NFL football and golf: A look at the courses of the NFC East

Fall, of course, is for football. But it's also terrific for golf. The leaves start to change, the weather cools and the courses generally often look their best. Of course, if you're not a big football fan, game time is often the best time to play.

Okay, but if you are a fan, and if your team is playing the early game on Sunday, schedule an early round, and follow the round with a couple of cold ones in the clubhouse and watch the game.

Of course the ultimate would be following your favorite team to away markets and taking your golf clubs. So with that in mind, we've broken down the NFL by divisions. Here's a look at the NFC East and where our readers are recommending that you play:

New York Giants

Top rated on Golf Advisor: Like the Jets, the Giants don't actually play in New York City, but on the other side of the Hudson River in East Rutherford, N.J. And while there are plenty of incredible old private clubs in the New York area, there are some good public and resort courses not too far away as well. Some of the highest-rated golf by Golf Advisor readers, however, is about 42 miles northwest of the stadium in Hamburg, N.J., where you'll find Crystal Springs Resort. The resort, which has courses designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr., George Fazio, Robert von Hagge and Roger Rulewich, has six tracks, including the Ballyowen Course (Rulewich), which rates well above four stars. A little closer to the stadium are a few shorter courses that rate four stars or better -- Pinch Brook Golf Course in Florham Park, N.J., Kissena Park, a 1934 John Van Kleek design in Flushing, N.Y., and the new nine-hole Skyway Golf Course at Lincoln Park West in Jersey City, N.J.

Close to MetLife Stadium: Hendricks Field Golf Course in Belleville, N.J., is just seven miles from the stadium and rated four stars by Golf Advisor readers. This 6,200-yard, par-70 course is a 1929 Tom Bendelow design with wide fairways and good conditioning, and it's part of the Essex County Parks Department, which has two other courses nearby -- Francis Byrne Golf Course in West Orange, N.J., and Weequahic Park Golf Course in Newark, N.J.

Philadelphia Eagles

Top rated on Golf Advisor: Appropriately enough, Ron Jaworski's Riverwinds Golf & Tennis Club in West Deptford, N.J., about 13 miles from where the Eagles play, is rated four stars and is a very popular choice among daily-fee players in the Philadelphia area. Jaworski, of course, was a Super Bowl quarterback for the Eagles, but now manages several golf courses in the area, including Riverwinds, a par 72 that plays almost 7,200 yards. Riverwinds is just the beginning of good public golf in the Philly area. Woodcrest Country Club in Cherry Hill, N.J., now a semiprivate facility, is just 10 miles from the stadium. It's a 1929 William Flynn design that garnered more than four stars. Trump National Golf Club - Philadelphia, a pricey Tom Fazio course open to the public, is 15 miles east in Pine Hill, N.J. A little farther out to the northwest in Montgomery County is Jeffersonville Golf Club, a 6,400-yard, par-71 course designed by Donald Ross and restored in 2001. Glen Mills, a terrific Bobby Weed design, is about 20 miles west. And south of Philadelphia in Avondale, Pa., you'll find an early work from Gil Hanse, Inniscrone Golf Club, one of the prettiest courses in the area.

Close to Lincoln Financial Field: Roosevelt Golf Course is literally within walking distance of the Eagles' training facility next to the stadium. It won't remind you of Merion, but it's playable, available and a good place to knock it around.

Dallas Cowboys

Top rated on Golf Advisor: If you're in Arlington for a Cowboys game, be sure to bring your sticks because there's no shortage of highly rated courses. If you're a Cowboys fan -- and even if you're not -- you might want to hit Cowboys Golf Club in Grapevine, just north of the stadium. This football-themed Jeffrey Brauer design is not only a great track, but also features all sorts of Dallas Cowboys memorabilia. Next door is one of the best municipals in the area, the 27 holes at Grapevine Golf Course (with holes designed by Byron Nelson). And there are at least two more municipals you'll want to check out in the area -- Texas Star in Euless and Arlington's best, the Gary Panks-designed Tierra Verde. Other highly rated courses in the area include the 27-hole Prairie Lakes Golf Course, Riverside Golf Club and Grand Oaks Golf Club in Grand Prairie, Mansfield National and the two courses at the Four Seasons Resort, which include the TPC Course, home of the PGA Tour's AT&T Byron Nelson.

Close to AT&T Stadium: Just north of the stadium is another excellent municipal course in Arlington, Chester W. Ditto Golf Course. Despite plans to renovate in the next couple years, it still rates four-plus stars on Golf Advisor. Or if you're looking for a quick nine, Meadowbrook Park Golf Course, which opened in 1924 and is just west of the stadium, is a challenging par 33 that measures 3,353 yards from the tips.

Washington Redskins

Top rated on Golf Advisor: A few miles northwest of the stadium is the University of Maryland Golf Course, a 1955 George Cobb design that was renovated by Bill Love in 2008. East of the stadium in Upper Marlboro, Md. is the more modern Lake Presidential Golf Club, a Jeff Potts design with plenty of unique holes. Or if you head out a little farther northwest of the University of Maryland in Wheaton, Md., there's Northwest Park Golf Course, which is one of nine courses in the Montgomery County Golf system. Designed by Ault & Clark in 1964, the championship 18 stretches to more than 7,000 yards and is the longest course in Montgomery County. Northwest also offers a nice full-length, nine-hole course.

Close to FedEx Field: The Redskins play in Landover, Md., which is just east of Washington D.C. About 12 miles east in Davidsonville, Md., is Renditions Golf Club, a par 72 that plays nearly 6,800 yards from the tips. But what really makes it unique is that it's a tribute course with holes resembling those on Amen Corner, Oakmont and the island hole on the PLAYERS Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass, just to name a few.

Mike Bailey is a former Golf Advisor senior staff writer based in Houston. Focusing primarily on golf in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean and Latin America with an occasional trip to Europe and beyond, he contributes course reviews, travel stories and features as well as the occasional equipment review. An award-winning writer and past president of Texas Golf Writers Association, he has more than 25 years in the golf industry. He has also been on staff at PGA Magazine, The Golfweek Group and AvidGolfer Magazine. Follow Mike on Twitter at @MikeBaileyGA and Instagram at @MikeStefanBailey.

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Jason Scott Deegan has reviewed and photographed more than 1,000 courses and written about golf destinations in 20 countries for some of the industry's biggest publications. His work has been honored by the Golf Writer's Association of America and the Michigan Press Association. Follow him on Instagram at @jasondeegangolfpass and Twitter at @WorldGolfer.
Here's a look at where our readers recommend you play if you are heading to an NFL game this fall at the home of an AFC South team.
Fall, of course, is for football. But if your team is playing the early game on Sunday -- schedule a morning round and watch the game. Here's a look at the AFC East and where Golf Advisor readers recommend you play.
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NFL football and golf: A look at the courses of the NFC East