July 1, 2009

Atlantic City: Jersey Jackpot

By: MARTIN KAUFMANN - Managing Editor/The Golf Life

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. – In the early 1850s, when he was courting investors for the rail line that would turn Atlantic City into a mega-resort, Dr. Jonathan Pitney rhapsodized about the virtues of Absecon Island – its pleasingly temperate seaside climate, its boating, fishing and other sporting activities – all just a short commute from Philadelphia and New York.

For Pitney, sometimes referred to as the “Father of Atlantic City,” it was an easy sale. The city charter was approved in March 1854, and four months later, the Camden and Atlantic Railroad began transporting vacationers to the new retreat.

I couldn’t help but wonder what Pitney would think of his creation as I looked across Lakes Bay at the skyline from the fourth tee of Atlantic City Country Club, ranked No. 1 among Golfweek’s Best Courses You Can Play in New Jersey. Located in Northfield, a few miles from Pitney’s home, Atlantic City CC opened in 1897, lending it a history almost as rich as the city whose name it bears.

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