Miss America, Atlantic City and golf - what a combination in New Jersey
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. – I’ve already met a former Miss America. And played golf on a sand-laced course that looked like the famous Pine Valley Golf Club. And devoured a juicy filet from the Old Homestead Steakhouse, a world-class restaurant in the Borgata Casino, the hottest of the area’s 13 casinos.
What a memorable first 24 hours in Atlantic City and to think, I haven’t even dropped a coin into a single slot yet.
Atlantic City – like Las Vegas – and its casinos took a hit during the recession, but the entire destination appears to be on the rebound. Boxing is attempting a comeback. Performers who haven’t come to town in years are booking shows.
Best of all, the Miss America pageant returned on Sunday night after six years in Sin City to crown Miss New York Nina Davuluri the winner. The day after the event, I teed it up with Kylene Barker-McNeill, Miss America 1979, at McCullough’s Emerald Golf Links in Egg Harbor Township just minutes from the boardwalk along the shore. Barker-McNeill (pictured above) can play.
Golf surrounding Atlantic City has always been good. It’s just never been marketed properly. If you look at the 2013 rankings from Golfweek, five local layouts are considered among the top 10 public courses in the state: No. 1, Atlantic City Country Club in Northfield; No. 3 Twisted Dune Golf Club in Egg Harbor Township; No. 7 Shore Gate Golf Club in Ocean View; No. 9, the Bay Course at Seaview Resort & Spa in Galloway and No. 10 Ballamor Golf Club in Egg Harbor Township.
I played Shore Gate (pictured below) this afternoon in preparation for 36 holes tomorrow at Atlantic City CC and the Bay course at Seaview, the host of the ShopRite LPGA Classic of the LPGA TOUR. The country club is a historic place where the term “birdie” was invented. I hope to sink a few, too.
Finding all these places to play requires some driving, but for a long weekend buddies trip, this might be the best golf/entertainment destination on the East Coast north of Myrtle Beach, S.C. Why not take a gamble on the ‘AC’ for your next golf vacation? I’m pretty confident you’ll be glad you did.
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