Significant progress is being made at the Mike Trout named championship style golf course “Trout National The Reserve” which is being developed in Vineland NJ, right off of Route 55’s exit 26.
UPDATE: Literally an hour or so BEFORE I put up my article on Friday Aug 25th, Trout and Woods released the official Course Routing. Not sure if that is bad or good timing… wish I had seen the release first as I would’ve blended in nicely with my article. Read more at Golf Digest. I’ll have more coverage soon.
Not much is known about the course plans of the Tiger Woods team designed course, or even the full property… so I’ve prepared what I think is the most detailed information and images on the property that are available today.
In this article I describe and show with extensive photos:
- The full property scope (which I don’t think anyone has up to this point)
- Images of the current building construction taking place which is for administration and golf operations support
- Several fairways are rough cleared from a large wooded area
- A 4 mile long concrete barrier wall is already under construction.
Some of this information comes from a July 2023 Vineland planning hearing, and I also visited the area this week driving around all of the extended properties to get a “lay of the land”, and to capture images from the ground and the air.
The July Planning Board hearing was focused on 2 large extended properties where the developer is building a full barrier wall around the property, as well as administration and operations facility
I say “extended properties” because over near Lincoln Ave. behind the old youth athletic fields, is the property which was originally part of an earlier (smaller) plan for a private golf course, and that property was not discussed as part of the July planning board hearing.
That original Lincoln Ave area property already has a very large golf green and sand trap area developed, which was already in place in March when the Trout involvement was announced. Since then this large connected green area has doubled in size!
And while not discussed in this latest Planning Hearing, it’s clearly part of the larger Trout golf course plans as the cover image for the course page at golf course designer TGR Design shows this exact developed green as it appeared back in March.
The interesting twist is the site plans from July show that there is a 14 foot barrier wall planned between that original property (where the greens are) and the newer extended property.
More on that shortly.
But the full picture of the golf course project aspects has not been fully painted yet.
Town documents state that the golf course is still being designed and they will return within six months for the second portion of the approval, which I expect would include the clubhouse and other golfer-centric facilities.
That being said, it appears there is some understanding of the course layout as significant tree clearing has taken place in a second large wooded golf course property, and those openings are clearly identifiable as golf hole fairways.
It also appears that at least this initial phase of site preparation, tree clearing, wall development and operations facilities is being handled by Northeast Precast.
So all of that being said I think this article represents the most information we have about the project’s current size and development status.
Trout National – The Reserve : Fore!
National sports news lit up in March of this year when the initial plans for the Mike Trout named championship golf course was revealed.
Mike Trout is a professional baseball superstar who hails from nearby Millville. In 2019 the South Jersey phenom signed what was then the richest deal in the history of North American sports, totaling $426 million over 12 years.
But the original plans for the course did not include Mike Trout.
Plans were originally approved for a smaller 9 hole private course several years ago on a much smaller lot, which at the time was to be developed and owned by local businessman John Ruga who owns Northeast Precast… a company that specializes in making large concrete panels for building and road construction.
As recent as 2020, Vineland City documents describe the intent of John Ruga to develop a private course with an elaborate clubhouse for use of the clients of Ruga’s company.
Soon after it seems, Ruga was introduced to Mike Trout, who being from Millville was interested in bringing an amazing project to his Cumberland County hometown area which would hopefully be a catalyst for additional positive growth In the area.
The two formed a partnership to expand the golf course plans into an 18 hole championship course which would be at the level to attract nationally televised tournaments. Documents state the design is accounting for television broadcast needs as well as spectator stadium style seating.
Legendary golfer Tiger Woods has also been associated to the project as he owns a golf course design firm… and his TGR Design was hired to design the Trout National Reserve Golf Course.
Today they are looking to develop a championship style course, which will become an economic driver for the community.
The applicant likened this to a Jack Nicholas designed course in Muirfield, Ohio which was installed in the “middle of nowhere” and transformed the area where now the Memorial Tournament is played annually.
