What Dreams Are Made Of
LAGUNA OAKS WAS A LIFETIME IN THE MAKING FOR ARCHITECT LANGFORD
by Joe Valenti, Reprinted from Press of Atlantic City October 2, 2008
If Fred Langford, architect and owner of Laguna Oaks, were to start designing 18-hole regulation golf courses, he’s probably be one of the most sought-after designers in the country. Laguna Oaks, a 1,296-yard executive track, is something dreams are made of. This perfectly sculpted and manicured 9-hole course has, in fact, been Langford’s dream for the last 25 years.
By the second hole, you’ll be overcome with the “wow” factor.
That’s how incredible this course is.
No. 2 is a 180-yard par 3 from the blue tees. The scorecard has it named as “Timber Bridge”. That’s because you’ll have to travel over a cool trestle bridge to get to the green.
If you’re short, you’ll land yourself in the water. Consequently, you may want to consider laying up short of the water with a seven or eight iron.
Langford, an architect by trade, has designed water parks and hotels around the world. He bought this land about 25 years ago and has been envisioning Laguna Oaks since. He says the design came to him over a period of time.
“I’ve played a lot of golf.” Langford says, “Over the years I gathered things unconsciously.” He said just by walking through the sites 195 acres, ideas came to him. “Over the years, I started discovering things,” Langford says. “There were beautiful oaks, pines, holly and cedar trees throughout.”
Whether you are walking or driving a cart, you’ll be treated to one of the best layouts southern New Jersey has to offer. There is water throughout the entire course. The lakes are well-defined and clear enough you might be able to catch a glimpse of some fish.
Hole No. 6 is called “Sahara Field Goal”. That’s because your tee shot requires you split two tall oaks that sit just in front of the green. The hole is well-bunkered as well.
Laguna Oak’s signature hole is No. 9 and rightfully so. It is a dramatic 146-yard par 3. You’ll need to carry the water. There is a gorgeous waterfall you’ll have to cross just left of the green. If there’s a headwind in your chops, be sure to take this into account. You may want to club down using your hybrid or long iron.
The other thing that makes the course notable is its handicapping system. Langford says he wants to make this course enjoyable for players of all skill sets. If you play to a 15 or less handicap, par is 32. And if your handicap is 23 plus, par is 39.
"A tournament worthy experience in a cozy package. Perfect for the family golf outing with kids or the quick round before or after beach or work. Challenging, beautiful and fair. An unparalleled par 3 experience." -ZACK
Short & Sweet
LAGUNA OAKS IS A PAR-3 TRACK THAT PACKS SOME PUNCH
by Ed Hilt, Reprinted from Golf Styles Magazine
Calling Fred Langford's golf course just another par-3 layout is sort of like calling Wrigley Field just another ballpark.
Laguna Oaks Golf Course in Cape May Court House has waterfalls, an island green and a hole that will make you feel like you are attempting a field goal. It has bridges and bunkers and beauty. Langford, who made his living primarily as an architect and designer of water parks, wasn’t just bragging when he put the words “a special par-3 layout” on his golf card.
Calling Fred Langford's golf course just another par-3 layout
is sort of like calling Wrigley Field just another ballpark.
“You have to keep an opened mind,” said Langford in comparing building architecture to golf course architecture. “You can’t be afraid of change.”
Even the numbers are a little different. This is a par-3 course that really isn’t a par-3 for many golfers if you go by Langford’s unique handicapping system.
If you are a scratch to 15 handicap golfer, Langford directs you to the blue tees, which is par-27 for nine holes and plays 1,296 yards. If you are a 16 to 22, head for the white tees, which plays to a par-32 with five of the holes changing to par-4s. If you are a 23 and above, go for the gold, which is par-39 at 1,164 yards with three par-5s and six par-4s.
The idea is to tailor the golf course and par to the golfers playing ability
Langford began his project about 25 years ago when he bought his first piece of property. Over the years, he kept adding to it, piece by piece, until he had about 200 acres. Langford, who describes himself as an avid golfer, started clearing it for his golf course in the 1990s, creating the water hazards on the property that initially had no water, and transplanting hundreds of trees.
It’s not strictly golf. Langford is building 21 homes along the golf course. But golf is the driving force behind this project.
“It’s a great par-3,” Langford said. “We want to make it the best par-3 on the East Coast.”