The Summer of Golf: An Epic two days of private golf in New Jersey
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The Summer of Golf: An Epic two days of private golf in New Jersey



There's nothing quite like the feeling of arriving at the front gate of what you know is an incredible golf club.

When the vehicle gets thrown into Park, it's a point of privilege to explain to the guard that you -- yes, you -- are there to play their club today. The guard knows you're going to have a great day. You know you're going to have a great day. It's now just a short trip down a driveway away from reality.

For the overwhelming number of golfers, though, those days are few and far between. (Though if they happened every day, maybe they wouldn't feel as special.) Even for golfers who belong to private clubs, the opportunity to play a top 200 or top 100 club is exceedingly rare. It takes phone calls, connections and planning to make those play days happen, especially to string together an itinerary that can pass muster and justify traveling hundreds, if not thousands, of miles for a few rounds of golf.

Epic Golf Club makes it much easier for a traveling golfer to have more special golf days, and that's what makes them an indispensible membership.

Epic Golf Club is a membership organization for golfers who belong to private clubs that want to enjoy private golf when they travel. Epic's network of golfers offers access to some of the finest clubs in the country and around the world. Their concierge service helps get members on courses with other members, either as part of a one-off experience or as part of an Epic-planned trip.

I got to experience my first Epic trip in July, when a buddy and I went up to Jersey City, N.J., for a two-day event. Epic arranged a hotel block at a four-star property just 15 minutes away from our first stop, Liberty National Golf Club. The morning of our first round, Epic had organized two buses for the 80 or so players to get to and from Liberty National with ease, including ample storage for all the golf bags.

Liberty National has always been gracious to guests, and the amenities are among the best in the country. The golf course is always in great shape, and the staff is top-notch. They put together a day for our group that included a great breakfast, lunch and dinner, along with an open bar that made an unfortunate rain delay fly by.

The full day was not only a glimpse into what it would be like to belong to Liberty National but also a great opportunity to meet and network with similar golf enthusiasts from all walks of life. Golf is great for a lot of reasons, but it truly reveals a lot about a total stranger in just a few short hours. Friendships were formed -- and one was continued, as the first person I hosted at my club through Epic not only came on the trip, but we played together the next day.

The second day of golf was a dream come true. Ridgewood Country Club was opening its doors to our Epic group, just weeks before hosting the US Amateur on their 27-hole facility. This Tillinghast design had hosted the PGA Tour's FedEx Cup playoffs several times and plenty of other big championships. Tilly has never let me down, and he didn't at Ridgewood either.

Ridgewood had a more subdued vibe than Liberty National, but that may also have been a natural slowdown from the previous day. Nevertheless, the golf was incredible. We were treated to plenty of coolers and on-course food, as well as drinks at the turn and a great spread for a parting lunch after the morning round. The club took care of us, just as you'd expect a top-tier facility would for its members.

Of course, trips like these aren't cheap, and the price depends on the itinerary. However, the value-add is clear. Epic Golf Club does all the hard work for you. They create opportunities for members to play some of the best golf courses in the country, and they work with the host clubs to round out the day with more than golf -- including meals, drinks, caddies and pro shop credit. From the minute you book to the moment you leave, Epic is working on your behalf.

If you're a club golfer who has a deep interest in experiencing what golf is like at some of the best venues in the country, either on your own or with a group of equally obsessed golfers, then joining Epic Golf Club is an absolute must.

About the author

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Ryan Ballengee

Ryan Ballengee is founder and editor of Golf News Net. He has been writing and broadcasting about golf for over a decade, working for NBC Sports, Golf Channel, Yahoo Sports and SB Nation. Ballengee lives in the Washington, D.C. area with his family. He used to be a good golfer.

Ballengee can be reached by email at ryan[at]thegolfnewsnet.com

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