Course Architect: Stephen Kay
Year Opened: 1993
Location: Cologne, New Jersey
Slope: 136. Rating: 73.0
Par: 72
Yardage: 6,810
Hole-by-Hole: 1 - Par 4 315 Yds    10 - Par 4 395 Yds
                      2 - Par 3 180 Yds    11 - Par 3 135 Yds
                      3 - Par 5 533 Yds    12 - Par 4 415 Yds
                      4 - Par 3 183 Yds    13 - Par 4 374 Yds
                      5 - Par 4 413 Yds    14 - Par 5 518 Yds
                      6 - Par 4 412 Yds    15 - Par 4 421 Yds
                      7 - Par 4 323 Yds    16 - Par 3 218 Yds
                      8 - Par 5 575 Yds    17 - Par 4 451 Yds
                      9 - Par 4 420 Yds    18 - Par 5 529 Yds
                     Par 36  3,354 Yds     Par 36  3,456 Yds

Awards Won: Four stars by Golf Digest's Best Places to Play (2000-09),
            Best 18-hole Golf Course - Casino Connection Magazine,
            Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary since 2000.


HISTORY:  Golf in  South Jersey for the  public player was abysmal back in the
late  1980s with  only a  few courses  to choose  from and  the pickings  were
brutal.  Unless of  course, you  were able  to squeeze  a round  in at  ultra-
exclusive Atlantic City Country Club.

In  steps  local businessman  Roger Hansen,  whose family  helped build up the
Southern  New Jersey  region  since  the 1930s.  One  of  the most  successful
construction  companies,  Ole  Hansen  &  Sons  moved  into  the  real  estate
development market behind the leadership of grandson Roger.

Fast forward to the early 1990s and the start of the upscale, daily fee course
boom  in  South Jersey, as Hansen  enlists local golf architect Stephen Kay to
design  one the  areas first new courses in  20 years and the first in the New
Jersey  Pinelands. "We  (Hansen  and I)  wanted  Blue Heron  to  be a  walking
course,"  commented  Kay. "The property dictated  a walking course, as it only
had a three-foot elevation change when we started."

Kay,  who  lives on the property  at Blue Heron, has done extensive renovation
work  on  over 250 golf courses  in the United  States and has designed 20 new
courses,  but  it was  Blue Heron  Pines Golf Club  that was  his first in the
region. Seven of Kay's original designs are in the Garden State area, and have
received  plenty of  accolades. In fact, Blue  Heron has been rated as a four-
star  course by Golf  Digest for the past 10 years. Although Kay has done most
of  his work in the New Jersey/New York area, his Links of North Dakota design
is  listed  as one  of the  top 100 Modern  Courses in  the nation by Golfweek

"We  (Hansen and I) started travelling a lot, like Pine Valley, Bethpage, Cape
Cod,  Oyster Harbors  and Pinehurst,"  mentioned Kay.  "Although most  writers
thought  it  was taboo to  copy golf holes, I  could never understand that. It
didn't  make  sense to  me. Greens on  courses are often  copied and of course
variations of music and art are often reproduced, so why not golf holes."

Pine  Valley  certainly  left  his  mark  with  Kay,  as  the  11th  and  14th
holes  at Blue  Heron are  quite similar  to the  game's greatest  course. "We
wanted  to  give the  public golfer  the chance  to play  golf holes that were
similar  to  some of the great  holes around the country," commented Kay. "The
par-three  11th is a  variation of the 10th at Pine Valley. The green contours
are very similar, but I think our's is tougher."

In  2005,  Hansen sold the property  to RDC Golf  Group, who in turn, just two
years  later, sold the  golf club to Mr. Rockford Chun.

The ownership of Blue Heron has changed hands again and this time to local
football hero, Ron Jaworski.

Jaworski, the former standout NFL quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles, who
owns several golf courses in the region, has added Blue Heron Pines to his
stable of layouts in June of 2012.

"We are going to revolutionize the shore golf experience one customer at time,"
said Jaworski. "And as always our meticulous attention to detail is what sets
our courses a part from the rest."

When ownership of golf courses  change,  you tend  to wonder if the
quality of the club suffers. This was certainly not the case with Blue Heron
Pines, when Mr. Chun took over and it will most certainly not be the case with

REVIEW:  The course  opens with probably the easiest hole at Blue Heron Pines,
not  to mention  your best shot at  birdie. Just 315 yards from the back tees,
this  straightaway par  four needs  just a  fairway-metal or  hybrid for  your
opening  play. With trees flanking both sides of the landing area, you need to
be  precise. If  you've got game, take out  the big stick and have a lash. Who
knows,  if you avoid the fairway bunkers, you might just roll up to the green,
leaving  yourself a shot  at eagle. At just 23 paces deep, the putting surface
is the smallest on the course.

