No. 18 at The Ridge at Back Brook 

RINGOES, N.J. – The Ridge at Back Brook, host of the 102nd New Jersey State Open Championship offers a true championship caliber golf course that is consistently maintained in great condition along with a world class practice facility. The state-of-the-art facility is a hidden gem, located in Ringoes, and will offer the top players in the state a true test of golf.

“A golfer playing The Ridge will be tested and will have to use every club in their bag and the golfer who controls their emotions over the three days and knows when to attack the flags will be the winner,” Joel Moore, owner of the Ridge claimed. “There’s no tricks, everything is in front of you, there’s no blind shots. It’s really a wonderful championship venue.”

Moore built the renowned course in 2002 with the sole intention to construct a championship-level venue. Moore hired Tom Fazio to design the course on the 300-plus acre property, which includes red rock outcroppings, streams, ponds and elevation changes throughout the course.

“The land is so unique at The Ridge. There are 18 totally different golf holes here,” said Moore. “The focus is not only on the design of the holes, but also on our greens. Anyone who’s familiar with The Ridge knows that our greens are as good or better than anyone else’s.”

According to Moore, when Mother Nature cooperates, the greens are true, firm and fast, but they’re fair. From July 25-27, both professional and amateur golfers in the field will have to be precise where they hit their ball onto the greens. In order to do so, competitors must find fairways and avoid the depths of the rough.

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“The fairways are typical Fazio fairways, wide and fair, but you have to hit them because if you’re playing out of the rough all day with our quick and undulating greens, many of which are protected by bunkers, you’re not going to have one of your better days," added Moore.

Since 2002, the landscape at The Ridge has changed from time to time. In 2021, Hurricane Ida rolled through, destroying the green and bunkers on the 8th hole as well as the walking bridge on the 11th hole. Following the wreckage, Moore did his due diligence, immediately bringing in his designer to revitalize the property. On No. 8, the green was enlarged and a pair of bunkers were reshaped and relocated. In addition, a taller boulder wall to avoid any further flooding damage was built to protect the green.

Despite the misfortune Hurricane Ida brought to The Ridge, the course came out stronger. “Since we had to fix it, the question was, to what degree? We just thought we’d make it a better golf hole after having played it for the last 18 years. I’m looking forward to everyone playing it.”

“In addition, several years ago we added an 18-hole putting course on a 35,000 square-foot green, which is where many of the Open participants will practice their putting.”

“There are a variety of holes that are scattered throughout the 18 holes that will test your ability, but a lot of golfers say that if you get through hole No. 3 in good shape, you’re on pace to have a good round,” explained Moore. “After that, you have to deal with a couple of the par-3s, which are protected by ponds or streams, some strong par-4s in holes 3, 4 and 9 on the front and then holes 13 and 16 on the back nine.

In 2004, New Jersey Golf Magazine named The Ridge the second-best private course in New Jersey. In 2013 and 2016, Golf Styles Magazine named the Ridge New Jersey’s Favorite Private Course and Best Private Course in New Jersey, respectively. In 2010, Golf World Readers’ Choice Awards voted The Ridge the 8th Best Private Course in America.

The Ridge is no stranger to big-time championships, having hosted the Philadelphia Open, the NJPGA Professional Championship, the AJGA Polo Golf Junior Classic and U.S. Open qualifiers in the past. The membership is also eager to be apart of three days of intriguing golf.

“Our members are very excited for the Open. This year is also our 20-year anniversary, so there’s the Ivy League Women’s Championship in April, the New Jersey Open at the end of July and that first Saturday in August we’ll be celebrating the anniversary of the club. It’s a big year for us."

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