Golf Digest is out with its annual ranking of all the golf courses in the country, and, sitting atop the list (again) is a New Jersey course.

Once again, Pine Valley Golf Club in Pine Valley was named the best in the country (it has been #1 many times, including every year since 2017).

The ultra-exclusive — and some would say, secretive — golf club has an unknown number of members.( estimates it to be around 700) and all members have to be invited to join by a current member and then undergo a vigorous vetting process.

You have to be connected to play the course as visitors are only allowed to play with a member. Their membership is said to include former presidents, titans of industry, celebrities and other equally connected people.

Only members are allowed to buy houses adjacent to the course. The private club only started admitting women in 2021.

Golf Digest says about the course:

A genuine original, its unique character is forged from the sandy pine barrens of southwest Jersey. Founder George Crump had help from now-legendary architects H.S. Colt, A.W. Tillinghast, George C. Thomas Jr. and Walter Travis. Hugh Wilson (of Merion fame) and his brother Alan finished the job, and William Flynn and Perry Maxwell made revisions. Throughout the course, Pine Valley blends all three schools of golf design—penal, heroic and strategic—often times on a single hole.

Their methodology includes:

1,800 panelists submitting more than 85,000 evaluations over our 10-year scoring criteria. Our experts play and evaluate candidate courses on six criteria, each on a scale of 1 to 10: Shot Options, Challenge, Layout Variety, Aesthetics, Conditioning and Character.

The Camden County course is about 20 miles from Philly.

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