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1 Players Blvd
Newton, NJ  07860-1900
United States
P: (973) 383-2327
F: (973) 383-8684
www.bearbrookgolf.com
Bear Brook Course

18 hole regulation length course

Public golf course

70 par | 6,742 yards | 141 slope

73.0 rating

Recommend this course: +0 -0

Bear Brook Golf Course


The 18-hole "Bear Brook" course at the Bear Brook Golf Club facility in Newton, New Jersey features 6,742 yards of golf from the longest tees for a par of 70. The course rating is 73.0 and it has a slope rating of 141. Designed by Ron Prichard/Roger G. Rulewich, ASGCA, the Bear Brook golf course opened in 2000. Kitson & Partners Club manages this facility, with Jim Rusnic as the Superintendent.

Course Reviews


What a shame this course has not opened this year. Just one of several courses that have closed

This is a very punishing course as other reviews have mentioned. Many of the fairways are narrow and if you are in the hazard, you either don't want to find your ball due to the lie or cannot find your ball - as such, you will take a lot of penalty strokes no matter what. Accept it for what it is, and enjoy the course. The only down side - other than losing lots of golf balls, is that the traps are not as well maintained as they could be and the fairways could be manicured better. In the coming years I suspect these will be corrected and this will become one of the best northwestern NJ courses. One point of note is that if you are used to playing the white tees at other courses, play the blue tees here.

As many previous reviews have said this is a tough course unless you approach it with respect. Apart from a few holes you could even manage without a driver, because so often you are better off laying up. This course needs to be played smartly, measuring distances, and avoiding the rough because the rough when we played in July was brutal. The elevation changes make yardages arbitrary anyway, so you need to take whatever club gets you in the middle and not blocked from the next shot. There are blind tee shots, sharp dog-legs, and sometimes narrow fairways with not much forgiveness, so take notice of the playing advice they offer on the website, talk to the pro in the shop, and think your way around the course. And take extra balls with you. When you have finished there is a nice bar and grill with good prices and very good food. Overall a great day out.

I played this course on a perfect Weds afternoon. The in-bound parts of the course were in immaculate condition. However, the surrounding out-of-bounds areas were a bit raggedy. Not that it matters because the amazing scenery took your eye away from it anyway. The greens were very true. If your good at reading putts, then you will be capable of conquering this extremely hilly course. The course is scattered throughout a complex of LARGE houses and offers 4 tees to play from. As a young and growing golfer, I found this course to have some challenging holes with tight fairways, and other holes as wide open as they come. I would definitely recommend this if you are in the North Jersey area (especially for only $30 w/ cart).

Other reviews of this course are on point, some additions and suggestions- if this is your first time playing here, either bring someone who has played it, try and get paired with someone who has played it, and/or bring a good GPS. BB is the most target oriented golf course I have played in some time- point A to Point B, with little room for error if you stray. Many holes are forced lay-ups with blind or semi-blind tee shots that must be hit a certain distance- too short and the second shot is either blocked or blind, too far and you're either beyond the fairway or cursing as you haul out another ball. Depending on the tees you select, the layups will be between 180-240 yards in most cases. Stray more than a few yards wide of the fairways and you'll be hauling out another ball. We were paired with a gentleman who actually ran out of balls after about 12 holes (and at least 15 balls) and had to borrow from his playing partner.

Fortunately for most, the course is not long, even from the tips, and many holes play much shorter due to the elevation changes and firmness of the fairways.

The course is wonderfully maintained, with reasonably fast and true greens and nice tight fairways that allow you to spin the ball, necessary since many of the greens are on the smallish side and well-guarded. A couple of the tee boxes were sparse as many of them are in heavily-shaded areas, but most are excellent. The course drains well too, I would not hesitate to play it even after a week of heavy rains. The scenery on a number of holes is spectacular, particularly the view from the 13th tee where on a clear day you can easily see all the way to Pennsylvania and New York. Houses in the development are only in play on a couple of holes, for the most part you will feel like you're on a hiking expedition through the mountains.

One negative is the lack of a range- both starting holes (we were directed to #10 as a start) are not for the faint of heart, particularly if you haven't had the chance to loosen up. Value is excellent for the money ($50 or less on prime weekends, about half the $ of the Crystal Springs courses).

