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Private clubs in central NJ/Princeton area?


jafino
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I've been in search of a private club within a half hour drive of the Princeton, NJ area/northern Mercer county.

I've got a family of four - two middle school age boys, my wife and me - and we all like to play fairly frequently, even if we don't always play 18. Public options at weekend rates end up being rather costly for four (a weekend round for four at a public near me can cost $200 - $300 or more), especially considering my wife and younger son often like to peel off after 9 holes and we'd still have to pay the rate for a full 18. We'd also probably join a pool if we didn't have access at a club, and that's an additional expense.

The public courses near us tend to be crowded, and that is not great for family golf, which can be slower at times as the kids learn. Besides, we like the additional amenities that a private club has to offer, such as a pool, clubhouse, practice facilities, etc. I've also found golf at private clubs to be more laid back and friendly, whereas public courses can be stressful - especially with kids. It is nice to stop by during the week for a little practice and a couple holes when time allows. Private clubs also offer ancillary benefits like networking, social events, junior programs for the kids, etc.

The clubs I've looked into tend to be around $1,000 per month, not counting any initiation fees (I don't know about Bedens Brook). I'd love to find something a little more budget friendly. Would prefer to be local enough (30-40 minute drive at most), and laid back/family friendly. Any insight on clubs in the area would be great - Trenton, Bedens Brook, Cobblestone, Copper Hill, Cherry Valley - as well as others not mentioned. I've seen similar requests in this forum, but none for this particular area.

 

 

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I do not know too much about Bedens Brook. I reached out in the past and you need to know a member to get the information, so I am going to assume it is on the higher side.

I have played Trenton (former member), Cobblestone and Copper Hill. All are nice courses, but I would choose Copper Hill out of all 3.

It has been some time since I played, but the dues I remember beings reasonable and you can walk the course at any time and if you want, take a pull cart. The course was in excellent shape. They also have a pool. I think there highest dues were like $6,500 for the year, not counting food/carts.

I enjoyed Trenton. I think the dues are high for what you get. The course is nice, but it is rather short. However, the clubhouse and pool facilities are excellent. You can walk the course on your own I believe after 12. If you want to walk beforehand, you need a caddy. Full membership I think is around $1,000 a month, not counting food, carts, caddies, etc.

Cobblestone is under new ownership. The course is nice and challenging. I played there this year in a NJ Amatuer qualifier. The back is more challenging. The mens locker room needs an upgrade.

Never beento Cherry Valley. I would check out Springdale at Princeton's campus. Nice layout. Again, can walk the course at anytime, but there is no pool and the clubhouse is rather small.

I hope this helps.

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Bedens Brook is more expensive, but in a completely different tier than the other clubs mentioned.

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I haven't played there in probably 10 years, but Yardley CC might be in your distance range. However, IIRC, no pool, and the clubhouse is pretty small/basic. Just something to investigate. I would have to imagine the dues would be cheaper than other clubs with more amenities/bigger clubhouses to pay for.

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Thanks all. I'll be sure to give Cobblestone and Copper Hill a look. Old York is about 40 minutes from my house, and that's a bit more than I'd want to travel - ideally.

I've looked at Yardley, and its dues are cheaper - but no pool. That is pretty much a deal breaker considering how much my wife and kids would use it during the summer when they're all off.

There are good public options nearby, including Neshanic, and we can always join a separate pool for the summer. If we go that route, one of the biggest things I'll miss is easy access to play a few holes here and there, practice facilities, and that "club" feeling.

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