ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. -- Outside of Las Vegas, there isn't a better golf-and-gambling destination than this one along the Jersey shore.
The number of quality golf courses in the Atlantic City area (between 15 and 20) only slightly outnumbers the number of casinos (13). The nightly casino lineup of shows and concerts teams up with the famous boardwalk, beaches and more than 150 restaurants to create a 24-hour entertainment bonanza for golfers.
The Atlantic City skyline takes center stage on two of the region's premier golf courses along the water, the timeless Atlantic City Country Club and the Bay Course at Stockton Seaview Hotel & Golf Club, home of the ShopRite LPGA Classic.
Egg Harbor Township has blossomed into a golf destination of its own with McCullough's Emerald Golf Links and Twisted Dune Golf Club -- two modern links-themed designs -- complemented by four other courses, including state-ranked Ballamor Golf Club.
Sand-splashed Shore Gate Golf Club might be the area's toughest test of golf. Blue Heron Pines Golf Club, owned by TV football analyst and former NFL player Ron Jaworski, dials up country club conditions, including great greens.
A handful of other options -- from the inland Pines Course at Stockton Seaview Hotel & Golf Club to the Links at Brigantine Beach (dating to 1927) -- provide endless options and architectural styles.
Stephen Kay, an Egg Harbor Township resident who has designed four courses in the area, said Atlantic City offers great variety for a destination its size.
"The courses are all 6s and 7s and 8s (out of 10)," he said. "I don't think anybody touches this (destination) with a 10-foot pole."