Carved out of 420 acres of rolling farmland in Somerset County, N.J., Neshanic Valley features 27 holes of golf designed by the team of Dr. Michael Hurdzan and Dana Fry. The three championship nine-hole layouts – The Lake, The Ridge and The Meadow, plus the nine-hole, par-32 Academy Course and Learning Center – encompass 350 acres, with 70 additional acres designated for future park usage. During course construction, the design team preserved existing land features and took advantage of the existing topography.
The Meadow and Lake nines will be utilized for the Women’s Amateur Public Links Championship. Neshanic Valley is a links-style layout featuring an ample amount of fescue and other native grasses, plus environmentally sensitive wetland areas that come into play throughout the three nines.
Neshanic Valley is the flagship facility of the five-course Somerset County Park Commission system.
The course also has been recognized by the state of New Jersey for its environmentally friendly maintenance program.
Certified in 2009 as an Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary, Neshanic Valley is one of only two courses in the Garden State to be cited as River Friendly by the New Jersey Water Supply Authority. And the past couple of years, the course has been formally recognized for Environmental Stewardship by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.
Neshanic also prides itself on being a wildlife sanctuary. Bluebird boxes can be spotted throughout the venue. It’s not uncommon to see deer or fox strolling the fairways or seeing a swallow or purple martin soaring above the rolling topography. All the holding ponds have been stocked with bass and grass carp, but fishing is prohibited.
Park rangers have also assisted prospective Eagle Scouts with wildlife projects at the facility. One individual built 15 bluebird boxes in 2009. In 2008, another person constructed wood duck boxes and placed them all along the river. There are also five purple martin boxes and bat houses that the staff created.
While this is the first USGA championship for the golf course, Neshanic Valley has previously hosted sectional qualifying for the U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links, the U.S. Amateur Public Links and the U.S. Women’s Open.