County Residents Can Play at the Colonia Country Club - For a Fee

There's a lot of confusion surrounding who can play and when at the Colonia Country Club since the township bought the land development rights last year.

When Woodbridge Township purchased the land rights to the last year, the was one of the benefits Mayor John McCormac touted.

Another major draw was that Woodbridge residents who weren't club members on the golf course. 

According to Bill Kelly, the club manager, it's not quite that simple.

"There is so much misinformation floating around out there," Kelly said. "There is no such thing as open or public play for Woodbridge residents. It doesn't exist. "Everyone was led to believe that. It's not the truth."

Colonia is still a private club, Kelly said. 

When the land development rights to the club were purchased by the township last year for $6.2 million, Middlesex County officials agreed to reimburse the township 

$6.5 million over a four-year period, with the extra $300,000 to pay for appraisals, engineering studies and legal fees.

Part of the deal included the development of a special grade of membership so that Middlesex County residents - not just Woodbridge residents - would be able to play on the course.

"This was part of a business deal between our owners, the township, and the county. The club created a special membership for people who reside in Middlesex County, not just Woodbridge residents," Kelly said.

The annual fee for the Middlesex County Executive Membership is $650, which includes a reduced green fee of $60 for a round of play.

It sounds expensive, but Kelly said that regular members pay as much as $9,000 a year for membership, plus $100 in green fees.

"This is a special offer. It comes with restrictions, but it's a great opportunity for someone to get involved here," he said.

The restrictions for Middlesex County level members are that they can play any time on Tuesdays, or Thursdays through Sundays after 1 pm, with a tee time reservation.

The club is closed on Mondays; Wednesdays is traditionally a busy day for regular members, Kelly said, and play is closed that day to Middlesex County level members.

There are approximately 175 regular dues paying members at the club, many who come from Staten Island. Since the land rights purchase deal last year, about a dozen or so Middlesex County residents have joined the club under the special membership arrangement, Kelly said.

The restricted membership also allows those members to dine at the club, but only on the days in which they are playing a round of golf.

The county membership "is a good way to get people introduced to the club," Kelly said. "I hope by the end of the season we sell 40 or 50 memberships."

wetfrog18 May 02, 2012 at 01:36 PM
So is the taxpayer stuck paying for this bond?
Deborah Bell (Editor) May 02, 2012 at 02:26 PM
Woodbridge is bonding for it, and is supposed to be reimbursed by the county over a four year period. But of course, taxpayers foot the bill, one way or another, for what the county pays for, so the answer is yes.
Tom Maras May 02, 2012 at 02:43 PM
After all the bragging John McCormac did about how Woodbridge Township was going to “OWN” and run the golf course, all Woodbridge got was $6,500,000.00 in bonded debt for County Open Space, which the County will payback to Woodbridge over 4 years. Remember, McCormac and the Town Council went after the Club on the assumption the Club was failing and would be sold to a developer. It didn’t fail and the developer got the course and club at a great price, with government funding. Was all the worry about the NY developer, just hype. If it was, the developer is one sharp businessman. When I said the deal was a win-win, I meant it. The 100+ year old club remains a semi-private organization, no government control, the taxpayers saved a ton on legal fees, no eminent domain litigation, and for those who can afford it, they can enjoy this Big Mac “Open Space” Deal! Here’s a link to the rates for three Middlesex County Courses (http://www.mciauth.com/golf_courses.htm). See any requirement to pay a $650.00 annual membership fee or $60/round green fees, plus $20.00 for a cart? The CCC county player membership is only good for play on specific days and does not give full access to the club. See: http://www.coloniacc.net/pdf/MembershipBrochure2011.pdf for details. Since a group has filed a lawsuit against the Township/County for what was done to stop any Fair Share Housing (C.O.A.H.) development on the club site, there may be a lot more ‘rounds’ to this game! Fore!!
mb May 02, 2012 at 05:51 PM
I am surprised to read the comment by Mr Maras. I was under the impression that he was very happy with the deal and I remember him saying at a council meeting this is a win win situation for our town and the Country Club. Mr Maras always seems to have a bone to pick with the mayor - no dog park pun intended. As a golfer I followed this story and I find this to be a great opportunity to play at such a beautiful club with very reasonable rates! The golf course stays open and the town keeps its space - now thats a win win!
William Kelly May 02, 2012 at 08:12 PM
As a follow-up to my conversation yesterday with Deborah Bell, I would like express my thoughts regarding the deal between Woodbridge Township, Middlesex County, and the Colonia Country Club. I myself, and all of the Members of Colonia CC are grateful and delighted over the agreement by the parties to preserve this special, bucolic place in Woodbridge Township. The work of Mayor McCormac, the Town Council, and the Middlesex County Freeholder has literally saved and preserved this land for eternity. As an additional Benefit, they have enabled both Woodbridge Township and Middlesex County Residents the unbelievable opportunity to belong to a Private Country Club at a fraction of the cost that is normally paid. This special arrangement not only benefits the Club, both its past and new Members, but the community as a whole. This type of partnership between the Private and Public sectors is how communities will not only survive, but thrive for generations to come. William Kelly General Manager, Colonia Country Club
wetfrog18 May 03, 2012 at 01:30 AM
Many of the taxpayers don't play golf so why are we forced to pay for this sport.
mb May 03, 2012 at 12:32 PM
Wetfrog -I would rather see a golf course instead of 100 new homes built in the town! How about the taxpayer who do not have children- should they pay reduced taxes?
7 out May 03, 2012 at 08:46 PM
Waaahhhhh, someone paid taxes to educate you in the past, now suck it up. I am upset that while teachers, special education programs, and other essential services are either cut or threatened with cuts, we have money to buy a golf course.
fore! May 04, 2012 at 12:37 PM
7 OUT it looks like MB was stating a hypothetical question regarding the moronic comment WETFROG made ... Jeez relax
Data Twpl August 26, 2012 at 10:44 PM
I'm juAR Glad I didn't vote for Mc Cormick!!! too bad you all did!
So Much to Say August 27, 2012 at 02:53 AM
I think William Kelly is tooting the Mac horn because he still has a job. Which I bet is a dugustingly paid job. Compliments of the taxpayers. WAKE UP VOTERS!!!!!


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