OLD BRIDGE, NJ. — The township plans to open its own golf course, the Old Bridge Golf Club in Rose and Lambertson, next year.
Township planner Venna Sawant told the planning board that the facility’s miniature golf course and driving range are expected to open next spring. The regulation 18-hole, par-71 golf course will open later, between Memorial Day and July 4, 2023.
“It’s happening and it’s happening soon,” Sawant said.
Minor construction on the Amboy and Lambertson Road property was scheduled to begin this week.
Mayor Owen Henry said the project had been discussed for decades but never took off.
“We are here in March 2022 and it is happening at no cost to the ratepayers of Old Bridge due to a redevelopment plan taking place in other parts of the city,” Henry said. “I’m certainly thrilled to have a golf course in town. It’s unique because there aren’t many golf courses under construction these days.
Efrem Gerszberg, owner of 2020 Acquisitions, a national real estate development company, has agreed to build the course, which will be handed over to the municipality.
Gerszberg said last year he would spend more than $8 million on New Jersey golf course architect Stephen Kay’s “first-class” design.
“The design of the golf course was largely driven by the existence of wetlands and environmental constraints on the property,” Sawant said. “There are many ponds to help with irrigation and water conservation.”
The layout of the course is unusual because, unlike most American golf courses, the ninth hole will not return to the clubhouse. Instead, the hole will be at the far corner of the property and a halfway house with restrooms is provided at the 11th tee.
Entrance to the course will be from Lambertson Road, where a 6,000 square foot clubhouse and 110 parking spaces are planned, Sawant said.
Additional parking spaces may be added, Gerszberg said.
On this side of the road will be the miniature golf course, a practice green and a practice field. The first three holes will also be on this side of the road.
“The majority of the golf course is south of Lambertson Road,” she said.
Township Engineer Nicole Shapiro outlined safety measures that will be put in place to alert motorists to the golf cart crossing on Lambertson Road.
The project also includes a 5,000 square foot maintenance building with approximately 10 parking spaces in the southwest corner of the site.
Gerszberg said the clubhouse will have restrooms, a pro-shop and a concession area that will offer easy-to-choose food and tables. There will also be a cart barn.
The miniature golf course will include water features and hills, Gerszberg said.
Company administrator Himanshu Shah said the Rose and Lambertson plots were purchased using state Green Acres funds and there were restrictions.
“It will be a three-tier rate — resident, statewide, then out-of-state,” he said.
Residents of the township will be charged the lowest green fees, he said.
The mayor said the route will draw people to the township and can also be used by the special needs population of the township with Camp Robin.
The management of the golf course will be outsourced to a private company
“It will not be internal municipal management,” Shah said.
The developer will manage the golf course for the first five years, he said.
The developer will guarantee the revenue from the operation to the township whether or not it makes a profit, Shah said, adding that it is a “win-win” for the township.
Henry said the truss at the site had deteriorated “to the point of no return”.
He said he was commissioning a landscaper to create an interpretation of the farm “in its glory”, which will be displayed in the clubhouse. He also said the Madison-Old Bridge Township Historical Society will provide factual background information about the site, which will be displayed on a plaque.