Golf resort in the New York City area? Crystal Springs is a rare commodity

Ballyowen’s design offers a taste of Ireland in New Jersey.

Courtesy Crystal Springs

I came to New York for Broadway, the Empire State Building, the Museum of Modern Art, and dumpling soup in Chinatown. If you come to play golf, are you… trying to get valuable tee time at Bethpage Black? Scan your phone contacts for members in Winged Foot?

The city that never sleeps can be a stressful place for publicly available golfers, and this is from someone who has called the place home for more than a decade. Traffic is a bear, courses are crowded. Other parts of the country have plenty of stays at top resorts. Out West, Bandon Dunes and Pebble Beach; Pinehurst and Sea Pines in the southeast; Streamsong in Florida, and so on. Less so, a no-brainer in the Northeast and especially the New York City area—because Crystal Springs Resort in northern New Jersey, just 50 miles from MoMA and nestled among the beautiful Kittatinny Mountains, is overlooked. should not be.

I recently visited my wife, teenage son, dad, mom and sister-in-law. No, this was not a creative piece of criminal judgment by the judge. We are progressing well. But when we tried to think of a driving destination where we’d all have enough things to keep us happy, we were baffled — until a friend suggested Crystal Springs (where over 90 percent of guests are from a variety of cars). Slap his forehead: Of course! I had been to the place a decade ago with my wife Lauren and my son Ike and my stay was fun, but somehow it fell off the radar.

Water hazard you won’t mind finding it.

Courtesy Crystal Springs

We arrived in the morning – my family and relatives, Herb and Adrian, from the Hudson Valley, my sister-in-law Dennis from the fashion-lovers district of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, all in about 90 minutes. very easy. The women are crafty, so their first stop is the Paint and-Plant activity, each one decorating a planter, a bounty of the resort’s activities, led by energetic and friendly young staff, to keep people as busy as they wish. . (Later, the two sisters were competing in shooting, and for the sake of family harmony, I’d avoid pointing out the winner.) Herb made himself happy to ride a bike and, afterwards, stroll along a stretch of Appalachian Trail.

Along the same lines, Ike and I headed to the resort’s 9-hole Cascades course – no putters. Instead, we checked out a pair of soccer balls and started on a round of hybrid soccer/golf. We apologize for the paternal bragging, but years ago, Ike was the first U-10 New York State FootGolf champ, edging out on a stacked field of four. After he quit football for a while, however, kicking the ball has also fallen off the radar.

Kick and chase, kick and chase.

Evan Rothman

Our play was more chaotic than Messi’s, but we had a blast. Kick, chase, kick, chase – what a happy break from squeezing over 4 feet with a racket! One measure of a resort stay, in my view, is how much you can turn back the clock in your life, and Crystal Springs has succeeded on that front, in many ways. Later, Ike was cooling off in a tropical biosphere pool, taking several rides on his two-story, serpentine waterslide, replacing all traces of a sulky teenager with a mile-wide grin, chatting on the stairs to the top with young children and swelling them alike. Yes, we all had some gelato from Biosphere Café when it was over, and it was delicious.

This proved to be a theme throughout our three day visit: great food and drink offerings throughout Crystal Springs. This starts at the high end of things, as upscale Latour consistently ranks as one of the state’s best, and perhaps the best. I’m not a person to photograph my meals, however I couldn’t help but take a shot of each course. This is food as art, and best of all, it all tastes as outrageously good as it sounds.

By the way, the name “Lator” does not come out of nowhere. according to wine spectatorCrystal Springs has long been proud of North America – not New Jersey, North Amarica Best selection of wine, currently 75,000 strong bottles (downsized from over 125,000 at one time) yet still somewhat longer in quality than quantity. There are definitely a few better places to do blasting, bucket list, and the no-price meal; If you’re a wine aficionado, add wine blends, instructed by sommelier Gianni Chiodi Sr. from Palermo, Italy, to the chef’s tasting menu for a… not very much expertise. (And take one of the day tours of the wine cellar, too.)

Cave wine cellar.

