Golf Course Overview
“It’s a unique, first-class resort layout that’s the closest thing you’ll find to a desert|
course in this part of the country and (Dana) Fry managed to pull it off ..."– Joe Logan, Philadelphia Inquirer
Experience The Excitement of Sand Barrens
What most golfers talk about after they play Sand Barrens is the unique personality of our layout with more than 100 acres of sand, in our bunkers and sweeping waste areas.
These sandy stretches, set against luxuriant fairways that could almost be greens, are a dazzling eye-catcher that makes you yearn to grab a club. We offer a remarkable target experience that you will have a tough time finding elsewhere. “All you can see from the tee boxes at times are bunkers and waste areas... but the fairways are very generous, and the traps shouldn’t be difficult to avoid.”
And there are five sets of tee boxes in order to give every player a chance to feel comfortable at the Sand Barrens.
All this golfing excitement came to be when the lead designer on our 27 holes, Dana Fry of Hurdzan/Fry, discovered a layer of sand while trees were being cleared for fairways in the winter of 1996. A more traditional course had been in the works on this site lined with evergreens and oaks. But suddenly Fry had a new idea. The result was Sand Barrens and its dramatic bunkers and undulating greens. To ensure outstanding conditions, even the rough was sodded. A premium blend of bentgrasses adorns the tees and greens and the rolling fairways. “Golf here is tough, but very fair. Most of the hazards are more visual than actual. You really don’t have to be a great golfer to get a good score here.
Although many times you will want to use fairway woods off the tee, drivers can be used as well depending on how talented you are with your driver. Another tip about playing at our club is to pay attention to where the 150-yard markers are because they will help show you the way to go. And remember, you can ground your club in the waste areas.
When you’re considering which nines to play and how to play them, remember that the South Nine is the prettiest, the North is the toughest, and the West is everyone’s favorite. Each nine of the 27 holes plays from a minimum of 2,500 yards to a maximum of more than 3,500. Each nine plays as a par-36. Total distance for 18 holes will vary between 6,960 and 7,116, depending on the combination of nines played.
The South Nine
The South Nine is a little more open than the other nines and has more undulating greens. On your starting hole on this nine, a short par-4 (365 from the back tees and 251 from the forward), you’ll be hitting from tee boxes with a long waste area off to the left. It’s probably best to use a fairway wood or long iron off the tees as this hole requires more accuracy than muscle. The green is heavily protected by a horseshoe of bunkers.
One of the favorites on the South Course is No. 4, which plays 439 yards from the back tees and 339 from the forward and can be played straight ahead or off to the right to stay safely clear of the sand. “You’ll find a big waste area on the left that requires something of a carry off the tee,” said Head Golf Professional Doug Delaney. “Then there’s another one that crosses the fairway, about 100 yards away from the green.”
What makes this hole particularly unusual is that you’ll find two different greens at the end of the fairway. The pin placement can be set up back and forth between them, so be sure you know where the pin is before making your approach. If your tee shot is medium length, you’ll need a middle iron to the hole. When the pin is on the right green, be sure to add 10 yards to your distance. Both greens are nearly surrounded by waste area.
No. 5 on the South is another great par-4 (489 from the back and 328 from the front). As you make your tee shot, you’ll probably have from 80 to 150 yards of sandy waste to carry. But most of this hazard is off to the right, so if you can hit straight, it shouldn’t be a problem. This is a slight dogleg left, and the fairway narrows a bit as you approach the green.
You’ll need a very delicate and precise shot off the tee on No. 7 South, a par-3 that plays at 204 yards from the back and 109 from the front. It’s not an overly long hole, but you’ll have a pond and some sand to carry and just being on the green doesn’t mean you’ll make par because it’s a very large green and there is a ridge running through the middle of it.
Distances on the South Course: 3,386 yards, 3,242, 3,061, 2,803 and 2,483.
The North Nine
One of the most popular holes on the North is No. 3, a par-4 (401 from the back and 279 from the front) that requires an accurate tee shot to a narrow fairway, heavily lined with trees on both sides. “The secret here is hitting straight. Watch out for three large bunkers guarding the green.
Then it’s on to No. 4, a short dogleg right par-4 (391 yards from the back and 255 from the front). Again you’re dealing with a narrow fairway. This time, you’ll find trees to the right and a small bunker in the crook of the dogleg and a long waste area on the left that stretches from the front tees all the way to the green. A slight fade is best off the tees, but don’t go too far right. You want to hit to the 150-yard marker. So hit it about 250 from the back or 160 from the forward tees. You’ll find this is a fairly small green compared to the rest on the course.”
One of the more demanding holes on this nine is No. 7, a long par-4 (442 yards from the back and 308 from the front) with a split fairway. A fairly strong tee shot is important here as is a good second shot over brush and sand. The right center of the fairway will give you the best angle to a green that sits below the fairway. Although bunkers and waste areas line most of the right side and run behind the green, the front of the green is open, allowing you to bounce up to the hole.
This nine ends with a par-3 (201 yards from the back and 85 from the front) that requires a carry over a pond to a peninsula green.
Distances on the North Course: 3,583 yards, 3,406, 3,253, 3,023 and 2,463.
Standing on the tee boxes on No. 4 of this nine, you see before you what seems like oceans of sand everywhere. But this is a par-4 (398 yards from the back and 279 from the forward) where some big hitters can actually drive the green. “But if it isn’t a perfect drive,” said Edson Robertson, who with his brother Malcolm, own the Club. “You’ll end up in a waste area or in a bunker or in the woods. You have to hit past a fairway bunker on the right, sandy waste on the left and on the right. It’s short, but you have to be very straight.”
The green on No. 4 is also half of our 55,000 square-foot double green that slopes sharply downhill from front to back.
No. 5 is a straight-ahead, very narrow and short par-5 (514 yards from the back and 400 from the front) where you’ll find a creek on the right-hand side. The landing area is short and fairly small. Trees come out to mid-fairway and narrow the space for your second shot. This is our smallest green and it is almost surrounded by bunkers.
The West finishes with two of the most challenging par-4s you may ever play. But Robertson calls No. 8 “the best golf hole in the resort.” You’re hitting from an elevated tee to a slight dogleg-left par-4 (448 yards from the back and 308 from the front). You need an accurate and long tee shot and then you can hit a mid- to long-iron to the large green.”
The last hole is a very long par-4 (440 yards from the back and 308 from the front). You stand on an elevated tee box to look at a fairway off to your left beyond a huge waste area. A mid-iron second shot should get you to a very undulating green.
Distances on the West Course: 3,509 yards, 3,366, 3,209, 2892 and 2,488.