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Harbor Pines Golf Club celebrates longevity milestone
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Harbor Pines Golf Club celebrates longevity milestone

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Perceptions of 25 years in business: For Harbor Pines Golf Club, it means spanning vast economic cycle and entails expanding the golf menu to include food and beverage, restaurant and banquet facilities.

For customers, it means a season-long 2021 commemoration of a club that debuted in 1996.

The Egg Harbor Township facility will have a drawing every Sunday throughout the season for prizes like Callaway Epic Drivers (a $500 value), putters and memberships, among other items. No purchase is required.

For General Manager Allan Greenman, the number signifies people.

“It’s practically unheard of for a private business (in this case, the Gurwicz family) to do this for 25 years,” Greenman says. “To be able to withstand the good times and bad is a statement about their commitment to golf and to the community. I am proud to be part of this team.”

EvolutionHarbor Pines has evolved on two fronts.

One is the indoor dining area, poised to surge with the statewide elimination of COVID-19 restrictions. In the Grill Room, Harbor Pines launched Lobster Fest on Memorial Day Weekend. It runs through Labor Day.

The menu includes Lobster and Seafood appetizers, along with other steak, chicken and pasta favorites.

Live entertainment changes weekly.

Reservations are recommended at 609-927-0006, extension 19.

Standing the test of timeThe course has always held its own.

It was built during the area’s high-end, daily-fee era, in which customers obtain a country-club experience like bag drops, lush fairways and fast greens for a one-day greens fee higher than standard public courses.

Harbor Pines offers 18 holes with yardages totaling 6,827 yards from the back tees and 5,101 from the most forward set.

It has 12 ponds, 17 acres of water and a reclusive feel amid 520 acres. The bunkers are distinctive, particularly the 170-foot-long half-acre bunker that guards the par-4 17th and a long ribbon-like bunker players cross by bridge approaching the seventh hole.

The greens are generally large, meaning they are not difficult to hit, but easy to 3-putt. They also roll true, break sharply and are fast.

There are a number of significant challenges on this course. The ninth is a long par 4, the toughest hole in the layout. A long, right-side drive sets up a low-iron or fairway wood to the green, with water on the left and woods on the right.

Twelve is a scenic, appealing tease. From the tee, this is possibly the nicest view on the course. It also has the looks of a nice score.

The 291-yard distance from the mid-tees makes the green look reachable on the drive, if one feels strong enough. The tee shot must reach close to 270 yards over water and roll onto the green or the shot can land on the putting surface and hopefully hold.

There is opportunity for an eagle putt with a perfect drive, but a shot that lands in the water can force one to scramble for a bogey on a supposedly easy hole

“Customers talk about the 12th hole quite a bit,” Greenman says. “It appeals to them because some people can actually succeed at reaching the green, and a fair amount of people will try it. What’s great about this hole is its risk-reward component. You may not feel good if you don’t at least par the hole. There is a lot to consider.”

Most people will — and should — go down the middle. Water on the left and county road 651 on the right provide the risk to counter the reward.

A solid drive down the center and a high iron shot into the green will set up a birdie chance and at least a strong opportunity for par.

The 18th is a bonafide scoring chance. It’s a short-yardage par-5 long hitters can reach in two shots, enabling them to putt for eagle. Two good straight shots and a chip to the green can set up a birdie opportunity.

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