Crystal Springs Golf Resort's Ballyowen Golf Club cracked New Jersey's Top 10.
1 Wild Turkey Way, Hamburg, New Jersey 07419, US
(973) 862-4351
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About Crystal Springs Resort

Crystal Springs Resort is a 4,000-acre playground located only an hour across the New Jersey state line from New York City. It is one of the country’s largest golf resorts with six courses - Ballyowen, Black Bear, Cascades, Crystal Springs, Minerals and Wild Turkey – and three driving ranges. The Grand Cascades Lodge houses 220 guest rooms with an inspired welcome: An outdoor putting course leading to an indoor lobby with high ceilings, wood beams and a stone fireplace. Both it and the 175-room Minerals Hotel feature their own spas and pools. Children will love the Biosphere, an indoor pool complex with an aquarium, vortex pool and caves, 140-foot waterslide and café, all in a tropical theme. Twelve restaurants are spread out among the course clubhouses and hotels, delivering a variety of menus and price points. Between the Mineral Sports Club and Adventure Center, there’s always a new activity or program to enjoy.

Facts

Price Range$$$$, $$$
Property Class★★★★
Acres4000
Year Opened1972
Number of Units300-500

Amenities

RestaurantsFine, Bar, Casual
Room TypesRoom, Suite
PoolIndoor
Short CourseYes
TennisYes
Fitness CenterYes
Practice FacilityYes
Beach AccessYes
Golf School/AcademyYes
Banquet SpaceYes
SpaYes

Services

Room ServiceYes
ConciergeYes

Rules

Is the resort pet friendly?No
Is resort stay required for a tee time?No

Golf courses at Crystal Springs Resort

Images from Crystal Springs Resort

Reviews

3.9
926 Reviews (926)
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Overall Rating
Recommended
Handicap
Age
Type of Golfer
Gender
Played On
Reviews 1
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
4.0
Verified Purchaser
Previously Played

Cascades

All in all the staff was very friendly.. the course wasn't pretty good shape although a few of the greens and approach shots were just a mess. It's unfortunate that the players don't replace David and fix big divots

Conditions Good
Value Good
Layout Good
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Good
Played On
Reviews 1
Handicap 0-4
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
1.0
First Time Playing
Hot weather
Used cart

Stupidest design I have ever played

I don't mind a hard golf course ; but this one is just a stupid layout. The dude that cut the pins today was a sadist!

Conditions Average
Value Poor
Layout Poor
Friendliness Average
Pace Fair
Amenities Good
Difficulty Extremely Challenging
Played On
Reviews 7
Skill Beginner
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Verified Purchaser
Previously Played
Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Good
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Fair
Played On
Reviews 14
Skill Intermediate
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Verified Purchaser
Previously Played
Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
Played On
Reviews 7
Skill Beginner
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
4.0
Verified Purchaser
First Time Playing

No signs on course

Loved the course as I am a starter and allows me to be aggressive and not fear losing balls. Lots of bunkers but it sure beats water lol. Only wish there were some markings either at the holes or on the pathways

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Average
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Good
Amenities Average
Played On
Reviews 7
Handicap Don't know
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
2.0
Verified Purchaser
Previously Played
Hot weather
Used cart
Conditions Fair
Value Average
Layout Average
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Good
Amenities Fair
Difficulty Moderate
Played On
Reviews 3
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
3.0
Previously Played

Pricey for the condition

Practice round for up coming tournament, they should be ashamed for charging so much when the bunkers should all be marked ground under repair. Bunkers where hard at rock, had rocks the size of baseballs in some. Women's tee boxes were pretty beat up. The value for the money is not there. I won't even go into the 12 dollar hotdogs at the halfway house, even though the lunch board on the 8th says 7 bucks. Cant recommend it, you can play a lot of golf at other places for the cost of a day here.

Conditions Average
Value Average
Layout Good
Friendliness Good
Pace Good
Amenities Average
Played On
Reviews 1
Handicap 15-19
Skill Intermediate
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Verified Purchaser
Previously Played
Perfect weather
Used cart

Greens are very challenging. Layout is very fair. Bunkers are in poor condition and were difficult to figure out. Route between holes is a little confusing for first timers.

Conditions Good
Value Good
Layout Average
Friendliness Good
Pace Excellent
Difficulty Extremely Challenging
Played On
Reviews 3
Handicap 10-14
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
2.0
First Time Playing
Hot weather
Used cart

$100? What a DISGRACE!

