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New Jersey: Great Golf Tradition, Courses, and Influence

When it comes to Golf, New Jersey has a place in history as a state that has significantly influenced the development of the sport and its status as a major sport with a storied history and popularity in the United States.

With its top rated golf courses, early history and tradition of golf, and the home of The USGA Museum and the USGA's Research and Test Center, New Jersey has earned its status as a state that ranks as one of top states in having an influence on golf in the Untied States.

Atlantic City Country Club
Courtesy: Atlantic City Country Club

Having said that, outsiders to New Jersey may find this hard to believe, especially with New Jersey being the butt of many jokes and TV programs that portray the state in an unfavorable light with video clips of the most unattractive scenes of oil refineries, smokes stacks , and industry surrounding the Newark Airport region.

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New Jersey Golf Tradition And Influence Dates Back To The End Of The 19th Century

New Jersey's place in golf history and its influence on the sport goes back to 1899 the term "birdie" was first coined at the Atlantic City Country Club, one of the nation's oldest and most prestigious golf clubs. The Atlantic City Country Club also hosted six USGA championships.

Tradition and preservation of the past is still in existence at the Atlantic City Country Club. The original 1897 clubhouse is built in as part of the current clubhouse. They have a bell that rings at the end of the day to a tradition that began in the 1900s that would alert golfers that the last trolley of the day was about to depart for Atlantic City.

Home of the USGA Headquarters, The Museum, and The Research and Test Center

New Jersey is also the home of the USGA headquarters and The USGA Museum in Far Hills, NJ. The museum is the oldest sports museum in the country, having opened in January 1936, a year before the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY. The museum houses the nation's largest collection of golf memorabilia and artifacts documenting the game's greatest moments. It has an impressive display of multi-media and interactive exhibits telling the story of the game's development in the United States.

IUSGA Museumn 2008, the Museum completed an expansion with the addition of the Arnold Palmer Center for Golf History. The center features galleries, a research room, and state of the art storage areas for the museum's library volumes, photographs , and film.

Also located on the site of the museum is the USGA's Research and Test Center. The center undergoes research and testing of golf equipment and golf balls to ensure that skill and not technology remains as the main factor in determining a player's results of the game.

New Jersey Has Some of the Nations Best Golf Courses

If all of this has not yet convinced you of New Jersey's role in golf, here is some more trivia:

New jersey, one of the smallest states in the nation has over 360 private and public courses (source: ) with a diversity of terrain from hills in the northern part of the state to more open courses near the ocean.

Pine Valley Golf CoursePine Valley in Clementon, NJ consistently ranks as one of the top golf courses in the U.S. In 2011, Golf Magazine's panel of experts rated Pine Valley as the #1 course in the United States, ahead of the famed Augusta National (at # 3), and Pebble Beach (at #5 ).

According to USGA, New Jersey has hosted the fifth most USGA Championships after Pennsylvania, California, New York ,and Illinois. The Baltusrol Golf Club in Springfield, NJ has hosted the second most US Open championships with seven, just one less than #1Oakmount Country Club in PA with eight.


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