Many golf courses run opposite of the pandemic business cycle — they are jammed.
That dynamic includes Twisted Dune in Egg Harbor Township, which finds even traditionally slow afternoon times taken by people who can’t wait to play. There is a celebratory air to the golf comeback. Courses missed most of March, all of April and operated at reduced capacity in May. They enjoyed a prosperous June, with more to come.
“We are delighted with what we are seeing, “says Jim Endres, the general manager of Twisted Dune. “This entire area thrives when everyone can do their favorite activities, and one of them is golf.”
Every course finds its own niche in complying with new state requirements. Here are some of Twisted Dune’s particulars pertinent to the “new normal” of 2020, subject to change.
Pre-payment is not mandatory, but one can do it by calling 609-653-8019.
Those who have pre-paid can go to the bag drop, check in and be sent out to the course.
Those who have not pre-paid can go to the pay window near the pro shop.
Bathrooms are open.
Golfers can take the pin out here. This regulation varies course to course.
There have been more requests at many courses for golfers to ride alone in a cart, for coronavirus health concerns. But availability is hit-or-miss. Reservation requests must be made four days in advance.
Whatever the rules and regulations, Twisted Dune is a highly-regarded course, always considered one of New Jersey’s finest. Twisted Dune has five tee boxes, ranging from 4,970-7,270 yards from the forward to back set. The course plays about four or five strokes harder than many courses in the area. A good score here can be worn like a badge, but average players don’t have to feel discouraged. There are multiple tee boxes to fit their game.
Players will gain even more of a Scottish-links feel this year
The course is not likely to be watered as much as in previous seasons, leading to a few more yards of roll on the fairway. This will make drives go further and prompt players to land approach shots short of the green, allowing them to roll on to the putting surface. Trying to land a shot precisely on the green may backfire, as the ball could roll off.
“This is a benefit to the many players,” Endres indicates. “The average golfer can’t put a spin on the ball and make it hit on the green and roll back to the pin. Playing it a little short and letting it run up onto the green will be advantageous.”
Several excellent holes mark this facility. The third, 195 yards from the mid-tees, is a challenging par-3. Players aim at a narrow green and the putt has a left-to-right slope. The fourth, at 515 yards from the mid-tees, is a long, dogleg right, often displaying stiff winds. A bogey on this par-5 may feel like a victory. Survive these two difficult holes and you will be eyeing a decent front nine. The 18th hole is considered the toughest. It plays a solid 410 yards from the mid tees and has a gulley area that affords the player only a view of the bottom of the flag stick on the green. One can’t see the whole putting surface and must guess on how much green there is to work with on a shot.
Overall, the course is scenic, has elevated views and demands length and precision off the tee.
Tap-ins: There are several weekday special rates of $50 for seniors, first responders, hospital workers and women. They are staggered for specific days.