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."