Back-to-back  3s on  the scorecard look impressive, especially at the start of
the  round. The second  is a solid par three of 180 yards. The key is choosing
the  right stick from the tee, as you must clear the gaping, front bunker that
guards  nearly the  entire  putting surface.  Two traps,  left  and rear  will
capture  any off-line play and the undulating green, well, let's just say, you
better be on the correct quadrant or you'll have a tough two-putt.

Everyone  always thinks that par fives are birdie holes. Well, if you're a PGA
Tour player, then yes, but if you're a run-of-the mill golfer like most of us,
then  making a  par is a great score.  The third definitely fits the bill as a
good  hole to make a five. Trees down both sides of the fairway will certainly
get  your attention, not  to mention the bunkers on either side of the landing
area.  A successful tee  shot can provide the player with a couple of options.
First  choice, lay  up down the right  side of the fairway, leaving a 100-yard
pitch  to the  left-angled green.  Second  option, play  a big,  right-to-left
three-metal  from  the fairway to a  very receptive green. Sure this is risky,
especially  with  the bunker  short and  left of the  putting surface, but why
not?  The green is  two-tiered and 30 yards deep, so attack if you can, as the
birdie holes at Blue Heron are few and far between.

The  fourth is  one of my favorite par  threes on the course and not because I
made  a  birdie. It's great design  features water down the entire right side,
while  the putting  surface is 41 paces deep with three bunkers guarding short
and  right.  With such a  large green,  you'll have to  judge the wind and pin
position  to give yourself a shot at par. Any play off the green to the right,
can  run towards  the  water, especially  when  the wind  is  blowing in  that

Although  just  413 yards in  length, you'll have  to decide whether driver or
three-metal is your play off the tee on the fifth. Trees adorn the entire left
side and a handful of traps and water down the right will gain your attention.
If  you can play down  the right to set up the best angle to the green. From a
sloping  fairway, you'll  have a  mid-iron  to a  slightly raised,  undulating
putting  surface, with sand  left and water deep. Play below the hole for your
best  chance at par. Despite its relatively short distance, the fifth is rated
as the No. 1 handicap hole on the course.

The  tee  shot on  the par-four sixth  requires a slight  fade from the right-
positioned  tee  box. Trees once  again guard both  sides of the fairway, most
notably  down the  right. A 30-yard trap  on the right side must be avoided to
have  any shot  at getting home. A  mid- to short-iron remains to a green that
slopes  from back  to front with a  large bunker on the left side. A back-left
pin  could be hard  to get at, so play towards the center of the green and who
knows, anything can happen.

A  great risk-reward  par four, the seventh  is another one of my favorites at
Blue  Heron  Pines. Only  323 yards  in length, this  beauty features a large,
angled  cross-bunker that spans 50 yards. This hole is quite deceptive, as the
bunker  hides  the large landing area,  leaving you with an uneasy feeling off
the  tee.  But don't  fret, just play  down the right  side, where the fairway
opens  up, leaving you with just under 100 yards. Big hitters will have a hard
time  getting home  and the  front bunker  could cause  problems. The  putting
surface  is very wide, but quite shallow, making your approach a real tickler.
Two good shots and it's birdie time.

At  575 yards, the eighth is the longest hole on the course. This dogleg right
par  five is truly a three-shotter from the tips. You'll need to move the ball
from  left to right, avoiding the long fairway bunker and trees down the right
side.  Your layup second  must dissect the fairway traps on either side of the
landing  area. Although the right side will leave the best angle to the green,
there  is more room  on the left and besides, with a wedge in hand, you should
be  able to  go for the pin. One  word of caution, the green is the longest on
the  course at 48 paces and features a ridge and plenty of undulation, so make
sure you check the flag placement before striking your approach.

One  of  the wider fairways  on the course, the  ninth is quite inviting, just
think  before  striking. With a  pair of traps  guarding the landing area, the
prudent  play would  be three-metal off the  tee, leaving 150 yards to a well-
guarded  putting  surface. The  sloping putting surface  is protected by three
deep bunkers that must be avoided if you're to have any chance at par.

The  back  nine opens  with a  sensational par  four, just  under 400 yards in
length. Tree-lined down the right and partially on the left, your opening play
needs  to  favor a draw,  avoiding the 40-yard bunker  down the left side. The
fairway  opens up  past the sand, but  narrows at the 135-yard mark. Water now
comes  into play  on the left for your approach. The slightly elevated putting
surface  is  fronted by three angled  traps, while the green is two-tiered and
quite  slick. A back-left  pin will not only add yardage to your approach, but
courage, as you take on the water and the tough pin placement.

Slightly  reminiscent  of the par-three 10th  at Pine Valley, the 11th is very
much  as  treacherous with its tiny,  back-to-front sloping green and its deep
pot  bunker  on the  right. Water  instead of scrub  fronts the raised putting
surface.  With such a tiny green, you'll need to be spot on with your approach
or you'll have a difficult time making par.