5 years i begged some guys to play this course (for my Bucket List) since i heard so many great things.I was greeted with beautiful surroundings/grounds/pools and nice staff (but the $95 reservation became $100 somehow...maybe they included $5 for the range i did not need but when telling me it was $100 - said "oh, the range was included"!!??) So it's the big tee time and the Starter tells us the SAND TRAPS are washed out and we can take ball out of them...So, my first reaction was, WHAT? $100 for SUB-STANDARD CONDITIONS?? Of course my 1st lifetime drive there went in the trap and he was surely correct. Which eventually got me to the green and most other greens which were less in shape than my County course. Then at the 2nd (or 3rd) hole, one sees the basic layout of the course which is sooooooo unimaginative...Some sand traps but all open and uninspiring. The back 9 had about 4 holes that had ditches and nuances but overall boring. General conditions all around were just ok. Lastly, the cart paths were poorly thought of as many times we had to park and walk 50 yds uphill to the green. And to kick sand in the face, we all needed drinks on this hot day and our $.18 cent bottles of Gatorade were $4.25 each!! So much for my bucket list!! (PS: i played Crystal Springs 30 yrs ago and although a little overly crazy outlay, it was still unique and worthwhile except the Cart Path Only rule back then was torturous and ruined the fun. I am unlikely to rush back to try Ballyowen, or Black Bear. GREAT GORGE is in great shape and alot of fun and Seniors play for $38 after getting the $50 card.)

Conditions Fair
Value Poor
Layout Fair
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Poor
Amenities Good
Difficulty Somewhat Challenging
Played On
Reviews 3
Handicap 10-14
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
2.0
First Time Playing
Hot weather
Used cart

$100? What a DISGRACE!

5 years i begged some guys to play this course (for my Bucket List) since i heard so many great things.I was greeted with beautiful surroundings/grounds/pools and nice staff (but the $95 reservation became $100 somehow...maybe they included $5 for the range i did not need but when telling me it was $100 - said "oh, the range was included"!!??) So it's the big tee time and the Starter tells us the SAND TRAPS are washed out and we can take ball out of them...So, my first reaction was, WHAT? $100 for SUB-STANDARD CONDITIONS?? Of course my 1st lifetime drive there went in the trap and he was surely correct. Which eventually got me to the green and most other greens which were less in shape than my County course. Then at the 2nd (or 3rd) hole, one sees the basic layout of the course which is sooooooo unimaginative...Some sand traps but all open and uninspiring. The back 9 had about 4 holes that had ditches and nuances but overall boring. General conditions all around were just ok. Lastly, the cart paths were poorly thought of as many times we had to park and walk 50 yds uphill to the green. And to kick sand in the face, we all needed drinks on this hot day and our $.18 cent bottles of Gatorade were $4.25 each!! So much for my bucket list!! (PS: i played Crystal Springs 30 yrs ago and although a little overly crazy outlay, it was still unique and worthwhile except the Cart Path Only rule back then was torturous and ruined the fun. I am unlikely to rush back to try Ballyowen, or Black Bear. GREAT GORGE is in great shape and alot of fun and Seniors play for $38 after getting the $50 card.)

Conditions Fair
Value Poor
Layout Fair
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Poor
Amenities Good
Played On
Reviews 3
2.0
First Time Playing
Hot weather
Used cart

$100?? What a DISGRACE!!!

5 years i begged some guys to play this course (for my Bucket List) since i heard so many great things.
I was greeted with beautiful surroundings/grounds/pools and nice staff (but the $95 reservation became $100 somehow...maybe they included $5 for the range i did not need but when telling me it was $100 - said "oh, the range was included"!!??) So it's the big tee time and the Starter tells us the SAND TRAPS are washed out and we can take ball out of them...So, my first reaction was, WHAT? $100 for SUB-STANDARD CONDITIONS?? Of course my 1st lifetime drive there went in the trap and he was surely correct. Which eventually got me to the green and most other greens which were less in shape than my County course. Then at the 2nd (or 3rd) hole, one sees the basic layout of the course which is sooooooo unimaginative...Some sand traps but all open and uninspiring. The back 9 had about 4 holes that had ditches and nuances but overall boring. General conditions all around were just ok. Lastly, the cart paths were poorly thought of as many times we had to park and walk 50 yds uphill to the green. And to kick sand in the face, we all needed drinks on this hot day and our $.18 cent bottles of Gatorade were $4.25 each!! So much for my bucket list!! (PS: i played Crystal Springs 30 yrs ago and although a little overly crazy outlay, it was still unique and worthwhile except the Cart Path Only rule back then was torturous and ruined the fun. I am unlikely to rush back to try Ballyowen, or Black Bear. GREAT GORGE is in great shape and alot of fun and Seniors play for $38 after getting the $50 card.)