Trout National – The Reserve Property Boundary
The original property is immediately off of the Route 55 exit at Lincoln Ave. and wraps down Sheridan Ave behind the roadside properties. Back over on Lincolin Ave, the newer North East Precast facility is at the Southern border (next to Rt 55) of the original property which was slated for a 9-hole course.
The updated plans for the larger 18-hole course has the first original property segment extending all the way to Hance Bridge Road.
Currently on Hance Bridge Road they are actively developing an Administration and Operations facility for the golf course.
A second large parcel was added to the project which is on the other side of Hance Bridge Rd and extends down to Mays Landing Rd (Broad St).
This second parcel is mostly wooded, and in my visit this week my drone images captured several fairways that are under construction (trees cleared).
The “OVT” Old Vineland Tavern is also located on Mays Landing Road, and it appears that it is NOT part of the golf project, and the golf course property wraps around the local hotspot.
An executive looking home also sitting on that side of Mays Landing Road is part of the golf course property, and during my visit construction vehicles were stationed at the property.
Along Mays Landing Road, crews have cleared additional area alongside the roadway in preparation for the installation of a 14 foot high concrete barrier wall.
Building large concrete panels is exactly what Northeast Precast does, so they are using their expertise to develop an attractive barrier wall around the course which in some areas such as Mays Landing Road will be as high as 14 feet tall.
The applicant stated that because Mays Landing Road is well traveled by vehicles including trucks and semis, a 14 foot high wall in that area would be appropriate.
Trout National – The Reserve : 4 Miles of Barrier Walls
A key aspect of the July Planning Board meeting was the approval of the 4 miles of concrete barrier walls.
According to Vineland Planning Board documents, the applicant suggested that these architectural walls are commonplace in championship golf courses and serve the dual purpose of providing safety for the competitors on the course and separation between the course and outside activities.
In addition, the walls are intended to help prevent the transmission of road noise onto the course.
The applicant stated that by comparison the Augusta National Course is completely walled all around yet it is attractive and inviting as the perimeter is heavily landscaped.
The planning board documents go on to say that landscaping for the property will be plush and astonishing, according the applicant.
A detailed landscaping site plan will be submitted in the next presentation hearing to the board, but the applicant indicated there will be landscaping on both the inside and outside of the walls at applicable locations.
The walls will follow the terrain of the course and will be made-up of “verti-crete” concrete panels which would simulate slate rocks and old world stone on both sides of the wall.
The wall heights surrounding the property vary from 6 feet up to 14 feet.
In my visit driving around the property this week, the concrete walls can be seen along portions of Lincoln Ave, Sherman Ave, and running along the wooded lot’s property line which runs alongside overhead electrical utility lines.
As stated in the planning documents the concrete walls are nicely designed with textured stone and or brick facades.
As of this week they had not started developing the taller wall along Mays Landing Road but as mentioned the roadside space was cleared in advance of that effort.
Trout National – The Reserve : Administration and Operations Complex
Another key aspect of the July planning board meeting was approval for the maintenance facility on Hance Bridge Road.
The developers are wasting no time on this project, as this complex is already under significant development.
The complex sits a fair distance back off of the roadway, and the first building is a 7200 square foot Administration building.
Behind that, several structures are being developed which create a rectangular complex of buildings around the perimeter edge of the “back yard” to support equipment storage, maintenance storage bins, and a storage and wash building.
At the front of the administration building will be employee parking.
Overall its an amazing amount of progress at the site in just a few short months.
42Freeway will be following along with the progress and share updates with readers at significant milestones. I also expect to be at the next (final) Planning Board hearing where full course details are expected to be presented including the golfer facilities (clubhouse) and even where the entrance will be located!
Links and Locations
Trout National – The Reserve Golf Club (under development)
Lincoln Ave (Not confirmed entrance)
Vineland New Jersey