One  of six par  fours over 400 yards, the 12th bends slightly to the left and
is tree-lined with a narrow fairway. Three traps protect the right side of the
landing  area,  however the right-center  will leave  the best approach to the
large,  undulating green  with a mid-iron. Too  far left off the tee and trees
could  block your  second. From left to  right and back to front, this putting
surface will provide plenty of three putts.

The  sharpest dogleg  on the  course, the  13th, bends  hard to  the left  and
requires  placement, not  power, off the tee. Just 374 yards, a three-metal or
hybrid  should  leave just a short  wedge approach. Seems simple enough, but a
large  100-yard  waste-area bunker lurks  on the  left. The putting surface is
long  and very narrow, but with a wedge in hand, this is one of the few birdie
holes remaining.

Another reference to Pine Valley, the par-five 14th is the No. 2 handicap hole
on the course, and the start of a final stretch of a holes that will test even
the best of players. Hell's Half Acre is quite present on this 518-yarder that
bends to the left. Your tee shot from the back tees must clear a lake to reach
the  fairway that's  tree-lined  and  features three  bunkers  down the  left.
Reachable  in two,  your second must now  clear the desert waste land and then
the bunker fronting the green. If you choose to lay up, (the smart play by the
way),  there's plenty of  room leaving just a simple wedge to a green that has
several  sections  and a spine  running down the center.  Although it can be a
birdie hole, the putting surface will be hard to negotiate.

Another  intriguing  hole, the 15th is  a well-conceived par four with a waste
area  down  the right.  Avoid the sand  and you're now  faced with an approach
over  a lake to  a wide, undulating green with all the fixins. Sand, water and
slope surely make this one of the most diabolical holes on the course.

The  most difficult  of the  par  threes, the  16th  is the  longest as  well,
stretching  218 yards  from the  tips. The  slightly elevated  green gives  an
illusion of a blind target, but at 43 paces, it's one of the longest greens on
the  course.  Three pot bunkers  cover the right and  one deep trap guards the
left.  Missing short might  be the best play. Just rely on your short game and
you might make par.

At 451 yards, the 17th is the longest par four on the course and it plays even
longer,  slightly  uphill and  bending to  the right.  No fairway bunkers, but
trees  line  the landing area through  the green. A long-iron or fairway-metal
will  be required to reach the putting surface that's guarded left and deep by
sand. Stay right for your best chance at four.

The  dogleg-right, par-five  closer is  a  fitting conclusion  to a  wonderful
layout. Once again, trees line the fairway and a devastating bunker guards the
corner  of the dogleg. A power-fade off the tee can setup the big hitters with
a chance to get home in two, otherwise, lay up with a mid-iron and you'll have
just  a  wedge to  a three-tiered putting  surface. Sand left  and deep can be
hard to avoid with a back-left pin. A fitting end to a great round of golf.

FINAL WORD: Since the explosion of upscale golf in South Jersey, the region is
now  populated with  well  over a  dozen  courses to  choose  from for  public
consumption, several of which were designed by Kay. Blue Heron Pines Golf Club
remains the benchmark by which all courses should be measured.

From  tee  to green,  Blue  Heron  is  magnificently  maintained and  quite  a
challenge.  With most  courses in  this day  and age  being designed  with new
equipment  in  mind, it's  nice to a  see a  venue that has  stood up over the
years.  Since its  design in the early  1990s, only a couple of tees have been
added and or shifted due to home construction. "We really haven't changed much
on  the  golf course," said Kay.  "Yes, it is  a compliment on the design, but
it's  also a  compliment on  the  maintenance crew  that they  care enough  to
maintain the course."

The  opening  hole certainly eases  you into the  round, but you'll need every
club  in  your bag to attempt  to conquer this  track. The front nine is rock-
solid,  but  it's the  back nine that  really brings out  the character of the
course.  From the detailed bunkering on 10, to the Pine Valley variation holes
on  11 and  14 or the back-breaking par-three 16th and the closing risk-reward
18th, Blue Heron Pines is the essence of the Jersey Shore.

When a course is rated four stars over and over again by Golf Digest, you have
to  take  notice. "Great service,  great conditions, great course...just great

BHP has plenty to offer - great rates, stay and play packages, a full practice
range  and  wonderful golf instruction.

Blue  Heron not only  features a top notch golf course, but the restaurant and
grille room can conjure up your wildest culinary dreams. In fact, the Club has
hosted many wedding receptions and business meetings.

If it's instruction that you want, then Blue Heron is the place to be. The New
Jersey Academy of Golf, under the direction of Bruce Chelucci, the club's director
of instruction, the Academy will provide state-of-the-art video analysis,
lessons, clinics for all levels and expert club fitting and repair.

Conveniently  located  to nearby  Atlantic City  and the  bright lights of the
Boardwalk  and  Casinos,  Blue  Heron  Pines  is  certainly  a  winning  hand.
Character,  class, wonderful staff and just really good golf is what sets Blue
Heron Pines Golf Club apart.

I've  played them all, but I'll continue to come back to Blue Heron Pines, the