Montclair Golf Club
A few years back I managed to sneak in a round at the Montclair Country Club in New Jersey. This course is private, but hosted an outing for Saint Jude. It is too bad I don’t think I will ever get to go and play a regular round there. It ended up taking me 3 ½ hours to get there, but it was worth the drive.
I don’t know how regular New Jersey courses are, but I drove up, and my 1st thought was ‘Wow’. They have 4 nines, I don’t recall which 2 we played. It was best ball, so it is hard to judge how I played. I remember hitting fairly well, but I wasn’t the biggest hitter.
I don’t know if this is a regular thing there, but it is the only outing I ever had a caddy at. He kept track of our balls, or I would have lost a bunch. He also knew the greens, so it was my best putting day. We doubted him on the 1st hole, so he had 1 of us try our line, we weren’t even close. Then we tried his line, right in. We didn’t question him again.
The course was pretty open, I didn’t have a lot of issues with trees. I hit a few bunkers, but since it was a scrambles, I didn’t have to hit out of them. This was my 1st scrambles tournament, so it felt like I was cheating. I’ve grown to enjoy best ball, even with friends, once I got used to it. There were a lot of elevated tee boxes, and the 4 of us managed 350 yard drives. Score wise, I think we were bogey golf, we didn’t bring a ringer. Usually when I golf, some holes are just kind of meh looking out from the tee box. Not here, every hole was picturesque. They had us playing off the tips, but I’d have preferred the whites.
This was a huge outing, with a lot of ‘big money’. I’ve been to other outings; the comparisons would be a 5 star restaurant vs McDonalds. I only managed to get in because someone else had to cancel. I was iffy on going at 1st, just because of the trek to get there, but it was worth it. Of all the private courses I’ve managed to get on, this is the one I’d call the membership fee worth it, and I have no idea of how much it is.
On a funny note, I always get lost coming home from New Jersey. I have family there, so I end up there a lot. I think they hide the Garden State Parkway and Jersey Turnpike. But there is a gas station 20 minutes from the George Washington bridge. When I stopped for directions, the attendant looked at me walking in and before I could say a word ‘You got lost again?’
By Sebastian Wyczawski