Course Architect(s): George Arthur Crump & Harry S. Colt, Hugh Wilson
Year Opened: 1918
Location: Pine Valley, New Jersey
Slope: 155. Rating: 75.2
Par: 70
Yardage: 7,009
Hole-by-Hole: 1 - Par 4 421 Yds    10 - Par 3 161 Yds
                      2 - Par 4 368 Yds    11 - Par 4 397 Yds
                      3 - Par 3 198 Yds    12 - Par 4 337 Yds
                      4 - Par 4 451 Yds    13 - Par 4 486 Yds
                      5 - Par 3 238 Yds    14 - Par 3 220 Yds
                      6 - Par 4 394 Yds    15 - Par 5 615 Yds
                      7 - Par 5 636 Yds    16 - Par 4 475 Yds
                      8 - Par 4 326 Yds    17 - Par 4 345 Yds
                      9 - Par 4 458 Yds    18 - Par 4 483 Yds
                      Par 35  3,490 Yds     Par 35  3,519 Yds

Awards Won: Ranked 1st Golf Magazine's Top-100 Courses in the World (2005-08),
            Ranked 1st Golf Digest's America's 100 Greatest Courses (2005-08),
            Ranked 1st Golf Connoisseur's 100 Most Prestigious Private
            Clubs in America (2006).

Key Events Held: Crump Cup (1922-present),
                 Walker Cup (1936, 1985),
                 Philadelphia Open (1923, 1941, 2002).

HISTORY: In 1913, 184 acres of the scruffy pinelands were purchased to build a
golf  course (over  the years Pine Valley  would spread to 623 acres, of which
416 remain virgin woodland). George Crump was appointed chairman of the Greens
Committee  and  it would be  his responsibility to  build the Pine Valley golf
course.  Crump  had never  designed a golf  course before but  he knew what he
wanted  his golf  course to look like. He  didn't want any hole to be laid out
parallel  to the next.  While playing one hole he didn't want to see any other
hole.  Crump did  not want more than  two successive holes to play in the same
direction, and he felt that a round of golf on his course should require every
club  in the bag to complete. Despite his strong opinions, Crump solicited the
opinions  of many  noted golfers and architects for Pine Valley. H.S. Colt, an
English  designer of  renown,  was  retained to  review  the  plans and  offer
suggestions.  Some  of the  reviewers were  not so  encouraging. At first many
called  Pine  Valley, destined  to be  regarded as the  greatest course in the
United States, as "Crump's Folly."

The  expanse of sandy scrub pines was so unappealing that skeptics wondered if
Crump  could even grow grass on it. To create Pine Valley, Crump had to direct
the  removal  of over  22,000 stumps  that had  to be  pulled out with special
steam-winches  and  horse-drawn cables because  dynamite only blew up the sand
around  the stump.  Marshlands were drained, dams built and underbrush cleared
away.  Crump built a bungalow along the 5th hole and oversaw construction. The
first  grass  seed went into the  ground in the fall  of 1913 and the first 11
holes  unofficially opened  for play  in February  1914. Crump  did more  than
oversee  the  construction of Pine Valley,  he sacrificed much of his personal
fortune  to its  creation. He sold his luxury hotel in Philadelphia and plowed
as much as $275,000 of his money into Pine Valley. Crump died in 1918. Only 14
of  the holes at Pine Valley were ready at the time and the final four holes -
#12,  #13, #14, #15  - would be completed by other designers although his mark
remained  on  the final touches. Crump  never saw the completed masterpiece he
created that is the best golf course in the history of America.

REVIEW:  Some people debate  over which golf course is the finest in the land.
It's  not  open to discussion -  Pine Valley Golf  Club is hands down the best
course  in the United  States. When Crump designed the course, not only did he
not  want to  see any other hole while  playing on any given hole, but he also
designed a course with 18 different and distinct holes.

The  first  hole is  a dogleg right  par-4 which features  a 8,300 square foot
green  that starts as an extension of the fairway and ends as a peninsula with
sharp  fall offs on  all three sides. Most courses start you off with a simple
hole,  not Pine Valley.  The first is rated as the third most difficult on the
course.  The  next hole  is just  367 yards, but  it is  straight uphill to an
unbelievably undulating green, making two-putting a miracle. Just a three-wood
off  the tee is needed, but accuracy is key, due to the myriad of bunkers left
and  right  of the fairway. A  short iron awaits,  but don't be fooled, as the
putting  surface is 38  yards deep and menacing. The third is a downhill par-3
with a green that features many challenging pin positions. The putting surface
is  35-yards  long, but  is very  narrow with a  huge hogback, meandering from
front  to back.  As is the case  on the par three's, sand surrounds the entire
green.  The par-four  fourth features the largest green on the course at 9,700
square  feet. The green itself follows the general slope of the land, which is
from  front  to back. But,  getting to  the green is  not to be overlooked. An
uphill,  tee shot  on this, the longest  par-four of the course is needed to a
two-tiered  landing  area. From there,  the approach  shot is downhill to this
fairly square green. The fifth hole tee box sits adjacent to the clubhouse and
is  probably  one of the best  one shotters in  the world at 232 yards uphill.
Even  the best players will need to use a fairway metal, but don't miss right,
or you'll have no shot at par, let alone bogey.

