Great Gorge C.C. - Railside golf course - hole 6
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Great Gorge C.C. - Railside golf course - hole 6
There's a great view from the sixth tee on the Railside golf course at Great Gorge Country Club at Crystal Springs Golf Resort in McAfee, N.J. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
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Great Gorge C.C. - Railside golf course - hole 3
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Great Gorge C.C. - Railside golf course - hole 3
Remnants of a railroad line sit next to the third green on the Railside nine of Great Gorge Country Club at Crystal Springs Golf Resort. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Great Gorge C.C. - Railside golf course - hole 8
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Great Gorge C.C. - Railside golf course - hole 8
Waters comes into play on the eighth hole on the Railside nine at Great Gorge Country Club at Crystal Springs Golf Resort in McAfee, N.J. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Great Gorge C.C. - Railside golf course - hole 9
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Great Gorge C.C. - Railside golf course - hole 9
An elevated green ends the Railside golf course at Great Gorge Country Club at Crystal Springs Golf Resort in McAfee, N.J. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Great Gorge C.C. - Lakeside golf course - hole 1
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Great Gorge C.C. - Lakeside golf course - hole 1
The elevated first tee on the Lakeside nine at Great Gorge Country Club at Crystal Springs Golf Resort provides splendid views. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Great Gorge C.C. - Lakeside golf course - hole 2
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Great Gorge C.C. - Lakeside golf course - hole 2
The second hole on the Lakeside golf course might be the toughest par 4 at Great Gorge Country Club at Crystal Springs Golf Resort in McAfee, N.J. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Great Gorge C.C. - Railside golf course - hole 7
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Great Gorge C.C. - Railside golf course - hole 7
A tree guards the uphill par-4 seventh hole on the Railside nine at Great Gorge Country Club at Crystal Springs Golf Resort in McAfee, N.J. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Great Gorge C.C. - Lakeside golf course - hole 8
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Great Gorge C.C. - Lakeside golf course - hole 8
The eighth hole plays across a valley on the Lakeside Course at Great Gorge Country Club at Crystal Springs Golf Resort in McAfee, N.J. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor

Play groovy golf at Great Gorge Country Club in McAfee

McAFEE, N.J. -- Great Gorge Country Club won't win anyone over with first impressions. The drive into the 27-hole course winds by the former 650-room Great Gorge Playboy Club. The building, parking lot and tennis courts show obvious signs of neglect.

The golf club, however, has rallied since coming under the management of Crystal Springs Golf Resort in 2004. The club has embraced its heritage with a retro-themed clubhouse, decorated by psychedelic wallpaper, shag carpet, a disco ball and pinball machine. The staff wears loud 1970s-style plaid pants to greet golfers.

This throwback theme continues to be well received, especially for outing business. It's groovy, man, even if course conditions can be spotty. However, there's no questioning the routing by George Fazio through a peaceful natural setting.

During my visit, I saw plenty of wildlife -- a bear, deer, fox and a muskrat (sorry, the Playboy bunnies are long gone). The grand elevated tee shots on the first and fifth holes of the Railside nine and the first tee of the Lakeside nine make the round memorable. Concrete pillars reminiscent of an old railroad line -- they look like a mini-Stonehenge -- sit next to the third green on Great Gorge Country Club's Railside nine. The Quarryside nine is arguably the toughest, playing through rock outcroppings.

Jason Scott Deegan has reviewed more than 700 courses and golf destinations for some of the industry's biggest publications. His work has been honored by the Golf Writer's Association of America and the Michigan Press Association. Follow him on Twitter at @WorldGolfer.
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Play groovy golf at Great Gorge Country Club in McAfee
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