We will definitely be back and recommend to our friends- who are a little wild off the tee, and so will also be advised to leave their drivers at home or bring extra balls!

I played this course on a Saturday afternoon following two consecutive days of heavy rain. The course was in immaculate condition. No drainage problems, greens were a little sluggish but expected after a rain. As far as public golf in NJ goes, it's not going to get much better than this course. Don't ignore these other reviews though, if you don't have an accurate shot and a good short game, bear brook will eat you up. The fairways can get tight and play short in some spots and being in the rough is almost equivelent to take a penalty stroke or two! A few holes are very hard and almost unfair but still very fun. The scenery is spectacular, each hole has something completely different to offer. My one word of advice to anyone playing bear brook would be to really understand the layout and pin placement for each hole. This is not a course where you can just grip it and rip it and play from wherever. Each shot takes considerable strategy if you are planning on beating your buddies. The only complaint I have has more to do with the community that surrounds the golf course than the golf course itself. The homeowners are very strict about retrieving balls off their property. You will see signs like "trespassers will be prosecuted" and "your balls are mine" on fences and OB markers. I actually got into an argument with one person after stepping no more than 5 yards onto his property to pick up my ball. He asked me if I "could read, a**hole." Regardless of this, Bear Brook is a challenging golf course that I would reccomend to anyone looking for a challenge or just an enjoyable time in western NJ.

Nice course that's hard to ignore if you live in the area. Ultimately, it's just very, very challenging and if you're a beginner or don't know the layout cold, watch out, you could lose 2 dozen balls here.

In the good months the course is in such fantastic shape that it borders on absurd. It's very reasonably priced as well. It's short though, so having a big drive doesn't necessarily help you here.

UPDATE: Just went back this week and the course is pretty beat up -- not like it was last year. Kind of bummed out by it, used to be immaculate -- I guess they have more people playing there with the new management.

Nice view and nice course lay out. kind off hilly scene. Mostly short par 4 with tight fairways. Par 3 holes are kind of challenging.

Very well maintained

I just found this course in the winter and I can't believe how great of condition it is still in. The folks are very nice.

I like the layout with many challenging holes (the par threes are indeed tough and fun, 9 and 11 are excellent).

There are just far too many houses too close to play on at least 10 holes along this cousre...it doesn't feel like you're at a rural (for NJ) golf course b/c the homes are right on top of you (I'll admit that I bounced a tee shot off of a townhome...BANG!!!). What were once great views are now cluttered with new construction McMansions.

A couple of the holes might be just a little unfair (#10 provides very little landing area for your tee shot).

Overall this is a great golf experience and I'll return in the warmer months.

Best Course in North Jersey

I found Bear Brook Golf Course a few years ago. It's tucked away right off rt 94 just outside of Newton in Sussex County. This is a course that keeps me coming back. The views are amazing, the service was very friendly and the course is near impossible. I'm a good golfer, and this course really challenges me every time! I love it! Play well out there and you're ready for anywhere.

Best set of par 3s out there

From the back tees there is not a better set of par 3s around. Alot of shortish par 4s but you can't overpower this course. Miss a fairway and it will cost you strokes and balls. The greens were some of the best I've putted on all year. The only drawback is that you're bad shots are penalized far more then good shots are rewarded. Think you have game this course will let you know.

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Leaderboard

  • Overall
  • Latest Scores
Rank Golfer Name Handicap Gross Net Date
1 William D. 37 58 21 08/13/08
2 Tom D. 4 74 70 09/06/09
3 Steve L. 21 91 70 08/25/06
4 Joe M. 16 87 71 04/26/07
5 max V. N/A 72 72 07/06/11
See All
Rank Golfer Name Handicap Gross Net Date
35 Richard M. 15 98 83 09/24/11
45 Nick N. 18 108 90 08/20/11
10 Jim P. 20 93 73 08/13/11
21 Jim P. 20 98 78 08/13/11
5 max V. N/A 72 72 07/06/11

Golf Course Information

About Bear Brook

Bear Brook Golf Club

Community facility

Managed by Kitson & Partners Club

18 regulation holes

Awards at Bear Brook

No recent major awards have been noted.

Tournaments of Bear Brook

No local tournaments listed for this course. Add a tournament here.

Course Staff

Jim Rusnic, Superintendent
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