Bucks County has a wealth of fine golf challenges, but every once in a while we take to the road to sample other venues.
Last month was one of those months. A time when circumstances meant being on the road, and that means playing other golf courses.
It had been years since sampling McCullough's Emerald Links in Egg Harbor, N.J. Maybe as long as 10 years. It won't be that long to visit again.
The Stephen Kay design has matured into a fine municipal course, one that has the feel of, well, the Emerald Isle. While not a replica course, many of the holes are pattered after great courses of Ireland, England and Scotland.
Built on a landfill, McCullough's is a fun, challenging layout. Tees range from nearly 6,600 yards from the tips down to 5,244 from the sporty senior tees. The women's tees are at 4,462. Yet the undulating greens, fescue lined fairways, and strategis Kay style bunkering present a challenge from all tee boxes and for all levels of player.
A favorite is the 17th hole, pattered after number 11 at the Waterville Golf Links in Ireland, brought back memories of a trip over the pond. A short par five, it requires thought and positioning to ensure one evades mounds and bunkers.
One of the challenges of the course - which other than two holes is basically treeless, is the dastardly winds which blanket the layout. Those winds can, on a "calm" day, still require a one club change in expected distance. Beware!
McCullough's Emerald Links is a true fun, challenging test, and worth the drive.
It's a must play course when you are down the shore...