The Fascinating History Behind Great Gorge Golf Club

October 30, 2023

The Great Gorge golf course had its origins in 1970 when it was conceived and inaugurated by none other than Hugh Hefner. This golfing haven was intimately linked to The Great Gorge Playboy Club, complete with a luxurious resort hotel. Nestled in the prestigious enclave of Vernon, NJ, it exuded an air of prestige and distinction, magnetizing illustrious figures from the world of entertainment, including renowned actors, singers, and performers. Their return year after year was no mystery, as they sought to conquer the triumvirate of courses and earn the coveted bragging rights among their peers.

The Playboy Club, with its accompanying golf course, became a cherished retreat for a global clientele who reveled in games, fine dining, relaxation, and entertainment within the confines of a $20 million resort.

Although the Playboy brand eventually relinquished control of the resort, witnessing several changes in ownership, the golf course has defied the odds, persevering as a cherished institution that continues to thrive.

The Great Gorge Golf Club

Today, Great Gorge Golf Club bears the design signature of the esteemed George Fazio, exuding an undeniable aura of distinction and character, and promises an extraordinary day on the greens. This commitment to excellence is embodied by its trio of 9-hole courses, renowned for their breathtaking vistas, challenging layouts, and distinctive features that captivate golfers of every skill level.

The courses offer impeccably groomed greens, lush fairways, and the intriguing challenges presented by fescue grasses. The golf maintenance team takes immense pride in meticulously shaping and preserving the ideal course conditions throughout the changing seasons. Embark on a tour of these three courses to uncover the unique attributes that make each one a true gem.

The Rail Course

The Rail course provides a scenic spectacle that ranks among the finest in the entire county. Commencing with a striking elevated tee shot that offers a panoramic vista with the Appalachian Hotel as its focal point in the distance, this course skillfully capitalizes on the undulating landscape it graces. The timeless par 3 third hole retains the historical charm of early 20th-century railroad trestles, while the entire course treats golfers to sweeping, picturesque views of Mountain Creek Resort.

The Lake Course

The Lake course, sprawling across some of the property’s lowest elevations, delivers a remarkable change in elevation between the first tee and the ninth green. Beginning with a picture-perfect tee shot that overlooks the enchanting Vernon Valley, this course meanders alongside the tranquil Black Creek, demanding astute course management and precise shot selection from golfers.

The Quarry Course

The Quarry course, known for its challenging shot-making requirements, takes players on a captivating journey through the rich mining history that lends Great Gorge its distinctive name. The highlight of this course is undoubtedly our signature third hole, a demanding par 3 that artfully incorporates one of the area’s exposed quarry walls as a dramatic backdrop for a lengthy, carry-intensive tee shot.

Play for a day. Join as a member.

Great Gorge Golf Club offers exceptional daily rates, competitively priced annual memberships, and outstanding group outing packages. Regarded as the best value in Vernon Valley, NJ, our goal is to provide you with an exceptional experience on and off the golf course, earning your repeat business year after year.

In addition to the championship golf courses, the Club offers a driving range, pro shop, on-course beverage cart, a grill at the turn, and exclusive food and beverage offerings at Hef’s Hut. Contact us for more information about memberships or book your tee time today.


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