The sixth produces some interesting strategy. Depending upon how much you want
to  cut  off the  dogleg right, a  player can be  left with  200 yards in or a
simple  wedge.  But miss the fairway  and a double-bogey, or worse, is likely.
This  hole  is probably  the first  real chance  at birdie  on the course. The
flattest piece of land encompasses the seventh hole -- or what has been called
Hell's Half Acre, which bisects the fairway from the 285 to the 380 yard mark.
At  578 yards,  the seventh  is  the second  longest  hole on  the course  and
requires  both accuracy  and length. Two solid shots will leave a simple sand-
wedge  to  somewhat tiny green,  making birdie  a real possibility. The eighth
hole  at  319 yards  is the  shortest par-four  on the  course, but features a
sloping fairway to a choice of two greens, one of which is a mere 2,900 square
feet.  A  fairway metal will  set up another wedge  to either green, but don't
miss  the  putting surface,  as sand  will destroy you.  Many believe that the
ninth  is the best  par-four on the course. The hole also features two greens,
producing  different angles of play, with the most difficult and testing being
the  left  surface. Your  tee shot must  be placed right  center to attack the
green, but make sure to add another club, as your second will be uphill.

The  back nine starts with what someone might think is as a somewhat easy par-
three at just 158 yards. Wrong, again. This is target golf at its best, as the
green  is  surrounded by  sand and  more sand,  not to  mention the pot bunker
fronting the surface called so appropriately, "Devil's A__ (rearend)." Just 29
yards in depth, the green, two-tiered, slopes severely from front to back with
many  subtle breaks,  making this hole anything but easy. The 11th twists from
left  to right on  this par-four, with the approach shot up a little valley to
an  elevated  green.  The  putting  surface  is  well  guarded,  so  don't  be
disappointed  if you  miss the green. An up-and-down is possible, just as long
as  you  don't miss the  green long. The  12th hole is  a severe dogleg to the
left,  featuring  the scrub brush  and sand all  along the left side. Although
short,  feel free to use driver or three-metal to give yourself the best angle
to the green. The putting surface is very narrow, but long, running from front
to  back, dropping two-and-a-half  feet. If Pine Valley has such a thing as an
easy  hole,  this is it. In  contrast, one of  the most difficult holes on the
inward  nine is the 13th at 448 yards. The drive on this dogleg left is uphill
to  a plateau with  a second shot to a large green guarded on the left side by
Pine  Valley scrub. The putting surface is huge at 44 yards, so play right and
move on. There is no shame in making bogey here.

Probably the easiest green on the course is at the par-three 14th, but hitting
it is another story. This downhill hole features a pond in front with a beach-
like  bunker surrounding the front and right of the green and a moat-like trap
on  the left. Another  picturesque hole, the 14th tee box is 47-feet above the
green  and usually  plays  into the  wind,  making club  selection  a key.  As
mentioned  before, par is OK. A classic three-shotter, the 15th is the longest
hole  on  the course  at 591 yards.  Hugh Wilson, who  also finished the 13th,
completed  this  hole to Crump's  specifications. Each shot gets progressively
harder  and more exacting with the fairway starting off over 60 yards wide but
narrowing  to less than 20 paces by the time one eventually reaches the green.
The  putting  surface is elevated  with three  crowned areas around the edges,
however  when the pin is in the middle, birdies can be made. The 16th features
a  lake  on the right side  of the fairway leading  up to a 11,400 square foot
green  with  severe undulations. A  drive of 200 yards  is needed to carry the
sand abyss just to reach the fairway. After a successful tee ball, a medium to
short iron is needed to hit the circular green, that lopes from back to front.
Another  short sounding hole at 338 yards, the 17th boasts a wide fairway that
bends  to  the right, leading  up to a  small green surrounded  by a moat of a
bunker.  The putting  surface is just 25-yards in depth, sloping severely from
back  to  front. The 18th  is a  perfect finishing hole  at 434 yards from the
tips.  Your downhill  tee shot must carry  195 yards to the fairway which will
then  leave  a mid-  to long-iron  to an uphill  11,000 square-foot green that
slopes  from left to right. Missing the fairway will force the player to layup
about 100 yards out, as rough and water protect par.

Some  might  think that with  generous fairways Pine  Valley should be an easy
mark.  However,  this course  features some  of the  most difficult greens and
missing  a fairway will likely result in a bogey if your lucky. This course is
unique,  difficult, exciting  and exacting and will make you use every club in
your  bag  and wishing you  had a few  extra. Every hole  and every green is a
different  experience.  There are  no two holes  alike and that  is one of the
reasons  that makes  Pine  Valley so  special. Not  to  mention the  beautiful
surroundings, set among the acres of pine forests, sand hills and wetlands. If
there  is such  a thing as a final  destiny for golf, Pine Valley is it, hands
down. This is a round of golf, where you will remember each and every shot and
a place where you can't wait to get back to. No matter what it takes or costs,
you must play Pine Valley.