You wouldn’t guess it from the club’s unassuming manner, but Freeway Golf Course holds an important place in golf history: It was the country’s first African American-owned course, a distinction it carries with rightful yet modest pride.
There’s an inviting, come-as-you-are air about Freeway that’s nothing short of refreshing, and the Deal Caddy is further boosting spirits with an offer of 18 holes and cart, redeemable after 10:00 a.m. weekdays, or after 11:00 a.m. weekends, through July 8 at these discounted fees:
One golfer—$24, up to 45% off regular rates
Two golfers—$45 ($22.50 per person), up to 49% off
Four golfers—$84 ($21 per person), up to 52% off
Freeway opened for business in 1968, just off the Atlantic City Expressway in Sicklerville, New Jersey. Pro golfers including Charles Sifford, Lee Elder, Jim Dent, Jim Thorpe and Calvin Peete frequented the club, making it the unofficial home of black golfers in the U.S. In 1972 Freeway hosted the inaugural Sammy Davis Jr. Open, which became the Hartford PGA TOUR stop the very next year.
The course itself is a 6,536-yard Horace Smith design whose two nines show distinct personalities. You can loosen up and let it fly on the front, where vast fairways create a bomber’s paradise. Just prepare to rein it in on the back side. Huge trees intrude on cleverly bowed doglegs like Nos. 12 and 13, while the tightly bunkered closing holes demand pin-point approaches.
The layout is solid and fun, but Freeway GC’s best quality may be its great-to-see-you vibe. That’s a welcome trait in a club of such significance.