Conditions Fair
Value Poor
Layout Fair
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Poor
Amenities Good
Played On
Reviews 143
Handicap 5-9
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Verified Purchaser
Top 500 Contributor
Previously Played
Perfect weather
Used cart
Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
Difficulty Somewhat Challenging
Played On
Reviews 7
Handicap 20-24
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
4.0
Verified Purchaser
First Time Playing

Great practice course

This course is a great place to work on some iron shots. Greens weren't amazing and some bunkers had rock issues but other than that a nice little course.

Conditions Average
Value Good
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
Played On
Reviews 1
I Recommend This Course
3.0
Verified Purchaser
Previously Played
Conditions Good
Value Good
Layout Good
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Good
Played On
Reviews 15
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a month
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Verified Purchaser
Previously Played
Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
Played On
Reviews 2
Handicap 15-19
Skill Beginner
Plays Once a week
3.0
First Time Playing
Perfect weather
Used cart

I am not good enough to enjoy this course

if you are an average to below average golfer like me you should skip this course. I would recommend spending a bit more and playing Wild Turkey right next door. This course with its impossible pin placement, moguls and bunkers, water hazards and impossible thick rough make this a very hard course. I spent way to much time searching thick rough for my ball and you almost never have a flat lie even on the fairway. You are always shooting on an angle or blind or over a bunker. Pin placements are evil too some impossible to hit even for the best golfers. Overall the pace of play was a bit slow too. The course is not too long but I wont be playing again the cost is good but there are many other options that are more fun in my opinion. Try Wild Turkey, Black Bear, Great Gorge or Farmstead if you want to play in Sussex county.

Conditions Good
Value Good
Layout Fair
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Average
Amenities Good
Difficulty Extremely Challenging
Played On
Reviews 38
Handicap 10-14
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
4.0
Previously Played
Perfect weather
Used cart
Conditions Good
Value Average
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Good
Pace Good
Amenities Excellent
Difficulty Somewhat Challenging
Played On
Reviews 1
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Verified Purchaser
First Time Playing
Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
Played On
Reviews 27
Skill Intermediate
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
4.0
Verified Purchaser

A bear to walk

Nestled in the hills of Northwest New Jersey, Black Bear is a wonderful layout that asks big questions of the golfer’s game and their ego.

There’s no such thing as a flat hole on this jaunt. Every tee box either looks down on a fairway or up a slope. The course plays shorter than its yardage but demands precision to score well. There are doglegs left and right, but not severe. Shot shaping isn’t critical, straight hitters are rewarded. Minor Mistakes are penalized but there is room to recover. Get wild and you’ll find lots of other hapless golfers balls in the woods, never your own.

Points off for atrocious bunkers filled with stony hard sand often more akin to clay, and inconsistent greens. The greens are sloped but could use a rollout, and here like everywhere else, golfers seem oblivious to repairing their ball marks.

You may walk the course, but expect a workout. The distance between some greens and tee boxes is significant and a few are significantly uphill. If you walk you can count on trying to catch your breath on a few tee boxes, and a pair of sore hammys at the end of the day. Inexplicably, the walk from the 18th green to the clubhouse is about a half mile .

There is a putting green and a range whose dilapidated mats could have used an upgrade a few years ago. In addition, you can’t hit driver on the range. Really, what’s the point?

Overall, a fantastic layout with some rough patches with regard to the afore mentioned greens and traps. In their defense, it’s a heavily trafficked course. However, it isn’t a cheap round of golf, one expects a bit more. Snack bar is downright pricey fir this area. It’s billed as a resort course, but falls short of the standard. Black Bear is all about the layout and the views.

Finally, adjacent to the 18 th fairway are two giant satellite dishes , apparently somebody is listening to you curse as you flub your approach into the final hole.

Conditions Good
Value Good
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Good
Pace Excellent
Amenities Good
Played On
Reviews 2
Handicap 20-24
Skill Beginner
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
3.0
First Time Playing
Windy weather
Used cart

Played for the first time

We drove out from Manhattan and I am a little disappointed that I never got any notification that the greens had just been aerated. It was basically a sandtrap on the greens and made it nearly impossible to putt. We made a trip out of it and both Wild Turkey and Cascades were basically both sand, which is a shame because I would love to go back and play the courses but we paid full price and the greens were just unplayable.

We also were late to our tee time because after finishing round 1, we asked if there was any place to get food quickly between rounds and the staff said that there wasn't anything open yet. We ran to a local place to get a sandwich and then found out that the clubhouse at the turn was open and food was available. We also never once saw a cart girl, despite being told we weren't allowed to bring a cooler or anything on the course because cart girls were out at the time.

Conditions Fair
Value Fair
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Good
Pace Good
Amenities Fair
Difficulty Somewhat Challenging
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