New Barnegat Light Attraction Has Two Courses With Elevated Holes
Barnegat Light — From the moment anybody walks up to the approach of the first hole on either the “Low Tide” or “High Tide” courses, Jen’s Links at LBI looks and feels authentic to its location in Barnegat Light. The huge replica of a shark hanging at the entrance to the two, 18-hole miniature golf courses kind of gives it away.
“That’s what it’s there for, to make you feel right at home,” said events manager Robert Aceto, who along with Chris Desch and Robert Hanselmann combine to make up the on-site management crew. “You can take a picture of it, get a selfie with it or just admire it. But you can’t climb over the fence to touch it.”
Once the novelty of the great white wears off – which may take awhile for small children – visitors to Jen’s Links, located at 501 Broadway and designed by Wildwood-based Harris Miniature Golf Courses Inc., can expect a golfing experience that is clean, mildly challenging, intriguing and, of course, lots of fun.
Obviously, being a brand-new venue, slated to open Saturday, May 4, the fairways are smooth, the greens are tight and somewhat fast, and everything is in pristine condition. The course layouts are excellent and the use of elevated holes is fantastic, but the most prominent aspect of Jen’s Links is how the entire design pays homage to the history and flavor of the Island – an imperative feature stressed by owner Jennifer Lackland.
“We did our best to celebrate the history and beauty of Long Beach Island, and that’s exactly what Jen wanted for these courses,” Aceto said. “We have the Shack and the Oceanic Hotel and lots of other things that really provide an historic overview of what the Island is and has been over the years. In a lot of ways, our courses will be an interactive history lesson.”
Meticulously landscaped by Reynolds Landscaping in Manahawkin, Jen’s Links has several waterfalls to provide a soothing ambiance, a bunch of elevated spots offering a magnificent view of Barnegat Bay, as well as a concession stand, mainly featuring light fare such as hot dogs, pizza and hot pretzels, with outdoor seating. And with space for private parties, Jen’s Links may be a great option for your kid’s next birthday.
Still, the miniature golfing experience is the main draw, and it will be an enjoyable one for just about everybody. The blue-flagged “High Tide” course has a par of 43, with seven of its holes topping out at par-3, while the red-flagged “Low Tide” course is a par 46 with 10 holes at par-3. Also interesting about the red course is that its path is guided by minnow nets.
As for some of the highlight holes on each course:
“Low Tide” Hole 2 – Aboard a brightly colored fishing boat, the fairway is straight and easy, with a single-line shot to the hole, from stern to bow. Once you sink your putt, ring the bell attached to the cabin.
“Low Tide” Holes 5 and 6 – Amid a broken-in-half ship – which, of course, depicts several historic shipwrecks off the coast of Barnegat Light – both holes are an easy stroke down the fairway to a possible two-stroke score.
“Low Tide” Hole 8 –The simple layout of this hole makes it possible to score a deuce, but the fun feature is the bait shack leading to it, which Aceto said will display on the blacked-out window a special rule golfers must follow each day.
“Low Tide” Hole 11 – With one of the course’s waterfalls as the backdrop, golfers can use a narrow path over the rushing stream to access the green down below, or use the water to propel your ball through a log and onto the green.
“Low Tide” Hole 16 – The old Shack, which used to sit alongside the Causeway as travelers made their way onto the Island before Superstorm Sandy washed it away in 2012, is the backdrop for this relatively easy par-2.
“Low Tide” Hole 18 – An elevated view providing an outstanding view of the cove leading out to Barnegat Bay, this hole features a couple of lobster traps and barrels, through which you have to shoot into a hole that drops your ball onto the lower green.
“High Tide” Holes 3, 4 and 5 – The first two of this trio are elevated holes atop the waterfalls and offer some easy play, but once you go down the stairs and into the cave you will find the remains of an imprisoned pirate inside an old rocky cell.
“High Tide” Hole 11 – With a scaled-down version of the historic Oceanic Hotel as the backdrop, golfers have to navigate some slightly rolling terrain to try to score a hole-in-one.
“High Tide” Hole 16 – As the end of the course draws closer and a big replica of an old Barnegat City Water Co. pumping station hangs over the approach, golfers have to get around a couple of obstacles on the way to the green.
As of last week, Aceto said the hours at Jen’s Links are set for 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days per week. Rates are $8 per child and $12 per adult to play one course. To play both courses the cost is $10 per child and $15 per adult.