Twenty-some years ago Rees Jones might have completed America’s last true oceanside links at Ocean Forest. It’s certainly one of the premier linksland settings in the country, far more authentic in its links characteristics than his Haig Point or Atlantic G.C., despite some holes in woodlands. Ocean Forest’s fairways laterally traverse several rumples of dunes, some 18 feet high, through a pine-covered delta formed where the Hampton River flows into the Atlantic. The routing skirts saltwater marsh, the river’s edge and finishes with a one-two punch on the seashore. This may be the most walkable course among all those nationally ranked, despite the fact that the 18th hole finishes a half mile from the clubhouse. Here’s an obscure piece of trivia: The day Ocean Forest opened in 1995, O.J. Simpson was acquitted of all murder charges against him.
100 Greatest: Ranked for 12 years from 1999-2000 and 2003-'12. Highest ranking: No. 66, 2005-'06.
Second 100 Greatest: Ranked since 2013. Highest ranking: No. 128, 2013-'14. 2021-'22 ranking: No. 160.
Best in State: Ranked fourth, 2011-'12. Ranked fifth, 2013-'20. Ranked inside the top 5, 1997-2010. Ranked sixth, 2021-'22.