Great Gorge C.C. - Railside golf course - hole 6
0 of 8
Great Gorge C.C. - Railside golf course - hole 6
There's a great view from the sixth tee on the Railside golf course at Great Gorge Country Club at Crystal Springs Golf Resort in McAfee, N.J. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Great Gorge C.C. - Railside golf course - hole 3
1 of 8
Great Gorge C.C. - Railside golf course - hole 3
Remnants of a railroad line sit next to the third green on the Railside nine of Great Gorge Country Club at Crystal Springs Golf Resort. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Great Gorge C.C. - Railside golf course - hole 8
2 of 8
Great Gorge C.C. - Railside golf course - hole 8
Waters comes into play on the eighth hole on the Railside nine at Great Gorge Country Club at Crystal Springs Golf Resort in McAfee, N.J. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Great Gorge C.C. - Railside golf course - hole 9
3 of 8
Great Gorge C.C. - Railside golf course - hole 9
An elevated green ends the Railside golf course at Great Gorge Country Club at Crystal Springs Golf Resort in McAfee, N.J. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Great Gorge C.C. - Lakeside golf course - hole 1
4 of 8
Great Gorge C.C. - Lakeside golf course - hole 1
The elevated first tee on the Lakeside nine at Great Gorge Country Club provides splendid views. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Great Gorge C.C. - Lakeside golf course - hole 2
5 of 8
Great Gorge C.C. - Lakeside golf course - hole 2
The second hole on the Lakeside golf course might be the toughest par 4 at Great Gorge Country Club at Crystal Springs Golf Resort in McAfee, N.J. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Great Gorge C.C. - Railside golf course - hole 7
6 of 8
Great Gorge C.C. - Railside golf course - hole 7
A tree guards the uphill par-4 seventh hole on the Railside nine at Great Gorge Country Club at Crystal Springs Golf Resort in McAfee, N.J. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Great Gorge C.C. - Lakeside golf course - hole 8
7 of 8
Great Gorge C.C. - Lakeside golf course - hole 8
The eighth hole plays across a valley on the Lakeside Course at Great Gorge Country Club at Crystal Springs Golf Resort in McAfee, N.J. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
8 Images

Play groovy golf at Great Gorge Country Club in McAfee

McAFEE, N.J. -- Great Gorge Country Club won't win anyone over with first impressions. The drive into the 27-hole course winds by the former 650-room Great Gorge Playboy Club. The building, parking lot and tennis courts show obvious signs of neglect.

The golf club, however, has rallied since coming under the management of Crystal Springs Golf Resort in 2004. The club has embraced its heritage with a retro-themed clubhouse, decorated by psychedelic wallpaper, shag carpet, a disco ball and pinball machine. The staff wears loud 1970s-style plaid pants to greet golfers.

This throwback theme continues to be well received, especially for outing business. It's groovy, man, even if course conditions can be spotty. However, there's no questioning the routing by George Fazio through a peaceful natural setting.

During my visit, I saw plenty of wildlife -- a bear, deer, fox and a muskrat (sorry, the Playboy bunnies are long gone). The grand elevated tee shots on the first and fifth holes of the Railside nine and the first tee of the Lakeside nine make the round memorable. Concrete pillars reminiscent of an old railroad line -- they look like a mini-Stonehenge -- sit next to the third green on Great Gorge Country Club's Railside nine. The Quarryside nine is arguably the toughest, playing through rock outcroppings.

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.
Related Links
Many of the best holes at the Wild Turkey Golf Club at Crystal Springs Golf Resort sit in a bowl of land well below the luxurious Grand Cascades Lodge. Architect Roger Rulewich did a great job of taming a unique site with some nice heave and roll to it. It's an open, expansive setting that is both scenic and strategic.
9 Images
Ballyowen Golf Club, which ranks second among New Jersey's top public courses, is the headliner of the seven courses at the Crystal Springs Golf Resort in Hamburg. The links theme might feel a bit manufactured for purists, but there's no doubting its pure excellence.
8 Images
Latest Popular Content
5 Min Read
March 10, 2022
The great Indianan left an unmatched legacy in the form of several architects who have created scores of great courses.
5 Min Read
February 28, 2022
This women's developmental tour features plenty of top courses that will fit your game (and budget) better than PGA Tour venues.
2 Min Read
March 7, 2022
A new travel series, available on GolfPass, features hosts Paul McGinley and Chris Hollins playing the best golf holes on the Emerald Isle.
4 Min Read
February 28, 2022
A young player architect, a baby llama, new lodging in the Midwest and more highlight this month's column.
Play a round of championship golf at Atunyote, Shenendoah and Kaluhyat — named Golfers’ Choice 2022: Best Golf Courses in NY and two nights lodging.
5 Min Read
February 25, 2022
The new launch monitor created for Tiger Woods is meant for pros and amateurs alike.
1 Min Read
February 24, 2022
Want Rory McIlroy to help you with your golf game? All you have to do is ask.
Load More
Now Reading
Play groovy golf at Great Gorge Country Club in McAfee