sized--some might even say over-done. The fairways are collections of large mounds surrounded by impossible ravines, monstrous bunkers, and/or encroaching trees. Sometimes all on the same hole. The greens were contoured with a heavy hand, too, so that even if you can reach them in something near regulation, you'll have a tough two-putt to come close to par.
But then, what would you expect from an over-sized owner like ESPN personality and Philadelphia Eagles Hall of Fame quarterback Ron Jaworski? Running Deer is one of several golf properties the sports star has collected under the umbrella of Ron Jaworski Golf Management. Among them are Valleybrook Country Club and Blue Heron Pines, both in New Jersey. Running Deer is his most recent acquisition.
Skilled players won't have much trouble with Running Deer, but then they don't have much difficulty anywhere, do they? Anyone who occasionally sprays a tee shot or can't handle anything but a level lie is going to have their work cut out for them, however. Still, the course is fair--it plays equally difficult for everyone--and all the trouble is right there in front of you.
Running Deer measures 7,100 yards from the tips and 6,400 from the more-reasonable white tees. There are a few forced carries, but length isn't as necessary as accuracy on almost every hole. Consider club selection carefully, especially on the short par fours. And bring an extra sleeve of balls, too, since several holes have water and/or tangled rough not far off the fairway.
Among many other books, Dave Donelson is the author of Weird Golf: 18 tales of fantastic, horrific, scientifically impossible, and morally reprehensible golf