WEST CALDWELL, NEW JERSEY | “Hidden gem” often seems a hackneyed way of describing a lesser-known and brilliantly designed golf course. But sometimes, the shoe fits.
That is certainly the case with the Mountain Ridge Country Club, which is located in this suburban town some 20 miles west of midtown Manhattan. The centerpiece of the century-old retreat, which will be showcased this week at the Cognizant Founders Cup on the LPGA Tour, is a Donald Ross course that is routed across rolling terrain and features wide fairways; greens with subtle ledges, ridges and tilts; and well-placed bunkers, some of which jut into the fairways at angles. Several of the holes harken back to Old World classics like the seventh with its Punchbowl green and No. 11, where the putting surface has a bit of Biarritz to it. A creek cuts through part of the property, which is replete with specimen maples and oaks, and ponds come into play on a couple of holes. For those golfers looking to warm up before rounds or work on their games, there is a spacious practi...
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