Blue Heron Pines Golf Club on the New Jersey Shore: The gem in Ron Jaworski's golf empire

COLOGNE, N.J. -- Blue Heron Pines Golf Club might be the best of Ron Jaworski's budding four-course golf empire.

Jaworski, a former NFL quarterback and current TV football analyst, bought the 6,810-yard course in 2012. His commitment to excellent conditions and fast greens has re-energized this Jersey Shore favorite.

Blue Heron Pines' West Course opened in 1993 just 15 miles inland from Atlantic City, setting off a high-end golf boom that over-saturated the market with "country-club-for-a-day" public golf courses. A strong Steve Smyers design called the East Course was added in 2000 to complement the original Stephen Kay design before eventually closing for redevelopment in 2007.

Kay, who lives along his design, did a masterful job building a compelling layout that eases players into and out of the round. The shortest par 4 on the course, the 315-yard first hole, allows the chance to score right away. The easiest par 5, the 530-yard 18th hole, sends them home with a smile. Six ponds impact more than half the holes in between, none more forcefully than the 15th hole, a no. 1 handicap that stretches to 421 yards.

Kay's more forgiving front nine turns up the volume starting at no. 10, where a trio of bunkers and a pond guard the front of the green. The 130-yard tee shot of the 11th hole wouldn't be so difficult if that same pond didn't wrap around such a shallow green.

All in all, this Jaworski gem is a quarterback's keeper.

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.

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Blue Heron Pines Golf Club, located 15 miles from downtown Atlantic City, is experiencing a rebirth of sorts under the new ownership of Ron Jaworski, the former NFL quarterback turned TV analyst who bought the facility in 2012. Jaworski gobbled up the 6,810-yard course to create a perfect Jersey shore golf getaway. It's a rock-solid round of golf that won't disappoint, Jason Scott Deegan writes.
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Blue Heron Pines Golf Club on the New Jersey Shore: The gem in Ron Jaworski's golf empire