Courtesy Crystal Springs

Then there was the police buffet – stay with me here. The night of our arrival coincided with the opening of the resort’s fifth annual Act, a day-long fundraising event that brings together police from across the Tri-State for a friendly competition as a thank you from the resort’s owners to the men and women in Blue. Kelsey Grammar, of “Cheers” and “Frasier” fame, brought his fame, gentle voice, and range of local craft beers to the event. However, the stars of the show were the drummers who played “Amazing Grace” and “Balmoral” as the top four two-man teams were welcomed back to the 18th green after the aforementioned post-golf buffet at Ireland-in-Jersey Ballyowen Track – This, and the sinister but gentle harassment the teams, which were about to embark on a playoff, suffered from their defeated comrades. (This event is only for law enforcement officials, but those who want to play alongside them can participate in an as-yet-named inaugural event on October 12.)

While this was a drive-through back in the day, Crystal Springs—the largest golf, spa, and culinary resort in the Northeast (and the largest solar-powered resort west of the Mississippi)—is all about off-site meetings, with 100,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor meeting and banqueting spaces. And a great and veteran team of concierges, restaurants, AVs and conference services beat the band. (They can also find you a band.) With two distinct hotels (one mountain and one valley) with all kinds of guest rooms and suites; 2 days of spas (including Reflections, where message worked, my formerly stressed wife happily informed me, again allowing her head to rotate 180 degrees); three club and pool pools (including hopping, jersey vibes in the Vista 180 infinity pool); 10 restaurants, a fitness club, a mountain lake, a nature center, there is really no type of gathering that you cannot succeed in here.

Me, I needed a little more team building with my 14-year-old son, and that ultimately means golf with putters. Of the resort’s six championship courses, Ballyowen takes first place (as are many of the country’s publicly accessible rankings), followed by Wild Turkey. Both were designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr. assistant Roger Roliwich, the first in 1998, the second three years later.

Ballyowen predated Instagram, but today it’s pretty much an Instagram course, with countless glorified photo opportunities. Oh, heather in the sunlight. Not surprisingly, they look more like links than they run; It’s not a firm and fast floor, and the aerobics you’re used to at home is in effect. The Links Pattern is fine for me, as long as the desert lands aspects work, and they are. Likewise, you’ll ride in a wagon, not walk, because there are quite a few transitions between holes. The modern setting of the earth’s minimalism is not.

Ballowen predates the Instagram app, but today it’s an Instagram course.

What is Ballyowen, is a strong, beautiful, often heroic golfer, very well presented and maintained. Pure golf too with no house in sight. Based on a single sample, the back nine are more repayable and diverse in terms of reimbursement requirements. In short, Ballyowen is a powerful and fun test no matter how well you perform in this test.

The Wild Turkey course is somewhat of a turducken, the popular turkey/duck/chicken mix. Treeless holes in its basin area, no. 3 and 12-17, it smells like Ballowen and you’ll be sitting comfortably there. (It’s also not walkable.) Elsewhere, the design honors the resort’s first eponymous course (like Crystal Springs), with several big elevation changes.

There’s plenty of eye candy here too, the most famous and photographically being the equally extended seventh hole (which beats the wild shot by a single shot at number 10), but perhaps the most elegant and elegant hole on the field would be the sixth, which is an almost impenetrable car. To drive perfectly, a par-4 handsome with a drooping tree makes the left-hand pins inaccessible to the far left. Like hybrid clubs, this hybrid course has proven to be very effective in its function, in which case it offers a winning combination of challenge, playability and beauty.

The seventh machine in Wild Turkey.

Courtesy Crystal Springs

However, Ike’s favorite course was treated hours later – after sunset, as it happens. Crystal Springs features one of the country’s oldest (and best landscaped) 18-hole all-grass courses, something that is now almost strictness In the best resorts. It’s a lot of fun during the day, no doubt…but at night you play “Glow Golf” with lighted balls and flag sticks? Now we have a total shout out because what doesn’t light up is green. It’s like the golf version of a pin tail on an ass.

Last night the whole family was there after sunset, turning away, laughing as the balls rolled around without warning, cheering as one veered miraculously toward the pit, and at once, even a pit in one. (Ike, of course.) Remember that thing about successful vacations that take you back in time? A lucky teenager surrounded by parents, aunts and grandparents, all of you ohing And the Ahhh On a silly game – Crystal Springs worked its magic. We will never forget again.

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Former Executive Editor at golf magazineRothman is now self-employed remotely. His primary role is centered around custom publishing, which entails writing, editing and obtaining client approval for travel advertising sections. Since 2016, he has also written, under a pseudonym, the popular monthly “Rules Guy” column, often worrying the recurring “How It Works” page. Rothman’s independent work for both GOLF and runs the gamut from equipment, education, travel, and feature writing, to editing major tournament previews and service packages.

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